Development, with respect to countries can be examined from various
perspectives, depending on the countries involved For instance, the
meaning attached to it by the developed countries could be different
from that of the developing or less-developed countries. This,
therefore, suggests that there is not likely to be an all- embracing
description or definition acceptable the world over.
However, Rogerian (1996) argued that “development is a widely
participatory process of social changes in a society intended to bring
about social and material advancement for the majority of people through
their gaining of greater control over the environment” Similarly, it
may not be easy to clearly separate a developing country from a less
developed one due to their similarities in terms of features. Although
while some believe that there is a distinction between the two others
contend that such distinction is without a difference, thereby
suggesting that they are one and the same. For purposes of this study,
however, the two terminologies, that is, developing and less developed,
shall be used interchangeably.
A developing country can be described as one that is still in the
process of attaining an acceptable degree of sufficiency in terms of
resources. But for any country to attain this height there are some
development tools that should be employed, and one of such is Public
The relevance of public relations in achieving national growth and
development in any society can hardly be over-emphasized due to due to
its various techniques that are highly result- oriented.
Most developed countries of the world today have come to the
realization of this submission and have made conscious efforts to make
the best use of Public Relations techniques to their advantage.
Public Relations revolve round sound organized two-way communication
and consistent information dissemination. Information is an aspect of
communication and communication is equally a part of public relations.
Information creates knowledge and knowledge helps in shaping opinion
with a view to winning goodwill that could be built with the aid of
Public Relations practices.
Ekpo (1993) argues that Public Relations as a profession is
concerned with communicating policies and actions to special groups or
the public at large.
Today governments all over the world have employed Public Relations to assist them in governance.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Evidence indicates that developing countries now require public
relations techniques as part of the tools necessary in efforts to
achieve national development, especially in such areas as mobilization
of the citizenry and their enlightenment with respect to the benefits of
such a development.
However, some obstacles seem to be affecting the effective use of the available Public Relations techniques in this direction.
The following problems, among others have the tendency of inhibiting the flow of this study:
(a) Most people in developing countries seem to be ignorant
regarding the relevance of public relations activities to their national
(b) There tends to be a dearth of modern communication
facilities necessary for the effective practice of public relations in
(c) Lack of adequate recognition and support from the
government of most developing countries seem to be affecting the
practice of public relations
(d) There seems to be insufficient promotional activities of
the public relations profession by the different professional bodies
charged with such responsibilities
(e) Inadequate public relations practitioners in developing
countries tends to inhibit the practice of public relations in such
(f) Relatively low funding of public relations programmes in
such countries is also having an adverse effect on the practice of the
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The study shall attempt to achieve the following objectives, among others:
1. To examine the factors hindering the effective
practice of the public relations profession in developing countries.
2. To satisfy part of the academic requirements for the award of a Master’s Degree in Public Relations.
3. To provide an academic challenge to scholars in
the area of public relations practice in developing countries.
4. To offer recommendations on what actions to be taken in addressing the identified limitations
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is significant in the sense that it will provide useful
information for the advancement of further studies in the area of public
Also there is much data to provoke subsequent research and
development of academic knowledge by way of books, journals, seminar
paper, etceteras in this area of study.
Apart from the practical research experience which this study shall
avail the researcher, it is also going to be a source of relevant
information with respect to the limitations of public relations in
The successful completion of this study shall serve as a useful reference for libraries.
Finally, the result of this study shall be a source of information
for the general reader who want to probably improve his or her knowledge
on issues revolving round the practice of public relations in
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the factors inhibiting the effective practice of public relations in developing countries?
2 How can public relations practice be enhanced in developing countries?
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THIS STUDY
Actually, the scope of this study should have been designed to cover
most developing countries but due to inadequate resources, the
researcher had to use Nigeria as the main unit of analysis.
It is a statement of fact that the average Nigerian researcher
is constantly faced with a gamut of interacting variables that tend to
impede his/her efforts at promoting learning and improving the
functional knowledge of people.
Consequent upon the foregoing, the researcher also had to contend with some problems which include the following:
1. Inadequate finance - This was perhaps the greatest problem the researcher encountered because it hampered easy movement around the study area.
2. Time constraint - Due to the time limit
attached to the submission of this project report, it was impossible for
the researcher to cover wider grounds.
3. Indifferent Attitude of Respondents- Some
of the respondents exhibited some form of lackadaisical attitude in
completing the questionnaires and were reluctant to grant oral
interviews. This seems to be a confirmation of an argument by Ene Essien
(1979) that “the main problem associated with the collection of primary
data in Nigeria is the reluctance of interviewees to respond to simple
questions since such will not put a meal on their tables”. As a result
of this, therefore, the researcher had to make conscious efforts to
disabuse such respondents’ unfounded prejudices in order to get them