THE ROLE OF PUBLIC RELATION IN BUILDING CORPORATE IMAGE

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ABSTRACT

The study has examined the role of Public Relation in building corporate Image. The main purpose of the study is to examine the role of public relation in building corporate image. The specific objectives are to find the out whether there are incentives due for customers are persuasive sales strategy or not, to examine whether political interference hamper or hinder the public relations department in Dangote Group from effective performance of its duties, to find out if the image of Dangote Group satisfies its publics so as to help attract and sustain potential customers, to find out whether Dangote Group is facing image problem in the execution of its duties.The research design used descriptive and survey method of data collection in an attempt to empirically examine the role of public relation in building corporate image. The population of the study is made up of the entire staffs of Dangote Group of Companies which was 120. The sample size for this study is 80. In order to test the validity of already stated hypothesis, the chi-square statistical test was employed. Findings revealed that the incentives due for customers are persuasive sales strategies and that political interference does not hamper or hinder the public relations department in Dangote Group from effective performance of its duties. Based on the findings of the study, summary, conclusion and recommendations were made that economic ventures should be established in the communities. The communities should be properly assisted and encouraged to embark on job creation and income generation ventures to boast the economy of the communities, establishment of small-scale industries should also be considered, the company must formulate a socially responsive strategy based on the interactive approach which will promote understanding by the both parties and equally create a peaceful relationship between the communities and Dangote Group by reducing the gap between community expectations and the performance of the company.                                              

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Relations with the media is the most obvious element in Public Relations, so they form a tactical approachable to influence the opinions of others  and  change their  behaviour  and creating new channels and opportunities for sale. However, as long as the Public Relations built relationships with journalists working in areas that intersects with their work in order to spread news of their clients.

As a result of the popularity increase of Social Media, Public Relations experts began adding bloggers to the list of media interest, in a move that seeks to take views about their customers products and publications browsing, or the so-called (posts), in addition to other forms of coverage and image improvement of an organization. For workers in the industry, they love to talk about the merits of this effect. It should also hire a Public Relations’ officer in order to improve the Company Image, as it has become urgent, especially in the era of globalization.

Fundamental role in improving the vision of organizations to customers with regard to improving the mental image towards the clients, but many of those  with  existing allocated for Public Relations tasks are not doing their duties well, as they do not establish a strategic vision.

The corporation is one of the three legal forms of        enterprise   defined   as “a   legal   entity   that   is separate from its owners and managers” (Robbins& Coulter, 2005). In addition to making profit for its   owners/stockholders, today’s   corporations   have social responsibility which is defined as “the idea that business  has  social  obligations  above   and   beyond making profit” (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2008).

Public relations is a management tool designed to establish support among a firm’s various internal and external publics (Thomas & Lane, 1990). Another definition stated that public relations includes activities that   is built   around   a   favorable company’s image through   publicity, and   public   events (Zeithaml, Bitner& Gremler, 2009).  The major functions of public relations are to create and maintain excellent relations with the   organization’s   internal   and   external   stakeholders, such as persons and   private, governmental, and societal entities in general.

Public relations can have a strong impact on public awareness at a much lower cost than advertising (Kotler & Armstrong, 2006).  The tools used in public relations are press releases, lobbying, product publicity, investor’s relations, and   development.

Modern public relations have evolved to embrace corporate image; corporate image is built around    the   organizational   structure   that   embraces public relations theories and practices. Ecological, sociological, and corporate/business elements must be properly promoted internally/externally by utilizing public relations efforts   in order to provide the most updated information to stakeholders/employees and the public (Penning, 2007). In reference to the power center of corporate   image, organizations need   to   have management with strategic background, intent, and vision in order to direct public relations to the three target areas specified in this article.

Organizations throughout the world need to understand the value of public relations in an effort to meet institutional goals and objectives. More specifically, the overall organizational strategic plan needs to incorporate public relations initiatives within the short/long term planning to avoid internal/external communication mishaps (Public Relations Society   of America, 2013). Therefore, the study was intended to examine the role public relation in building corporate image.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS

There has been a good number of complaints from Dangote Group of Companies about public relations operations of the organization.  There is no efficient, effective and systematic public relations in the establishment.  As a result of this, Dangote Group does not communicate to its publics when due.

The Dangote Group seems to be undergoing image problems.  The problems of financial constraints deferring regulatory policies by the government.  Negative attitude of employees to work, management problems, production and delivery delays, inefficient services and general rising of costs of goods and services seems to point to the fact that public relations has failed in its role of establishing a good corporate image of Dangote Group of Company.

There has been absence of incentives to customers, which now brings about low persuasive sales strategy.

Another problem is that the management of the parastatal makes it impossible for Dangote public relations manager to do his job satisfactorily.  The resultant effect here is that most of the time the public relations manager is compelled to take actions and execute programmes that are not of interest to the various publics.

1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The main objective of the study is to examine the role of public relation in building corporate image. The specific objectives of the study are as follows:

  1. To find the out whether there are incentives due for customers are persuasive sales strategy or not.
  2. To examine whether political interference hamper or hinder the public relations department in Dangote Group from effective performance of its duties.

iii. To find out if the image of Dangote Groupsatisfies its publics so as to help attract and sustain potential customers?

  1. To find out whether Dangote Groupis facing image problem in the execution of its duties.

1.4RESEARCH OF THE STUDY

  1. Are the incentives due for customers persuasive sales strategies?
  2. Does the political interference hamper or hinder the public relations department in Dangote Group from effective performance of its duties?

iii. Does the image of Dangote Groupsatisfy its publics so as to help attract and sustain potential customers?

  1. Is Dangote Group facing image problem in the execution of its duties?

1.5RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

H0:  Public relation does not have any significant impact on the building of corporate image.

H1:  Public relation have a significant impact on the building of corporate image.

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research provides insights into how the public relations role is defined in organisations operating in a competitive setting, particularly in Dangote Group of Company.

The study will reveal if public relations operates in isolation or if it is given due importance and hence, jointly discussed at the decision-making level. This will also reflect the public relations role of in the organisations studied and indicate if they have direct access to top management and are represented at policy-making.

1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The aim of the study is to examine the role of public relation in building corporate image. It will be too large for the researcher to cover  all the organizations in Rivers State, therefore the researcher limits the study to Dangote Groups of Company in Port Harcourt Metropolis, Rivers State.

1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

In carrying out an investigation of this native the researcher must of necessity be faced the following constraint.

Firstly, the time constraint’s the time frame provision for this study was short.

Secondly, financial constraints. Usually, a study of this nature involved some level of expenditure therefore, finance was also a limiting factor.

Thirdly, poor response from the respondent and inability to access the entire population of the study. In the next segment significance of the study will be discussed. Lastly, poor measurement instrument.

1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Public: The number of people who receive the services of Nigerian Airways Enugu.

Public relations: Mutual understanding between a company and its public, carried out by the public relations department

Building: This is the creation of establishment of good will and acceptance between the company and its publics.

Image:The mental pictures that the publics of a company have on the effect of efficiency of services varied by the number.

 

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