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Chapter one

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Regardless of their differing commitments to their respective audiences, most government and corporate organisations recognise the necessity for and value of public relations.

According to Ajala (1993), the British Institute of Public Relations (BIPR) defines relations as a conscious, organised, and continuous attempt to build and maintain mutual understanding between an organisation and its stakeholders.

This definition demonstrates the importance of public relations practice in an organisation. As experience has demonstrated, an organisation derives practically all of its revenue and marketing opportunities from public support. Any organisation that lacks public backing dies prematurely.

Funds spent on an organization’s public relations are viewed as an opportunity to revitalise the institution. It is an input that contributes to the organisation’s continuous existence.

According to Hamb (1972), “public relations is a management function that assists an organisation in establishing and maintaining mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance, and cooperation with its public.”

It also assists management in staying informed about problems or issues and being accountable to public opinion, defining and emphasising management’s responsibility to serve the public interest, and keeping abreast of an effective wanting system to help anticipate trends and use research and sound ethical communications as its primary tools.

Public relations assists an organisation in evaluating public opinion, determining organisational policies to suit public opinion, and fostering goodwill among management and their internal and external audiences.

This research topic examines the importance of public relations techniques in corporate organisations and aids in the evaluation of goodwill between a corporation and its stakeholders.

1.2 Origin of Public Relations

In ancient times, priests served as their kings’ public relations advisors. They were specialists on public opinion and persuasion. The kings consult with them before making big decisions or holding ceremonial ceremonies. Furthermore, the priests wrote literature, poetry of praise and mourning, and even edicts to regulate the people.

Public relations tools and strategies have long been used as a weapon in political and social conflicts. These were ongoing campaigns to influence and manipulate public opinion.

In America, Samuel Adams and his followers’ efforts during the evolutionary fight of independence marked the beginning of large public opinion mobilisation.

They employed the pen, platform, pulpit, staged events, symbols, and political organisation in a determined and unwavering manner until the United States of America was created in 1777.

The contemporary concept and vocabulary of public relations were well understood in the past, owing to the scarcity of events that allowed for its full development.

The group dynamic was very straightforward, and everyone was self-sufficient and independent. Prior to the introduction of public relations as we know it now, the major forerunners of twenty-first-century PR can be identified. They are:

a. Press agency.

B. Advertising

c. Promotion of business critics and reforms.

These three aspects combined to develop a compound public relations strategy in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

The United States government first applied public relations techniques during World War I, when President Woodrow Wilson established the Committee on Public Information to popularise the Liberty War Bonds and for propaganda.

Following World War II, the United States Congress formed the United States Information Service (USIS) to communicate US foreign policy to the rest of the world.

In Britain, the insurance commission, led by Mr. Lloyd George, launched the first structured public relations campaign in 1911 to educate the public about the National Insurance Act (NIA). The outbreak of the First World War resulted in a fast increase of publicity in Britain and abroad.

Initially, this was done out by a variety of different bodies. By early 1918, three organisations were carrying out such publicity. The Ministry of Information is in charge of activities in Britain and the dominions, as well as in ally and neutral countries.

The national war committee, which carried out patriotic propaganda in Britain, and a committee led by Lord North Cliff, which was in charge of propaganda in other countries.

The first World Public Relations Congress was held in Brussels, Belgium, in June 1955, and the second in Venice in May 1961. The goal was to do everything necessary to enhance the global standard for public relations.

1.3 Origin of Public Relations in Nigeria

Although pubic relations do not exist in name, the British Government’s pacification expedition of 1906, which brought Yoruba country under British administration, demonstrated the first unconscious use of pubic relations.

Other sorts of communication and actions carried out by colonial masters before to independence to establish a peaceful atmosphere for trade could be referred to as public relations initiatives.

The earliest application of public relations occurred in 1940, when the British government in Nigeria created an information office in Lagos. The office primarily operated as a clearing house for information and materials sent from the Ministry of Information in London.

It assisted in the dissemination of information while also being tasked with presenting a positive picture of Nigeria to the rest of the globe. The office expanded. It moved from its little office to a separate office on Broadstreet, and then to a larger location on Campbeel Street.

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