PUBLIC RELATION IN NIGERIAN educational SECTOR
PUBLIC RELATION IN NIGERIAN EDUCATIONAL SECTOR
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In recent years, public relations has emerged as a powerful marketing strategy in modern business management. Its impact is felt on both large and small businesses, with the potential for even greater expansion. Management organisations, especially educational institutions, must grasp their potential and constraints.
Nwokoye (1984:212) defined public relations as the activities of a company, union, government, or other organisation in developing and marketing sound and productive relationships with a specific public such as customers, relations, employees, or stockholders, as well as the general public, in order to adapt to its environment and interpret itself to society.
According to Bush and Houston (1995:200), public relations is a management function that evaluates public attitudes, finds policies and procedures of individuals or organisations that are in the public interest, and executes a plan of action to gain public understanding and approval.
According to Chukwu (2000:3 – 4), public relations practise is a management concept aiming at doing all necessary to generate positive relationships between one organisation and its constituents.
Public relations is aimed at making friends for the organisation and building internal and external good will on the logical assumption that they are strongly required for an organisation to stay in business and create profit as its activities expand.
The requirement for proper communication between the organisation and people who are affected in some manner by the organization's operations becomes more pressing. An organisation that want to remain liable must maintain positive relationships with its employees, customers, potential investors, stockholders, and the broader public.
As a company that specialises in manufacturing to potential customers, it is concerned with producing and offering the best goods and services for the price it charges, as well as ensuring that its customers are completely satisfied.
According to Edoga and Ani (2001:287), a corporation should consciously create and execute a continuous public relations strategy to develop a positive relationship with that numerous publics, amongst others desired with public relations.
Olakunori (1999:194) highlighted that most officials working public relations positions in various organisations in the country nowadays are not experts; they generally have a fair knowledge of what they are expected to perform.
As an institution or organisation, the students, members of its staff, parents-teachers association, administration, the host society, the state and federal governments, Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), and others constitute its important publics.
This suggests that AIFP's operations have an impact on the aforementioned diverse publics in some way. As a result, in order to preserve its public relations with those bodies, AIFP must constantly strive to build rapport, understanding, and goodwill with all of them.
This will be accomplished through proper information circulation between itself and the many relevant publics. This can be accomplished by enabling free flow of information, paying salaries as and when they are due to its employees, engaging in proper and standard academic work, and adhering to NUC laws and regulations in the performance of its activities.
Manufacturers and producers of goods and services are now aware that public relations can not only assure good public relations but also profit by increasing client patronage.
Given the importance of public relations, the researcher intends to assess the efficiency of public relations in service industries using Federal Polytechnic Uwana Ebonyi State (AIFP) as a case study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
A healthy corporate image is commonly seen as crucial for an organization's survival. A corporation's success or failure is determined by its relationships with its publics, consumers, employees, stockholders, government, community, distributions, supply, and others. A positive corporate image instills trust in a company or institution.
As has become the norm, there have been occupational issues in tertiary institutions. Despite the occasional occurrence of these heinous incidents, AIFP has always remained in the sector. The following questions must be answered:
Why is there such internal strife in our tertiary institutions?
Why, despite the increase in school tuition, has AIFP not seen a severe breakdown in law and order?
Why has AIFP been able to keep peace despite the fact that some policies do not sit well with the institute's personnel, instructors, and students?
The major objective of this research work is to determine how far public relations has contributed to the maintenance of peace and harmony in institutions.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following objectives are proposed to focus the study:
To determine the level of attention paid to the public at Federal Polytechnic Uwana Ebonyi State (AIFP).
To determine whether the institution has a positive connection with the press.
To assess the quality of student, professor, staff, and management relations in AIFP.
To understand how public relations can aid improve communication between people and organisations.
Recommend solutions to identified public relations problems.
To ascertain the effect of public relations on customer (student) patronage
To evaluate the public relations operations of the Federal Polytechnic Uwana Ebonyi State (AIFP).
1.4 HYPOTHESIS OF RESEARCH
AIFP's Public Relations efforts
Ho: AIFP's public relations operations do not result in increased awareness of their services.
Hi: These results in increased awareness of their services.
Ho: AIFP's public relations initiatives do not provide
focus on the institution's students
H2: AIFP's public relations initiatives focus on the institution's students.
Ho: AIFP's public relations operations do not result in increased (student) patronage.
H3: AIFP's public relations operations enhance (students) (students) patronage.
1.5 SIGNIFIANCE OF THE STUDY
The most significant hope of this study is that its findings would be extremely beneficial to students, teachers, and management personnel at tertiary institutions. These will aid in reducing conflicts in these institutions.
The research also delves into the issue and practise of public relations in Nigerian institutions of higher learning. This study's objectives will analyse not only the efficiency of classified public relations, but all of its applications and uses in general.
As a result, if carried out and documented correctly, this study will serve as a source of valuable knowledge for many institutions and organisations on how to use public relations.
Finally, public relations practitioners have been deprived of good performance in operations due to a lack of suitable data and literature in this domain.
When completed and properly monitored, this study will contribute to the important literature in public relations. As a result, practitioners and consultants will rely heavily on it for reference.
Based on the above, it is undeniable that this investigation is necessary.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study will address public relations operations in the service industries as well as an overview of public relations in the service industries. The importance of public relations in boosting the image of service sectors, particularly tertiary institutions.
Due to time limits and other factors, emphasis was made on the Federal Polytechnic Uwana Ebonyi State (aifp)(AIFP). Despite the fact that enugu State University is the only institution used as a case study, the researcher believes that whatever happens to Federal Polytechnic Uwana Ebonyi State (AIFP) will also apply to other institutions in the state.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERM
These are some of the terms used in this study.
Enugu State University of Science and Technology (AIFP)
NUC stands for Nigerian Universities Commission.
Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS)
IMT stands for the Institute of Management and Technology.
PUBLIC RELATIONS: These are the actions of a cooperative, union, government, or other organisation in developing and marketing sound and productive relationships with the general public.
SERVICE INDUSTRIES: This is an industry comprised of businesses that generate revenue primarily through the provision of intangible goods and services.
INTERNAL PUBLICS: These are persons who work for a company or are members of an organisation.
EXTERNAL PUBLICS: These are individuals and organisations that do business with a company or agency.
Community relations are the numerous ways used by businesses to build and maintain a reciprocal relationship with the general public or community.