This thesis, PUBLIC RELATIONS AS A
MANAGERIAL TOOL IN BUSINESS ORGANIZATION (A CASE STUDY OF FIRST BANK OF
Nigeria PLC., Enugu) is based on finding out the need of Public
Relations at management level in a business organization using First
Bank of Nigeria Plc.
I this research work the researcher has
investigated on how the management sees the public relations unit of the
bank and how its activities affects the bank and also its benefits from
Questionnaires and oral interviews were
used by the researchers to gather data in the analysis. A total of 126
questionnaires were sent out to respondents comprising of the management
staff, the working staff and customers of First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
The researcher took note of their responses and this formed the basis of
this research. Above all the researcher read and made use of important
and reliable books written by authors on Public Relations.
From findings, the researcher was able
to observe that the Public Relations unit of F.B.N. is used as a
managerial tool and its activities are being used effectively to obtain
the bank’s goals and objectives.
Another major discovery is that the bank
through the Public Relation Unit has been able to make use of
suggestions made by customers to make amendments in the course of its
In ending this work, the researcher has
made some recommendations both for the growth of the bank and also for
further studies in this area.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEMS
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1.7 CONCEPTUAL AND OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF VARIABLE
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 THE HISTORICAL ANTECEDENTS
OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
2.2 PUBLIC RELATIONS DEFINED
2.3 OPERATIVE PARTS OF THE
2.4 PUBLIC RELATIONS PROCESS
2.5 THE PLACE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
2.6 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.7 AGENDA SETTING THEORY
3.1 RESEARCH METHOD
3.2 STUDY UNIVERSAL/POPULATION
3.3 SAMPLE SIZE
3.4 INSTRUMENT OF DATA COLLECTION
3.5 METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS
4.1 DATA ANALYSIS AND
PRESENTATION OF RESULTS
4.3 TESTING OF HYPOTHESIS
4.4 MAJOR FINDINGS
5.1 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Business organizations do not exist in a
vacuum. Whether dealing on good or specialized in rendering service.
Organizations (both private and public) exist at the expense of people
in two factors have added impetus to the concept of people in today’s
organizations. They include firstly, the upsurge in the number and
complexity of organizations and secondly are the ever increasing
sophistication in the demand of consumers.
Today, the need for improvement in the
use of “public Relations” as a means of achieving greater organizational
results is increasingly being realized. Today, organization that
really wants to have the leading edge must be plugged or placed into
trotline relationship with the customers and other publics. Today it is
being realized, more than ever before, that any organization, which
chooses to work at cross – purposes (misunderstanding) with its various
publics especially the customers will not survive for a long time. the
notion of secrecy that characterized the activities of most business
organizations is now far past.
Ikechukwu Nwosu, (1990) rightly put it
“Public Relations is of great importance in human indispensability in
creating goodwill, understanding the support needed between an
institution (business organization) and its public”. This seen in his
definition of Public Relation, when he said that Public Relations
practice is a deliberately planned and sustained effort to establish and
maintain mutual understanding between and organization and its public.
The prevailing notion that the customer
is “all powerful and therefore needs to be consulted in the various
stages of production of foods and service so that the product comes out
exactly the way he wants it has made public relation more and more
relevant in today’s business organization. So business organizations in
general must not isolate themselves from the public, but should
maintain a cordial continuing relationship with them.
Banks have gone a long way in the
country or society as a whole. They are recognized as business
organizations selling services to the public. The public’s readiness to
buys the services depends largely on how much they know about the
services and the confidence does not come however through “quietness”
but through their effort in publicizing their activities on confidence
overtime. Looking at the failed banks situation in the country, where
most customers of such banks lost their money to the illegal activities
of such banks. So there is the need for publicizing bank activities for
proper knowledge or information to the customers and public. By the
time all the necessary information are made known to the public, dubious
banks would be well differentiated by the public.
Banks cannot afford and should not
afford to loose their customers, particularly on a continuous basis.
They have to strive to win customers but should not stop at that. They
should also retain the customers, and this has to do with public
As a management function, public relations encompass the following:-
(i) Anticipating, analyzing
and interpreting public opinion, attitude and issues which might impact,
for good or ill, the operations and plans for the organization.
(ii) Counseling management at
all levels in the organization with regard to policy decision, courses
of action and communication, taking into account their public ramifications and the organization’s social or citizenship responsibilities.
