THE ROLE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS IN IMPROVING THE IMAGE OF TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN ENUGU METROPOLIS (A CASE STUDY OF IMT ENUGU)

THE ROLE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS IN IMPROVING THE IMAGE OF TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN ENUGU METROPOLIS (A CASE STUDY OF IMT ENUGU)

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background To The Study

Public relations have become a potent marketing tool in the modern business management in recent times.  Its influence is being felt on even greater expansion.  It is important to management organizations including IMT to understand its potentials and limitations.

Nwokoye (1984:212) defined public relation as the activities of cooperation, unions, governments or other organizations in building and marketing sound and productive relations with special public at large so as to adapt itself to its environment and interpret itself to the society.

Busch and Houston (1995:2000) noted that public relations is management functions which evaluates public attitudes, identifies polices and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest and execute a programme of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.

Chukwu (2000:3-4) stated that public relation is a management philosophy aimed at doing everything possible to create good relationship between an organization and its publics.  Public relations is aimed at making friends for the organization and building internal and external goodwill on the reasonable assumption that these are strongly needed for an organization to remain in business and make profit.  With the increase in the activities of an organization, the need for an adequate communication between the organization and those who in one way or the other are affected by these activities of the organization become imperative.  An organization while wanting to remain viable, need to have good relations with its employees, customers/consumers of its products and services, future investors, stock-holders and in fact the general public.  As an organization specialize in manufacturing or offering services its needs to show its staff existing or potential customers that is up to date, toward looking, concerned to produce and offer the best goods and services for the price it charges and make sure that its customers are satisfied.

Edoga and Ani (2001:287) noted that a company should deliberately place and execute a continuous public relations programmes to develop a good relation between it and the various public amongst sought with public relation.  Stressing the position of public relation in the country, Olakunori (1999:194) noted that most officials occupying the public relations of various organization in the country today are not professionals they generally have a fair knowledge of what they are supposed to do.

Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) as an institution or organization has the students, members of its staff, parents teachers association, the management, the host society, the state and the federal government, Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) etc as its relevant publics.  This implies that the activities performed by IMT in one way or the other affect these aforementioned various publics.  Therefore in order to maintain its public relation with those bodies, IMT must at all times try to create rapport and understanding or goodwill with all those bodies.  This, it will do through proper information circulation between itself and those various relevant public to it.  This can be done by allowing the free flow of information paying of salaries as and when due to its staff, engaging in proper and standard academic work, abiding by the rules and regulations of NUC in the performance of its activities.

Manufacturers and producers of goods and services are now aware that public relations does not only ensure good relations with the public but strive towards the profit making through increased customers patronage.

It is in the height of the importance attached to public relations that the researcher seeks to appraise the effectiveness of public relations in institute of management in IMT.

1.2     Statement Of The Problem

A good corporate image is usually regarded as to be essential for the existence of an organization.  The success and failure of a corporation depends on its relationship with its public – consumers – employees, stock holders, governments, community, distributors, suppliers and others.

A favourable corporate image creates confidence in an organizations, occasional troubles in territory institutions has become the order of the day, but IMT has always remained in section despites the occasional occurrence of this ugly indicants.  The questions that called for answer are:- Why has the problems been on the increase in our higher institution?  Why has IMT been able to maintain peace despite the facts that there are some policy that do not go down well with the staff, lecturers and the students of institution?  Why has IMT not witnessed the major breakdown of law and order despite the increase in school fees?

To what extent has public relations contributed in maintenance of peace and harmony in the institutions, these and many more are the central task of this research work.

1.3    Objectives Of The Study

1)      To find out the level of attention given to the public in IMT

2)      To find out whether the Institution has good relationship with the press

3)      To examine the level of students, lecturers, staff and management relations in the institution.

4)      To know how public relation helped in improving communication between people and the Institution.

5)      To determine the impact of public relations on customers (students) patronage.

6)      To appraise the public relations activities of Institute of Management and Technology Enugu on the image of the Institution.

7)      To recommend solution to problems on public relation identified.

1.4     Formulation Of Hypotheses

Ho:    Public relation activities of the IMT do not create awareness of their services.

HI:     Public relation activities of IMT create awareness of their services.

Ho:    The relationship between the students and staff of the institutions is poor.

HI:     The relationship between the students and staff of the institutions is not poor.

Ho:    The public relation activities of IMT do not create good image of the institution.

HI:     The public relation activities of IMT create good image of the institution.

1.5     Significance Of The Study

The most out standing hope of this study is that its findings will be of immense benefits to students, lecturers and the staff of management of tertiary institutions.

This will help to minimize conflicts in the institutions.

The study also gives an insight into the problems and practice of public relation in institute of higher learning.  The study by its objectives will not only assess the effectiveness of classified public relation, but all its application and uses generally.  Therefore, when successfully carried out and documented, this study will serve as a source of relevant information to many institutions and organization on ways of using public relations.

Finally, public relation practitioners have been deprived of excellent performance in their operation because of scanty and insufficient data and inadequate literatures availability in this area.  This study when successfully completed and adequately supervised which will be an addition to essential literature needed in public relation – a vital area of marketing communication.  Public relations practitioners and consultants will therefore use it extensively for referencing.  Based on forgoing, it become indisputable that the need for this study is worthwhile.

1.6     Scope Of The Study

This concentrates on public relations role in improving the image of tertiary institution in Enugu metropolis, however in view of limited time and other emphasis was placed on the Institute of Management and technology.

However, it will be noted that only the academic and non academic staff, outsiders and the school of business studies which the researcher thinks that it is large and representative enough to cover all the schools in IMT.

1.7   Definition Of Terms

Publics: Any group that has actual company to achieve its objective Kotler (1988:141)

Opinion and Attitude:Belief or judgment not founded a complete knowledge.  What people feels, thinks or believe about something (Black 1995).

Image:Mental picture or idea, view, opinion of something such as service or product held by the public. (Ozor 2003).

Marketing:The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customers requirements. (British charted institution of marketing (1989:1)


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