The study’s main goal is to look into the effects of public relations on businesses, utilizing Zenith Banks in Anambra State as a case study. The study used a survey research methodology, and the researcher registered 36 participants for the study, who are employees of three (3) Zenith Bank branches in Anambra State, using a suitable sampling approach. The responder was given a well-structured questionnaire, and 30 replies were gathered and validated for the study.
Tables and frequencies were used to present the data. Simple percentage, mean, and standard deviation were used to assess the data, which supplied responses to the study objectives.
The study discovered that media representation, content development and management, brand reputation management, corporate value promotion, crisis communication, and community relationship management all play a part in attaining organizational objectives. The study also demonstrates the impact of public relations, including its ability to guide management during times of transition, such as when a company downsizes, maintains its image with clients, and communicates its message to customers, investors, and the general public. As a result, the study suggests that management of firms ensure that the public relations staff is given well defined responsibilities.
Background of the study
The art and science of evaluating trends, projecting their implications, counseling organization’s leaders, and implementing planned programs of action that will benefit both the company and its public is known as public relations. It’s also a concerted, well-thought-out, and long-term endeavor to build and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its stakeholders. All of these actions fall under the umbrella of public relations. Because no public relations program is carried out carelessly, the unique procedure used for these tasks included study, action, communication, evaluation, and efficiency.
Mohd Hamdan claims that (2008), The practice of public relations is critical to the organization’s goal of attracting customers, generating interest in investments, improving financial performance, enhancing the image of talented employees, increasing return on assets, gaining a competitive advantage, and gaining a positive view from financial analysts. Government Public Relations (GPR), whether national, state, or district, is an important responsibility in the public sector. Each department in the public sector is required to designate a Public Relations Officer (PRO) with the goal of establishing persons who work as intermediaries in the organization, connecting with the public or between employees. However, every individual in the company must exercise public relations excellence in order to succeed. As a result, every employee in the Manufacturing sector must practice excellent relations because the staff is accountable for delivering information and services to the community as well as the achievement of the organization’s objectives, mission, and vision. Organizations care about the image they project in the minds of the people they serve. People in organizations respond to the image they have of the organization rather than its actuality, and those who have a negative view of the organization shun or denigrate it, while those who have a favorable image wallow in it. When you have a strong positive image, it’s because you’re doing something well.
Clients can be satisfied by either products or services; however, for this to happen, some information must pass from the organization to the clients, as well as from the organization to the other publics the organization deals with (Kotler, 2002).
According to Wilcox eta!. (2009), including public relations in decisionmaking to define the path of an organization and its employees is a good idea, especially for long-term planning organizations. As a result, public relations can identify and engage with stakeholders in order to create a successful organization that has a favorable or bad impact. Strategic management is also a crucial component of an organization’s public relations success. In certain quarters, public relations actions are not limited to specific media such as television and newspapers, but are exclusively focused on the promotion of items or services, just like any other review (Toth, 2007). Rather, it entails the use of media as a means of integration that can help an organization’s good name and mutual understanding with the public to be strengthened and maintained.
Statement of the problem
Public relations has long been used by corporations to establish and maintain a mutual understanding with their audiences. According to Price et al. (2007), the business world is characterized by severe competition, and enterprises must differentiate themselves from the competitors in order to acquire new consumers and keep existing ones. They must, however, establish and maintain a positive public image. Public relations (PR) is the practice of communicating with the public and the media by organizations, businesses, and individuals (Poister and Streib, 2005). Despite the fact that public relations at the Mukwano Group of Companies faces numerous problems, including political, social, economic, and technological forces that are always changing, leaving obsolete equipment and workers, skills in their wake, as a larger company with multiple facilities (Smith, A, 2002). (Smith, A, 2002). And as a result the organizations has registered open criticisms from the public due to improper dumping of toxic wastes to the surrounding environment, the production and supply of poor quality products (like soap, Omo etc.) which at times cause body itching, irritations and other skin diseases which have left the company unpopular in the public eye, thus affecting its general performance. So, in order to close its loopholes, the company instead implemented effective public relations methods to aid in the creation and maintenance of a positive reputation among both the media and customers by talking on its behalf and presenting its products, services, and overall operation.
Objective of the study
The study’s main goal is to look into the effects of public relations on businesses, utilizing Zenith Banks in Anambra State as a case study. The study’s objectives are as follows:
- To determine whether public relations is useful in attaining an organization’s objectives.
- To identify specific activities that public relations practitioners can do to help an organization achieve its objectives.
- It determines the impact of public relations on a company.
- Examine how public relations might be improved to help the company achieve its goals.
- Is public relations useful in attaining an organization’s objectives?
- What roles do public relations professionals play in helping an organization achieve its objectives?
- What role does public relations play in an organization?
- What can be done to improve public relations in order to meet corporate goals?
Significance of the study
Public relations is a complicated profession and a rising industry at the center of all communication. The study’s findings will be useful to businesses, managers, and academics. This research is significant since it focuses on the relevance of public relations within a company. The paper outlines public relations as an integral subsystem within an organization, which provides a framework. Organizations can use this study as a benchmark for evaluating their in-house public relations departments, or any other department that falls within public relations, for the organization’s general interest and success.
Scope of the study
The study’s scope is limited to the role of public relations in accomplishing organizational goals. The study will examine the impact of public relations on organizations and suggest ways to improve them. However, the research is limited to Zenith Bank Plc in Anambra State.
Limitation of the study
Financial constraints– A lack of funds impedes the researcher’s efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in the data gathering procedure (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will be working on this subject while also doing other academic tasks. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.