THE ROLE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS IN BUILDING A CORPORATE IMAGE

Abstract

This study discussed the role of public relations in building corporate image (A study of Dangote group of companies). The field of public relations is all about developing understanding and building good relationships with the various publics including government, media, employees, investors, suppliers, customers etc. according to various researchers in the area of public relations, it is a systematized effort in order to build the image and reputation of a business in social context. 

The result of what you do, Say and what others say about you. In this interdependent world, it is really important for almost every kind of organizations to keep a long term and trustworthy relations with the communities or public in order to handle the up-coming challenges and also to maintain the survival and success.

The major problems to be solved in this research work are Poor image of an organization or company and lack of confidence in the mind of the organization various publics leading to poor patronage ,Lack of mutual understanding between the organization and its public (within and outside), Misunderstanding and conflict due to unimproved communication within an organization and its public. Data were collected and presented in the chapter four of this research work using Questionnaires, Recommendations were made in the concluding chapter of the research work. 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0    Introduction

It is widely accepted that the aim of any business organization is to achieve growth, increase in turn over, assets and profit. But all of this is dependent on the goodwill of the organization’s various publics. Goodwill according to Malogo (1996) is secured not so much as a result of the organization’s mere existence but as the sustained strategic planning, execution and evaluation of the perception of their publics in relation to the organization.

Every organization no matter how large or small ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success. Customers, suppliers, employees, investors, journalist and regulators can have a powerful impact on an organization, they all have opinion about the organization they come in contact with- whether good or bad,  right or wrong, these perceptions will drive their decision about whether they want to work with, shop with and support these organizations.

In today’s competitive market, reputation can be a company’s biggest asset; the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd and gives you a competitive edge. Effective PR can help manage reputation bi communication and building good relationship with the organization stakeholders.

Public relations is a discipline about reputation. The result of what you do. Say and what others say about you. In this interdependent world, it is really important for almost every kind of organizations to keep a long term and trustworthy relations with the communities or public in order to handle the up-coming challenges and also to maintain the survival and success. The field of public relations is also all about developing, understanding and building good relationship with the various publics including government, media, employees, investors, suppliers, customers etc. according to various researchers in the area of public relations, it is a systematized effort in order to build the image and reputation of a business n social context. The worth of public relations in any organization cannot be overlooked. This is largely dependent on the fact that public relations unit of an organization is a crucial factor in deciding the success of any organization by developing and fostering its corporate image.

Whether a companies is the hunter or the prey, a strong corporate image can have a profound impact on both short term financial results and long term corporate image.

 1.1   Statement of the Problem 

  1. Poor image of an organization or companies and lack of confidence in the mind of the organization various publics leading to poor patronage
  2. Lack of mutual understanding between the organization and its public (within and outside) public sentiment is everything, without public sentiments nothing can fail and without it nothing can succeed.
  3. Misunderstanding and conflict due to unimproved communication within an organization and its public.
  4. The civilian government is attempting to effect radical changes in the nation’s general attitudes and value system, work ethics, patriotism, self discipline, self reliance, public accountability and all.
  5. Ineffective public relations activities which has led to conflict, rivalry and bad feelings between an organization or the companies with the host communities and dissatisfaction, chaos of staffs leading to look worm attitude which affects organization output.

All of the above stated factors are as a result of an organization or company’s complete negligence of the PR Department or the ineffective functioning or unsuccessful execution of PR activities will lead to the above stated problems.

1.2   Objectives of the Study

The objective of this study is primarily to do the following.

  1. To examine the role of public relations in building corporate image for        organization in Nigerian.
  2. To examine the effects of crisis and depressed economy on the corporate existence of Nigerian business organization specifically. Dangote Group of Companies.
  3. To determine the extent to which Dangote Group of Companies has used public relations to build its corporate image.
  4. To determine whether the relationship between Dangote Group of     Companies and its various publics is as a result of its public relations efforts.
  5. To examine the current image of Dangote Companies.

 1.3    Significance of the Study

The research will examine the effects of crisis and depressed economy on its corporate existence, what it is compelled to do when it finds itself in that situation and how nest to use PR to achieve stated objectives. In the course of this, the researcher will examine some case studies where effective PR was used to revitalize some corporate organizations hitherto on the brink of collapse in and outside the country.

A study on the role of public relations in building corporate image is relevant considering the on-going “Reform Agenda” embarked upon by the federal government. As acknowledged earlier, change is the only constant thing and when it occurs, it brings about unanticipated problems which must be managed properly.

To this end, this study will be of great benefit to the following bodies namely, researchers, corporate image makers government, scholars and students in all field of studies.

1.4    Scope and limitation of the Study

The scope of this research is clearly defined in the research topic and that is why the researcher is essentially interested in finding out the role which public relations has played in building the companies’ corporate image. The generalization of the result will not be affected.

Therefore in the cause of study problems encounter are numerous. These are

  • Inadequate finance: the research was face with problem of inadequate fund which hinder the researcher from travelling all around Dangote group of company plant to get information necessary for this reach work.
  • Time: time factor pose another constraint since having to cope in this research which went simultaneously within the time schedule of other academic work making it impossible to under take this study in large more representative skill.

1.4    Research hypothesis

  1. Does public relations have any role to play in corporate image of an organization in Nigeria?
  2. Does crisis and depressed economy have effect on the corporate image of Dangote Group of Companies?
  3. Does Dangote Group of Companies use public relations to build its corporate image?
  4. To what extent do Public relations build relationship between Dangote Group of Companies and its various publics?
  5. Does Dangote Companies currently have good image in Nigeria?

1.6   Definition of Terms

Public Relations this is the department saddled with the responsibility of maintaining mutual understandings between management, staffs and the public. It is also a strategic communication process that built beneficiary relationship between organizations and their publics

Building: This involves developing and establishing confidence or trust   among the customer.

Corporate Image: Corporate image refers to the overall reputation of an organization as determined by the various pictures, impression, knowledge, information and perceptions that the public’s of that organizations have about it.

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