THE ROLE OF PUBLIC RELATION AS A MANAGEMENT TOOL FOR CORPORATE IMAGE DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA (CASE STUDY NEPA ENUGU)

ABSTRACT

A good corporate image usually regards to be essential for the existence of an organization.  The success or failure of a co-operation (NEPA) for example depends on its relationship with its special public customers, consumers, employees, shareholders, government, community distributors, retailer, supplier and wholesales.  A corporate image create confidence in the mind of organization and its publics.  It is as a result of what tool should management employ in order to develop and or maintain a good corporate image, that led to researcher to the choice of the research topic.  The role of public relations as a management tool for corporate image development” case study of NEPA Plc Enugu lack of good corporate image by many corporate bodies and the problem created by organizations poor relationships with its public necessitated the statement of research problem.

-                      What is the corporate image of these organization.

-                      What is the state of attitude beliefs or their special publics towards them?

 The objectives of the study are to know whether or not public relations is being used to achieve corporate identity/image to find out whether or otherwise NEPA is aware of public relations impact and responsibilities and find out whether the public image of NEPA is negative or not.

The study will bring to light the need for an organization to maintain or developed good public image, it will serve as a stepping stone for both students and future researchers on corporate image development also the study will expose to government and other business owners the need to increase statutory allocation of public corporation for public relation.  For the purpose of reliability and convenience the study covered only the Enugu territorial headquarter of NEPA, Plc and other public corporation.

However, the same limiting factor during the study, thee include time constraint, financial constraints death of enough already published literature on the research topic lack of defined population of public corporations and companies in Enugu urban and inevitable conformists among the sample population.  During the study some research questions were put, what cause the negative image of NEPA and these other organizations.  How could the poor image problem of these organizations be redeemed?  Can public relations help in improving the negative corporate image of this organization base on the identified research hypothesis viz; constant power failure and rationing cause NEPA’ negative image and the society contributes to NEPA’s problem.

Chi-square was used in testing the null hypothesis against the alternated hypothesis.  In order to have an in-dept study of the work related literature directly and indirectly were reviewed systematically and accordingly.  To achieve this their public relations departments and internal public of the organization should adequately remunerated.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE:

Introduction                                                                                       

1.1              Background of the study                                                                   

1.2              Statement of the study                                                                      

1.3              Purpose of the study                                                              

1.4              Scope of the study                                                                             

1.5              Research question                                                                              

1.6              Research hypothesis                                                               

1.7              Significance of the study                                                                   

1.8              Limitation of the study                                                                      

1.9              Definition of terms                                                                            

References                                                                                         

CHAPTER TWO:   

Literature review                                                                                

2.1              Overview of public relation                                                   

2.2              Social responsibilities of an organization                               

2.3              Compare public relation with other promotional strategies advertisement/publicity                                                 

2.4              Communication as aid for effective public relations 

2.5              Public relations as a management tool for corporate

image development                                                    

References                                                                             

CHAPTER THREE:           

Research Methodology and Design                                       

3.1              Sources of data                                                                                  

3.2              Population of the study                                                                     

3.3              Sampling and sampling techniques                            

3.4              Instruments for data collection                                                          

3.5              Description of instruments used                                                        

3.6              Method of data analysis                                                        

References                                                                                         

CHAPTER FOUR

4.1              Presentation analysis and interpretation of data        

4.2              Presentation of data                                                               

4.3              Test of hypothesis                                                                              

CHAPTER FIVE

5.1              Recommendation and conclusion of findings                       

5.2              Summary of findings                                                 

5.3              Recommendations                                                                             

Bibliography                                                              

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1              BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Public relation is relatively new corporate function although like corporate function it has its roots in ancient activities Edward L. Berays, one of the fathers of modern public relation posited that the three main elements of public relation are as old as society.

Informing people, persuading people and integrating people with people.  Bernays E. I. (1960) and he traced public relation from primitive society (in which leaders controlled by force, intimidation and persuasion), to Babylonian where kinds commissioned historians to paint favourable images of them.

