1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Most government and private organizations recognize the need and importance of public relations despite their different commitment to their various public.
As stated by Ajala (1993) the British institute of public relations (BIPR) defines relations as the deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organisation and its public.
This definition shows that public relations practice is important to an organisation. As experience has shown that an organisation earns almost all the its revenue and marketing possibilities through public support. Any organisation without public support dies a premature death.
Funds spent on public relations of an organization are out looked upon as an avenue for revitalizing the organisation. It is an input which enhances the continued existence of the organisation.
Hamb (1972) stated that “public relations is a management function which helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance and co-operation between an organisation and its public. It also helps management to keep informed on problems or issues and responsible to public opinion, defines and emphasis the responsibility of management to serve the public interest, helps management to keep abreast of an effectively wanting system to help anticipate trends and use research and sound ethical communications as its principal tools.
Public relations helps an organisation to evaluate public opinion, decide organisational polices to suit public opinion and create good will amongst management and their internal and external publics. This research topic looks at the relevance of public relations practices in a business organisation and also helps to evaluate good will between an organization and its public.
1.2 ORIGIN OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
In ancient times, priests serve as the public relations advisers to their kings. They were experts in public opinion and persuasion. The kings consults them before any major decision or ceremonial events were undertaken. Furthermore, the priests produced literatures, poems of praise and lamentation even edict to govern the people.
The tools and techniques or public relations have long been an important part of the weapon in political and social conflict. These were sustained campaigns to move and manipulate public opinions.
In America, the work of Samuel Adams and his supporters during the evolutionary war of independence were the beginning of mass mobilization of public opinion. The used the pen, platform, pulpit, staged events, symbols and political organisation in a determined and unrelenting way, until the U.S.A was established in 1777.
The modern concept and terminology of public relations was met very well known in the past, this was because there were few events for its full scale development. Group relationship was relatively simple and people were self sufficient and independent. Prior to the advent of public relations as we know of today, the main antecedents of the twenty century publicity can be distinguished. These are:
a. Press Agency
c. Publicity for business critics and reforms
These three elements formed a compound public relations in the first decade a the twenty century.
The U.S. Government first used pubic relations ideas in the First World War when President Woodraw Wilson established the committee on public information to popularize the liberty Warbonds and for propaganda.
After the World War II, the U.S Congress established the United States Information Service (USIS) to interpret the U.S. foreign policy to the people of the world.
In Britain, the first organised pubic relations effort was made by the insurance commission in 1911 under the direction of Mr. Lloyd George to explain the National Insurance Act (NIA) to the public. The outbreak of the fist World War led to rapid expansion of publicity in Britain and overseas.
At first this was carried out by a number of separate bodies. By early 1918, such publicity was conducted by three organisation. The ministry of information responsible for work in Britain and in the dominion and in allied and in neutral countries.
The national war committee which carried out patriotic propaganda in Britain and a committee under Lord North Cliff which was responsible for a propaganda in every country.
The first world pubic relations congress was held in Brussels, Belgium in June 1955 and the second was in Venice May 1961. The aim was to do everything possible to raise the world’s standard for pubic relations.
1.3 ORIGIN OF PUBIC RELATIONS IN NIGERIA
Although pubic relations cannot be said to be in existence in name, the first unconscious use of pubic relations was manifested in the pacification mission of 1906 by the British Government which brought Yoruba land under the British rule. Other various forms of communication and activities mounted by the colonial masters during the pre-independence ear in order to create an enabling environment for trade which were free of violence could be termed pubic relation efforts.
The first use of pubic relations was in 1940 when the British Government in Nigeria established an information office in Lagos. The office primarily served as a cleaning house for information and materials received from the ministry of information in London.
It has helped to disseminate was information and was also burdened with the task of presenting a good image of Nigeria to the outside world. As the office expanded. It moved out from the small office it occupied into a separate office in Broadstreet and later into a larger premises in campbeel street.
By January first, 1994 it changed to become the first ever public relations office in the country with regional offices established first in Ibadan and the in Enugu.
The private sector also contributed to the growth of public relations in Nigeria when in 1949 the United Africa Company (UAC) pioneered the adoption of public relations to create awareness on the relevance of the company to the Nigeria economy. In practicing public relations (UAC) United Africa Company deliberately ensured that qualified Nigerians were trained and employed into the management’s positions.
The Nigerians institute of public relations started in 1963 as the public relations association of Nigeria and was controlled by Samuel Epelle. NIPR started with Samuel Epelle, Ogbuefi Alex Nwakedi, Aduke Alakeja and Theo Awoboju. Dan Agbakoba and Witton Hugo later joined as co-foundation members while Ogbuefi Alex Nwokedi was the secretary. It’s priority was education and this was done through monthly luncheons held at the Bristol Hotel in which knowledgeable persons on public relations were invited to lecture members.
1.4 EFFECTIVENESS OF PUBLIC RELATIONS IN A BUSINESS ORGANISATION
Public relations as a management tool plays a vital role in enhancing a good relationship between an organisation and it’s public. It enables an organisation to know the reaction of it’s public to it’s policies and programme.
Nigerian Bottling Company: This has branches all over the country and has its Head office in Lagos. In order to be able to evaluate activities of its publics to its products, all the braches have public relations management department.
In order to enhance good communication between management, staff and public the company adopts a free style of communication. The effectiveness of public relations can be effectively seen in this particulars organisation. This is so because the public relations department ensures that there is constant interaction between top-management officers and staffs of the company.
Also, the public relations department organizes award ceremonies for staffs and branches a n d this boosts the morals of the staff also the public relation department carry out what is know as community relations. They organise seminars, create job for the people in the community and supply them with social amenities. All these is done in order to create a good working atmospheres for its workers.
In all, the effectiveness of public relations connects be over emphasized; it enables the organisation to know the needs and demands of its public while accessing opinions from them in terms of programmes and policies that are carried out by the organisation.
Public relations also boosts the reputation of an organisation for it to be able to attract customers to an organisation.
The various medium available to the public relations department in order to effectively carry out its objectives includes for the internal publics which are the staffs, shareholders, memos, news bulletin, and suggestion box while for external public relation includes whole salaries retailers, consumers, television, radio, newspaper, etc.
1.5 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
A. S, Hornby defines effectiveness as “making a striking impression”. Hence for the purpose of this study, the term is viewed from the angle of impression which public relation makes in a given organisation ensuring that certain variables are in place.
The British institute of public relation defines public relations as the deliberate, planned and sustained efforts to establish and mountain mutual understanding and goodwill between organisations and its public.
These are institutions established and can be owned privately or by the government for the primary purpose of providing employment opportunities for its publics as well as to get an adequate return on her investment.
These refers to group of individuals an organisation deals with which are both internal and external.
1.6 THE STUDY HAS THE FOLLOWING OBJECTIVES
· To establish a fundamental purpose of a two way flow of mutual interest and understanding.
· To help the organisation to be informed on the issues and problems of public opinion.
· To understand the relationship between public relation and an organisation.
· Showing the relationship and the difference between public relation and advertising.
· Highlighting the importance of public relation in an organisation.
· Showing the inter-relation and how to shove organisation problem.
· It shows the importance of planning ahead and strategies to achieve positive response.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is limited in scope in the areas of introduction regarding the research topic “THE EFFECTIVENESS OF PUBLIC RELATIONS IN A BUSINESS ORGANISATION”. This study ensures that public relations has a deliberate planned and sustained efforts to establish and maintain mutual understanding and goodwill between organisation and its public.[email protected][email protected]