PUBLIC RELATIONS AND IMAGE MAKING IN GOVERNMENT: A CASE STUDY OF LAGOS STATE WASTE MANAGEMENT AGENCY (LAWMA)

PUBLIC RELATIONS AND IMAGE MAKING IN GOVERNMENT: A CASE STUDY OF LAGOS STATE WASTE MANAGEMENT AGENCY (LAWMA)

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background of the Study

The term “Public Relations “was used for the first time in the United States and the United

States Post Office Railway Union and in the first decade of the twentieth century, this country was created the office of public relations at the institute. In 1906, the first private company which the public services offered to its customers was created. In 1987 Association of Public Relations (IPR) provides a definition of public relations, which is still used.

In this definition, PR is planned and continuous efforts to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between an organization and its target audience (Skandari, 2004). Words "planning" and "continuous" show that goodwill and understanding itself does not obtained easily and in fact, must "create" and "maintain" and also determined that public relations activities are planned and the purpose of public relations is to create goodwill and understanding. In last definition of the IPR, PR is consider method that the organization use to maintain the credibility, products, services or staff with the aim of obtaining recognition and support. For public relations are also used other words and expressions: Public relations is vital artery and permanent and brain and engine of organization. Public relations are the art and social science of that link intra-and extra organization together. Public relations draw purpose, and how programs. Public relations are a trusted advisor of manager and all personnel; so it is essential that managers and employees can have cent per cent trust him. Public relations must see everything and everything also show beautiful. The present century are called the conquest of space, nuclear, computer, laser and ... but as interpretations index has been named the communications era that would be like a global village (Armour, 2006). Public relations can be bridge linking between people and organizations.

1.2   Statement of the problem

The image of any organization out to serve people is important for its growth. Organizations spend a lot of money restructuring and maintaining image to build and retain public trust. Image building by organizations cannot only be conducted through the media. A survey conducted by Boyd in 1986, showed that different people use different sources of information. Related to this is when the general public had no confidence in the local Judiciary in delivery justice. Many people, even those who have never had firsthand experience in the courts believed that the local courts could not deliver justice to victims. Now, The Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) is a government of Lagos State body responsible for managing waste generated in Lagos state through a waste collection, transportation and disposal structure. LAWMA's goal is to improve the environment with the impact of achieving positive and significant change in living conditions regarding health and sanitation. However, this objective has never taken a positive and upward growth as Lagos has been continually rated as one of the top dirties states in Nigeria.

Premiumtimes.ng rated Lagos state as the third dirtiest state after Abia and Anambra. The Lagos State Waste Management Agency has continued to give a positive progress report on its activities yet this report seem not to go well with the public.  LAWMA should, therefore, develop an effective communication system to be able to narrow or remove the information gap between it and the public. The PR department in the LAWMA has failed to defend the LAWMA and tell them why it has been quiet on issues they are been accused of. The public affairs office is expected to communicate to the stakeholders and those affected, why some cases take too long to be decided. Had there been enough confidence in the LAWMA by the publics and other stakeholders, The Hague accusations and conflict facing some of LAWMA staffs would have been handled locally. It is the duty of the PR office to absolve the LAWMA from negative claims of corruption, incompetency, favoritism, asbseentism and indifference from the public that has tarnished its image and made the public lose trust in it.

1.3   Objectives of the Study

The study is focused on the following aims and objectives:

a.   Assessing the public perception of the corporate image built by Lagos State Waste Management Agency.

b.   To determine the effectiveness of the Lagos State Waste Management Agency public relations department.

c.    To discuss the importance of public relations on the image formation of an organization.

d.   To recommend effective ways of building a lasting and positive corporate image through the public relations.

1.4   Research Hypotheses

The study formulated and developed for testing the following hypotheses:

H0: the Lagos State Waste Management Agency do not sustain a positive corporate image.

H1: the Lagos State Waste Management Agency do not sustain a positive corporate image.

H0: There is no significant relationship between public relations and an organizations image making.

H1: There is a significant relationship between public relations and an organizations image making.

1.5   significance of the study

This study proves to be a useful tool to organizations especially the government owned institutions where the concept of image making is not as important as those in the private sector. The study will open up several undertstnding towards the concept of image making and will inform the users of this work of the role of the public relations department in carving this image. Academically, this study will prove to be a reference point to those who will undertake several studies relating to building a corporate image either in the private sector or in the public sector.

1.6   Scope and Limitations of the Study

This study will accommodate all the relevant, related and available literatures on the subject of image making and how the public relations department will help realize this vision. However, the scope of the study is limited to one case study, which is the Lagos state waste management agency. The study process was impeded by lack of finance to effectively run the logistics in terms to collecting and collating data from the respondents and having a first-hand observation of the place of study. Also, the study was impeded by time.

1.7   Definition of Terms

Public relations: the professional maintenance of a favourable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.

Image: In this context, image is the opinion people have about a person, or an organization.

Government: the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state; a particular ministry in office.

Reputation: the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.

1.8   Organization of the Study

This study is organized in five chapters. The first chapter lays the background to the study as well as stating the problem of study and the hypotheses for testing. The second chapter is structured to give the study a literature review. This review is divide into the theoretical framework, Empirical framework and the conceptual framework. Chapter three deals with research methodology including the research design, sampling method, Data collection and the research instruments employed. Chapter four seek to analyze the result, it is also made up of detailed analysis of data collected and presentation of information with the aid of quantitative and statistical models. The fifth chapter covers the summary, conclusion and recommendation.

1.9   Brief Background on the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA)

The Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) is a government of Lagos State body responsible for managing waste generated in Lagos state through a waste collection, transportation and disposal structure. LAWMA's goal is to improve the environment with the impact of achieving positive and significant change in living conditions regarding health and sanitation. The Lagos State Refuse Disposal Board (LSRDB) was instituted under Edict No. 9 of 1977, which was the first of its kind in West Africa. The Board was given the responsibilities of environmental sanitation and domestic refuse collection and disposal in Lagos State. The Board was renamed the Lagos State Waste Management Authority via the enactment of a new Law – Edict No. 55 of 1991, which conferred on the Authority additional responsibilities for the collection and disposal of municipal and industrial wastes as well as provision of commercial waste services to the State and Local Governments of Lagos State.

The Board metamorphosed over the years into the agency known today as the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) by virtue of the LAWMA Law 2007, and accrued added responsibilities ranging from management of commercial, industrial, and medical waste streams, highway sanitation, cleaning of drainage and other water bodies, to construction and demolition waste management, among others. LAWMA works closely with the Lagos State Ministry of Environment and has initiated reforms regarding collection of waste bills and also aims to increase Waste recycling. In 2011, GMI awarded a grant to the LAWMA for studies evaluating the feasibility of capturing landfill gas from the Abule Egba and Solous Landfills.


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