(iii) Researching, conducting
and evaluating on a continuous basis, programme of action and
communication to achieve informed public understanding necessary to the
success of an organization’s aims. This may include marketing,
financial, fund raising, employee, community of government relations and
(iv) Planning and implementing the organization’s effort to influence or change public policy.
(v) Setting objectives,
planning, budgeting, recruiting and training staff, developing
facilities; in short managing the resources needed to perform all the
above (Salu 1994).
Banks exist, therefore to serve the
financial needs and wants of people as individuals, businesses,
institutions, government, etc.
Conversely, a public relation is
primarily concerned with creating goodwill, promoting and selling bank
services, that, marketing in order to enhance bank’s profitability.
However, of recent, many factors have
contributed to the decline of bank’s profitability in the Nigeria banks
such factors include inflation, central banks regulatory guidelines,
poor management of institution, fraud and malpractices, bad asset
composition, political instability among others. Such factors have sent
hoe some banks to their distress levels today. Public relation through
its specialized communication skills owes it a duty to package
effective communication message necessary to put the management and
staff of the banks including their external public in apposition to see
the bank a positive perspective or point of view, making the to shun
such vices like fraud, malpractice, etc. that run counter to the wealthy
development of the sector. The public relations department owes its
as duty to carry out trend analysis or environment scanning by engaging
on a periodic assessment and monitoring of banking environment.
The department in doing this uses the
formular known as SWOT analytical approach i.e. you assess the banking
system’s Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats and provide
adequate information to the management (Nwosu, 1996).
It is indeed painful to note that after
many years of the integration of the department in the banking system,
banks have not changed much for the better. Worthy to mention in this
discourse is also the fact that some banks give a lean attention to the
department while other, out of deliberate misinterpretation and
misconception or through ignorance thought of the department to be
negligible or have not effect at all.
It was against this backdrop or finding
lasting solution to this sector that rekindled the interest of the
research in assessing the use of public relations as managerial tool in
business organization (First Bank of Nigeria, Enugu branch).
HISTORY OF FIRST BANK OF Nigeria
Banking as an industry cannot operate in
non-monetized economy. The growth of the banking in Nigeria started as
a British Colony with the introduction of the British co mage and
currency system in the late 19th century.
The establishment of First Bank of
Nigeria plc., predates the birth of the Nigerian nation as a sovereign
nation. Bank of British West Africa (BBWS) as a matter of fact was the
firs bank to be established in Nigeria. The name “First Bank”, which
was eventually adopted in 1979 is appropriate, having been conferred on
the bank by history. The truth, however, was the bank was the first
successful bank to operate in Nigeria. Being truly the first bank to be
successfully set up and managed on the Nigeria soil, it also has
endured a steady but tough banking twain.
Banking system in the county started
through the efforts of Alfred Lewis Jones and George William Neville.
They are also seen as the founding fathers of BBWA, now First Bank. The
banking system came or started in their (i.e. the founding fathers)
quest to protect the interest of their company a sole shipping agent of
shilling of West Africa from London. Since the existence and
establishment of the bank (BBWA) in 1894 and its adoption of the bank in
1979, the bank has continued to exist with the rigors within and around
the country, and has been able to set up other branches.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
A Public Relations department of
business organization is charged with the duty of maintaining mutual
understanding between the organization and its various publics. Its
publics are generally divided into “internal” and “external” publics.
The internal publics consist of consumers, government dealers,
suppliers, member of the community and the mass media etc. public
relations serves as the link between all this publics. The attitude of
the staff towards work will depend on the type of relationship existing
between them (the staff and the management). Also that of the external
publics of the organization will depend on the amount and quality of
information available to them about the organization.
Organizations are often accused by
customers and employees of being nonchalant of their demands, these
organizations are accused of outright hostility often bordering on
belligerence. These organizations are so short-circuited to foresee
that there are bound to be reactions when standards of expectations are
Public relations is hardly recognized as
the necessary step in building bridges of good will and mutual
understanding between the organization and its various public where it
is given any recognition. It is almost seen as an appendage (i.e. make
up) to the chief executive and practitioners, seen as errand boys, with
really inculcating them in the management boardrooms and decision so
that they can contribute meaningfully in the stakes of the organization –
First Bank, though leading in the country, has its own problems in
relating with its own customers. Customers still complain of poor
services, delay in banking services.