The renaissance and reformation freed men’s mind from established dogmas, heading institutions to develop more subtle means to influence people.  In America, historical milestone for “public relation” include:-

a.                   Samuel Adam’s use of the press to unite the colonists against the British

b.                  The abolitionist movement use of public relations as a political tool to rally supports for block in the north, including the publication of Uncle’s Tom Cabin.

c.                   P. T Barnum’s use of public relation to generate news worthiness about an event, the arrival of his circus, by placing articles in newspapers.  Corporate public relation involved more recently and passed through the following five stages.  First stages, corporation established a contact function to influence legislation’s and newspapers to support position favourable to business. The legislative contact function become known as lobbying and newspaper known as press relations.  George Westing house is credited with the formal establishment of public relations when he hired two men in 1989 to fight the advocated direct current electricity and to promote instead alternating current.  Chlip S. M. (1960 : 16).  The next stage occurred when companies began to recognize the positive value of planned publicity to create customer interest in the company and its products publicity entailed finding or creating events preparing company or product slanted news stories, and trying to interest the press in using them.  Companies recognized that special skills are needed to develop publicity and began to add publicist to their ranks.  Somewhat later, public relations practitioners began to recognize the value of conducting research into public opinion to develop and launching public relations campaigns.  The emerging sciences of public opinion measurement and mass communication theory permitted more sophistication in the conduct of public relation.  Forward-looking firms added specialists who could research public opinion.

Public relation has become a potent force in modern business management in recent times.  Its influence is being felt in large companies and many small ones recognition of the need to explain the activities of an enterprise in order to gain public favour and support is rapidly spreading to different parts of the world.

With the prospect of even greater expansion of public relations, it is important for management to understand its potential and limitations.  There are two essentials in public relation; one is an understanding of existing public attitudes and what the enterprise can reach the desired goals.  Management can readily find “do it” professionals to undertake public relation activities.  But an understanding of what should be accomplished and the setting or realizable objectives cannot be delegated to others.  These are management direct responsibilities because business can only thrive/survive by virtue of continuing public approval “with public sentiment nothing can fail, without it nothing can succeed” Cirving Smith Kogan (1972 : 2) quoting Abraham Lincoln.

Public relations is aimed at making friends for the organization and building internal and external goodwill on the reasonable assumption that there are strongly needed for an organization to remain in business and make profit with the increase in the activities of an organization becomes more imperative.  An organization while wanting o remain viable need to have good relations with its employees consumers of its product / services.  Future investors stockholders and infact the general public.  As an organization specialized in manufacturing or services it needs to show its staff existing or potential customers that it is up to date.  Forward looking concerned to produce or other the best goods and services for the price it charges and to make sure that its customers are really satisfied.

Public relation is growing in importance and acceptance corporate bodies invest large such in organized programmes retain skill public relations practitioners to execute them and the practitioners themselves are becoming part of the top management team.

The purpose of this research work is to evaluate the role of public relation as a management tool for corporate image development (case study National Electric Power Authority) (NEPA) Enugu as services organization.  Electric power development in Nigeria started towards the closing years of the last (2) century when the first generating plant was installed in the city of Lagos in 1898.  From this date onwards, electric development in the country has passed of growth with attendant epileptic power supply.

The National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) was established in 1966 by the federal military government.  The federal government recognized the importance of bringing the operation of electricity industry in to one body and in September 1966.  It merged the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) and the Niger Dams Authority (NDA) into one body responsible for the supply of electricity to all consumers in Nigeria by Decree No 24 of 29th June. ECN and NDA were finally merged to become the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) but it become functioning in January 1973.  The Decree establishing NEPA stipulates that the authority is to develop and maintain an efficient co-ordinates and economical system of electricity supply for all parts of the federation. 

Meanwhile, since its inception NEPA has had unchequed history.  Its inadequacies has remained the butt of public criticism.  The epileptic power supply of this corporation has go progressively worse especially in recent times.  There is hardly any past of the country that has not, of late experienced frequent but prolonged disruption in power supply.  In Lagos, Enugu and Kaduna the story is NEPA’s inefficiency.

In a developing nation like Nigeria, the significance role of electricity cannot be over emphasized.  In all sectors of the economy, education, communication, science and technology, its role is highly recognized.  The persistent interruption of power supply in Nigeria has left in its wake serious consequences for consumers, particularly industries.  Most companies now grown under the huge cost they incurred from using alternative power supply, and replacing equipment damaged by low power supply.  According to the managing director of Berger Paints Nig. Plc Mr. C. A. Olowokande, NEPA had become the stand by generator in our company.  The company spends over N750,000 yearly if its generator alone.  The amount would be cheaper than what the company would pay to NEPA for its unsteady power supply.  Gbenga Akinowo, an industrialist also rates NEPA’s power very low.  According to him, NEPA prior to its recent commercialization had serious problems of generation and distribution of electricity.  He said that most industries and commercial organizations were extremely dissatisfied with the performance at NEPA.

