1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STDUY
Relations with the media is the most obvious element in Public Relations, so they form a tactical approachable to influence on the opinions of others and change their behaviour and creating new channels and opportunities for corporate performance.
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, 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 publicrelations 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.
Both public and private organizations around 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 of public relation in building corporate image, in Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic Bori.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
There has been a good number of complaints from Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic about public relations operations of the organization. There is no efficient, effective and systematic public relations in the establishment. As a result of this, Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic does not communicate to its publics when due.
The Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic 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 Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic.
There has been absence of incentives to customers, which now brings about low persuasive strategy.
Another problem is that the management of the establishment makes it impossible for Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic 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 OBJECTIVE 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:
i. Examine whether political interference hamper or hinder the public relations department in Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic from effective performance of its duties.
ii. To find out if the image of Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic satisfies its publics so as to help attract and sustain potential customers?
iii. Investigate whether Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic is facing image problem in the execution of its duties.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. Does the political interference hamper or hinder the public relations department in Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic from effective performance of its duties?
ii. Does the image of Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic satisfy its publics so as to help attract and sustain it operations?
iii. Is Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic facing image problem in the execution of its duties?
H0: Public relation does not have any significant impact on the building of corporate image.
H1: Public relations 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 Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic 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 SCOPEOF 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 Tertiary institutions in Rivers State, therefore the researcher limits the study to Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnics Bori, Rivers State
1.8 LIMITATIONOF 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 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Public: The number of people who receive the services of Nigerian Airways Enugu.
Public relations: Mutual understanding between Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic and its public, carried out by the public relations department
Building: This is the creation of establishment of good will and acceptance between the Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic and its publics.
Image: The mental pictures that the publics of Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic have on the effect of efficiency of services varied by the number.
Corporate Image: It is mental picture that springs up at the mention of a firm’s name.
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