This study will look at how problems are
made to the bank and how effective the public relations play their own
part by relating it to the management i.e. if they are given the
opportunity at all to relate with the management board.
1.3 OBJECTIVES (AIMS) OF THE STUDY
The objective of the study is to examine
the impact of public relations as a managerial or management tool in
First Bank f Nigeria plc. Again to determine whether or not some of
these problems are caused by the bank’s management itself.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study should lie
in its goal; namely, to access the public relations practice in
ensuring survival. Specifically, the study was undertaken to find out
the SWOT analysis of the Public Relations practice in organizations
especially banks. The significance of this study will therefore be of
immense value to business organizations. This is because the study,
apart from objectively assessing the Public Relations practice in First
Bank of Nigeria, it would also highlight the proper solutions on how
best to tackle these survival problems. This would help the management
of various banks who might be desirous to pinpoint the problems of
survival that inhibit their bank’s growth. This will help the bank
management to assess the level of their application of Public Relations
practice. This study will also elicit vital information that will aim
management in their policy decision as well as change the status quo of
some banks presently engulfed by the social malady besieging the
sector. This study will also serve as a yardstick to those flourishing
banks to assess or determine whether they are towing the line of
progress or otherwise.
Finally, this study will be able to
point out the necessity of Public Relations at the management level of
any organization. Banks or any form of organization works directly with
various publics in the society. Consequently, this requires that First
Bank must be in constant touch with their various publics so that their
actions and publics are explained to them promptly. For this to be
done effectively, Public Relations has a lot to play I the dissemination
of information to the public. Not only do they define actions and
policies but also relay the minds of this publics to the management
directly or indirectly.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
(1) To what extent is Public Relations regarded as a managerial or management tool in First Bank?
(2) To what extent can Public Relations contribute to the achievement of First Bank’s objectives?
(3) Does First Bank seeks customers’ input in the formulation of policies and strategies of operations?
(4) What is the image of First Bank plc. Among the customers?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H1: Public Relations is fully regarded as a managerial or management tool in First Bank of Nigeria.
H0: Public Relations is not fully regarded as a managerial or management tool in First Bank of Nigeria.
H2: Public Relations contributes to the achievement of First bank’s objectives.
H0: Public Relations does not contribute to the achievement of First Bank’s objectives.
H3: First Bank seeks customers’ inputs in the formulation of policies and strategies for its operations.
H0: First Bank does not seek customers’ input in the formulation of policies and strategies for its operations.
H4: Customers have very high regard for First Bank.
H0: Customers do not have high regard for First Bank.
1.7 CONCEPTUAL AND OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF VARIABLES
1. (a) Effective Public Relations:
Conceptually, this means the effective use of the Public
Relations messages and tenets to reduce social issues like
corruption, embezzlement, fraud, etc, especially in the bank.
(b) Operationally, effective Public
Relations means those special message communicated to their publics
meant to give them a moral sense of direction in relation to their work,
code of conduct, etc.
2. (a) Bank Management:
Conceptually means those who direct, control and co-ordinate
the activities of other junior workers in a bank to achieve
set goals eg. The Director, Manager, Public Relations Officer etc.
(b) Operationally bank management
means those who have their positions to influence the normal bank
services like granting loans or getting some preferential services based
3. (a) Constraint: Conceptually,
constraint means the threat or use of force to direct the action of
others; something that limits one’s freedom of action (Longman
Dictionary of contemporary English, 1981) pg. 234.
(b) Operationally, constraint means preferential and corrupt practices in bank based on sentiment by bank management.
4. (a) Adequate Funds: Conceptually
means the amount of money that is just enough for the purpose
it is slated out for.
(b) Operationally, adequate funds
means the amount of money that can be enough to carry out the Public
Relations campaign for a given bank usually for a stated period.
5. (a) Smooth running: Conceptually
smooth running means the administration of an organization
or department in such a manner that it is devoid of crisis so
that such organization of department can effectively
contribute in achieving their set goals.
(b) Operationally, smooth running
means designed or well packaged communication message by Public
Relations department of a bank aimed at gearing the internal and
external publics of the bank towards achieving its set goals and
For the purpose of clarity in this research, it is necessary to define and explain certain key words in the study.