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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Public relation is relatively new corporate function although like corporate function it has its roots in ancient activities Edward L. Berays, one of the fathers of modern public relation posited that the three main elements of public relation are as old as society.
Informing people, persuading people and integrating people with people. Bernays E. I. (1960) and he traced public relation from primitive society (in which leaders controlled by force, intimidation and persuasion), to Babylonian where kinds commissioned historians to paint favourable images of them.
The renaissance and reformation freed men’s mind from established dogmas, heading institutions to develop more subtle means to influence people. In America, historical milestone for “public relation” include:-
Samuel Adam’s use of the press to unite the colonists against the British. The abolitionist movement use of public relations as a political tool to rally supports for block in the north, including the publication of Uncle’s Tom Cabin.
P.T. Barnum’s use of public relation to generate news worthiness about an event, the arrival of his circus, by placing articles in newspapers. Corporate public relation involved more recently and passed through the following five stages. First stages, corporation established a contact function to influence legislation’s and newspapers to support position favourable to business. The legislative contact function becomes known as lobbying and newspaper known as press relations. George Westing house is credited with the formal establishment of public relations when he hired two men in 1989 to fight the advocated direct current electricity and to promote instead alternating current. Chlip S. M. (1960:16).
The next stage occurred when companies began to recognize the positive value of planned publicity to create customer interest in the company and its products publicity entailed finding or creating events preparing company or product slanted news stories, and trying to interest the press in using them. Companies recognized that special skills are needed to develop publicity and began to add publicist to their ranks. Somewhat later, public relations practitioners began to recognize the value of conducting research into public opinion to develop and launching public relations campaigns. The emerging sciences of public opinion measurement and mass communication theory permitted more sophistication in the conduct of public relation. Forward-looking firms added specialists who could research public opinion.
Public relation has become a potent force in modern business management in recent times. Its influence is being felt in large companies and many small ones recognition of the need to explain the activities of an enterprise in order to gain public favour and support is rapidly spreading to different parts of the world.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
A good corporate image is usually to be essential for the existence of an organization. The success or failure of a corporation depends on its relationship with its special public consumers, employees, community.
A favourable corporate image creates confidence in an organization.
1. What has been a public relations practice of this organization?
2. What is the corporate image of this organization?
3. What is the state of attitudes and beliefs of their special public towards them?
4. What the public relations objectives of the organization?
The researcher is before posed to highlight problems areas and how to improve its public image so as to create a favourable corporate image among their special public i.e. consumer.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The objective of these research works is to know the role of public relations as a management tool for corporate image development in Power Holding Company of Nigeria Ltc. It is the intention of this research work to
Ø Investigate or study the image of PHCN whether favourable or unfavoruable.
Ø Discover whether the organizations are aware of public relation impact and responsibilities.
Ø To know the level of public relation and practices in the organization and other public corporate.
Ø Know whether the organization has a public relation department policy and programme molding public opinion to favour its position existence and policies.
Ø Know if public relation is being used to achieve corporate identify/image.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
For the purpose of reliability and convenience the study covers PHCN, Ozoro in particular and other public corporation and companies as well as organized private companies.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
As a result to the research problems already outline, in the study, the researcher feels that positive responses too these questions will enable her draw positive conclusions. The following is the summary of research question asked
1. What causes the negative percentage of PHCN by the publics?
2. How can the image problems of PHCN be redeemed?
3. Can public relations improve a negative corporate image?
4. How do the public contribute to PHCN problems?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will be meaningful and beneficial to PHCN and its public.
1. The need for public relations department is any public corporation and companies as private business.
2. It will bring to light the relationship between public relations and advertising/publicity.
3. In addition the study will bring into focus the role of public relations manager in any organizations.
4. It will be a help to both student and future researchers on corporate image development.
5. It expresses to government the need to increase statutory allocations to public corporations for public relations development.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
In the execution of the study the researcher though successful encountered the under mentioned constraints viz:
Her school and execution of the study were two competing needs to be net within available time period. Here she did not find it easy to manage the available time for those two inevitable needs.
Financial Constraints: As a student the researcher was handicapped by financial difficulties which inhibited her from printing and distributing enough questionnaires to reach every staff of PHCN Ozoro and other public corporation in Ozoro metropolis. Even though little monetary assistance was received from friends and relatives, this however could not move the mountain.
Dearth of Literature Constraints: Dearth of enough already published literature on the topic of the study limited the researches to managing the much a presented in the literature reviews.
Attitude of Respondents: The error functions in the study were primarily due to inevitable conformists among the sample population who either misplaces questionnaires filled them wrongly or did not rightly answer the questions.
Lack of Defined Population: Lack of total population statistics of public corporation and companies in Ozoro metropolis was among constraints factor that inhibited the effective analysis of the research findings.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Role: The task or duty played by public relations in building goodwill or good image.
Public Relation: The deliberate, planned and sustained efforts so establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its public.
Publics: Any group that has actual or potential interest or impact on a company to achieve its objectives.
Image: Mental picture or idea view opinion of something or something such as service or product held by the public.
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