He also indicates the arbitrary and astronomical increase in NEPA’s tariff.  Such opinion as raised above is a matter of image problem to NEPA’s corporate existence.  Today, there is a general lack of trust in NEPA’s ability and performance NEPA is Nigerians, murmur it between clenched teeth.  The general lack of trust in NEPA has remained intractable. From the foregoing, it has been established that the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) has no problem.  The incessant power failure is a matter of image problem to the services of NEPA.  Therefore, in this project, we would attempt to build a better image for the corporation in order to restore its lost image.  To achieve this feat, we shall build up a public relations activity for the corporation bearing in mind the various concepts put together by different public relation practitioners.

1.2              STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

A good corporate image is usually to be essential for the existence of an organization.  The success or failure of a corporation depends on its relationship with its special public consumers, employees, community.

A favourable corporate image creates confidence in an organization.

1.                  What has been public relations practices of this organization?

2.                  What is the corporate image of this organization?

3.                  What is the state of attitudes and beliefs of their special public towards them?

4.                  What the public relations objectives of the organization?

The researcher is before posed to highlight problems areas and how to improve its public image so as to create a favourable corporate image among their special public i.e. consumer.

1.3              PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The objectives of these research work is to know the role of public relations as a management tool for corporate image development in National Electric Power Authority.  It is the intention of this research work to

1.                  Investigate or study the image of NEPA whether favourable or unfavoruable.

2.                  Discover whether the organizations are aware of public relation impact and responsibilities.

3.                  To know the level of public relation and practices in the organization and other public corporate.

4.                  Know whether the organization has a public relation department policy and programme molding public opinion to favour its position existence and policies.

5.                  Know if public relation is being used to achieve corporate identify / image.

1.4              SCOPE OF THE STUDY

For the purpose of reliability and convenience the study covers NEPA territorial headquarter Enugu in particular and other public corporation and companies as well as organized private companies.

1.5              RESEARCH QUESTIONS

As a result to the research problems already outline, in the study, the researcher feels that positive responses too these questions will enable her draw positive conclusions.  The following is the summary of research question asked

1.                  What causes the negative percentage of NEPA by the publics?

2.                  How can the image problems of NEPA be redeemed?

3.                  Can public relations improve a negative corporate image?

4.                  How do the public contribute to NEPA’s problems?

1.6              RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

The research has identified and state some problems necessitating her study if the rate of public relations as a management tool for corporate image development in Nigeria.  She had equally enumerated the objectives of the study in the light of all those she needs to formulate certain hypothesis with which she will work.

Hi        NEPA image is not negative

Ho2      NEPA is efficient in its duty

Hi        NEPA is not efficient in its duty

Ho3      The society contribute to NEPA’s problems

Hi        The society does not contribute to NEPA’s problems

Ho4      There is insufficient or ineffective communication between NEPA and its public

Hi        There is sufficient or ineffective communication between NEPA and its public

Ho5      Constant power interruption and rationing causes NEPA’s negative image.

Hi        NEPA’s negative image is not caused by constant power interruption and rationing.

Ho6      NEPA is inefficient in its social responsibilities.

Hi        NEPA is efficient in its social responsibilities.

1.7              SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study will be meaningful and beneficial to NEPA and its public.

1.                  The need for public relations department is any public corporation and companies as private business.

2.                  It will bring to light the relationship between public relations and advertising / publicity.

3.                  In addition the study will bring into focus the role of public relations manager in any organizations.

4.                  It will be a help to both student and future researchers on corporate image development.

5.                  It expresses to government the need to increase statutory allocations to public corporations for public relations development.

1.9       DEFINITION OF TERMS

ROLE:            The task or duty played by public relations in building goodwill or good image.

PUBLIC RELATION:           The deliberate, planned and sustained effort so establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its public.

PUBLICS:      Any group that has actual or potential interest or impact on a company to achieve its objectives.

IMAGE:          Mental picture or idea view opinion of something or something such as service or product held by the public.

e, Taiwo (1994)                       All a bow PR media review April.

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