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Chapter one

1.0 Background of the Study

1.1 Introduction

The world we live in today is dominated by increased technology, and sensible public relations appears to be increasing swiftly to draw good measures of recognition within and outside of the immediate surroundings of organisations, whether public or private.

Similarly, the emergence of public relations has prompted organisations to use it in order to retain good and effective management functions, thereby promoting goodwill and mutual understanding around the world.

It is also worth noting that there is nothing on the planet’s surface that public relations cannot use to support policy decisions. However, most organisations have used advertising rather than public relations to persuade people to buy their products. This means that most organisations have failed to recognise the value of public relations.

Public relations, like other fields or areas of specialisation, is looked upon by many authors, according to Chile (2002.2) as stated by Public Relations Associations of America on the 13th of April, 2012; thus “Public Relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and their publics”.

It garnered 671 votes, or 46.9 percent of the 1,447 total votes, after being listed as definition number two in the public poll. This definition is simple and straightforward, focusing on the fundamental notions of public relations as a strategic communication process with an emphasis on “mutually beneficial relationship”.

“Process is preferable” to “management function,” which conjures up images of control and top-down, one-way communication. “Relationship refers to public relations’ function in bringing together organisations and individuals with their important stakeholders.

The term “public” refers to the nature of public relations, whereas “stakeholder” is associated with publicly traded corporations. Meanwhile, other meanings remain applicable.

Also, public relations (PR) is all about sustaining relationships with the public. It is a profession with various definitions of its many functions, as well as differing perceptions among practitioners and the general public.

Communication, community relations, crisis management, consumer relations, employee relations, mediation, publicity, speech writing, and visitor relations are all part of the public relations (PR) profession.

According to Jefkins (1983), public relations are a behaviour and human relations activity that is viewed as a company’s overall management philosophy on social responsibility. Public relations is a behavioural activity that seeks to concretize and criticise human conduct in order to advance organisational interests.

In other terms, public relations is concerned with the study of human nature, conflicts, or occurrences. For example, an institution’s management may utilise public relations to research and understand the conduct of the locals in her neighbourhood in order to avoid difficulties with them.

Public relations should be parsed on a one-to-one basis as is possible in human relations. For example, it is the collective responsibility of all members of an organisation to exhibit human relations tendencies in their interactions and conflicts with their customers; however, everything should not be left to the public relations officer (PRO) to handle.

Public relations, as a comprehensive management philosophy on a company’s social responsibility, entails the application of public relations principles and methods to guide management decisions in their interactions with the public.

For example, the public relations unit of any organisation or institution is responsible for guiding and advising management on their responsibilities to staff, students, and direct members of the community. It directs management’s response to issues that benefit both the organisation and its employees.

In essence, public relations is a behavioural and human effort that can be viewed as a comprehensive management philosophy on a company’s, business firm’s, or organization’s social responsibility.

According to Lee (1992), public relations is the organised attempt to communicate in an organised manner and to change attitudes and behaviours towards an organization’s goals and ambitions.

By organising communication efforts, public relations seeks to use or prepare speeches for company executives, organise community activities, produce journals and exhibitions, conduct research, and advise management on internal and external relations. In other words, public relations strives to guarantee that effective lines of communication exist between and within organisations and their respective audiences.

Modifying attitudes and behaviours towards organisational requirements and ambitions seeks to create or change negative perceptions of organisations among their public (internal and external).

It results in a variety of ways and strategies for changing bad acts, utterances, and deeply held negative ideas into good approaches. By doing so, public relations can influence attitudes and actions that benefit organisational growth.

Black (1978) defines public relations as a systematic approach to issues in organisational management with the sole aim of promoting organisations’ image, programmes, and policies through a deliberate planned communication for mutual co-existence.

In another world, public is that process of articulating organisational programmes through concerted efforts and by ensuring smooth lines of communication, good will rapport, and mutual understanding, for example. It is done in a systematic and purposeful manner to gain public understanding and support.

Over time, the banking industry has helped countries with their economic progress. In contrast, public relations can help banks develop and function more effectively. Public relations help to shape an organization’s image.

A bank is described as an institution for the storage, management, and exchange of money. Banking as an industry is impossible in an unmonitored economy.

The expansion of banks in former British West Africa (including Nigeria) did not begin until the late nineteenth century, when the British colony and currency system was implemented.

Banking was quickly developed in Nigeria in 1822. Africa Banking Corporation was Nigeria’s first bank, and activities began to dwindle in 1872 as competitor banks merged. This was the era of free banking.

It was distinguished by the absence of banking regulations, which allowed anyone to establish a bank as long as they registered under the prohibited information of a banking firm

unless they registered as a company. This period saw the founding of the Bank of British West African Banks, the Nigerian National Bank, and Africa Continental Bank Limited.

The BBWA was created in Lagos in 1874, taking over the services of the Africa Banking Corporation. It remained the only bank in the country that was founded by the government of West Nigeria on February 11, 1993. The first successful indigenous banks were Africa Continental Bank Limited, Agbomagbe Bank Limited, and Merchant Bank Limited.

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