The Effectiveness of Public Relations in Service Industries in Nigeria

The Effectiveness of Public Relations in Service Industries in Nigeria

Literature review in project writing is an important exercise. It is important because, it examines the postulations, assumptions, theories, concepts and its opinions of various experts in the field and its related angles. Literature review examines all these as expressed in journals, textbooks, magazines, mimeographs, project, thesis and newspapers. This researcher followed the same pattern, exactly the researcher has to review related literatures in the topics to enable her point her feelings in the right directions and sequentially. Although, there are a lot of secondary write up on public relations, but not much has been said on the effectiveness of public relations in higher institutions of learning. Public relations has been discussed as a potent marketing tool in the modern business management in recent time.

Agu in 2004 carried out a research on the appraisal of public relations activities of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Her findings were that, the organization of study did not defined the role of the staff/ management and also the absolute dissatisfaction with salaries/wages administration for lecturers and some other staff. This made the researcher to conclude that the institution should implement the use of public relations should implement the use of public relations in order to ensure continuous satisfaction of its various publics. There is no doubt that the conclusion is very much acceptable having used a sample size of 210 management/staff and 744 for students/customers.

In a related study carried out by Onurah (1999) on public relations as an aid to successful government business administration, A case study of Enugu State Broadcasting service (ESBS), she made use of a sample size of 85 for senior staff and 108 for junior staff. She found out that public relations play the role of product publicity and it is equally an aid to successful government business administration. Based on this, she concluded that not defining public relations functions is dangerous to the survival and growth of any organization. In as much as the findings and conclusion are plurable, but it cannot be acceptable because it lacks the basic research principle. ESBS is not the only government organization in Enugu and it is only marketing service not tangible products. The other publics like the customers of the organization were not taken into account in the research.

A research carried out by Onyinye (2004) on the role of public relations in marketing higher education in Nigeria. A case study of the Institute of Management and Technology, (IMT) Enugu, the research was just one show out of the lots in Nigeria, his findings were that ineffective management of public relations leads to conflicts and all conflicts have adverse effect on production efficiency, cost quality, human satisfaction, discipline, technology and economic progress and finally an overall welfare of the society from the findings, the researcher concluded that public relations is an indispensable marketing tools for institution survival and growth and it is very imperative that I.M.T should maintain a good relationship with its public in order to survive competition in the industry. This conclusion was drawn from a sample size of only 100 staffs and 200 students, learning other publics.

Public relations is a management philosophy management being the process of planning organizing, controlling, appraisal, directing, motivating and communicating barriers, ideas to the benefits of the entire organisations, employees, employers, the general publics and material resources in combination to achieve the corporate objective of the firm. The corporate objective, mission, vision and gods of the firm pose great threat to the survival of the organization hence even together to combine these principles activities of management to the friction of the owners and their ancillaries. The employees, public’s governments, shareholders, investors and host of other must be kept abreast of the happenings in the firm. The extent to which this aim is successfully carried out determines the level of corporate integrity of the firm hence energy manager is always service with the firm.

Consequently, stone (1999:9) states that it is about managing the strategy and tactics of communication as integral part of a business policy- making and is also about managing the reputations of a business. The importance of this definition is that public relations focuses interest on issues like management of strategies and tactics, weights communication and communicable ingredients and channels, examines the policies of a barrier, how they are made, the quality of them, and the processes of its administration, examines the reputations of Baines, what constitutes it, the practice of them and why they must be monitored and activated.

Onah (1999:120) maintained that public relation concerned people at every level and at every place where engage upon the total commercial undertaking, pointing out that much of it deals with giving credit for achievement, breaking down barriers of prejuchees and establishing an image which is a clear and correct impression of an organization, its policy and product. The peculiarity of this definition has in its comprehensiveness, precision, accuracy and clear – cut. It indicates that public relations is both behavioural and material. It examines the psychological, sociological and cognitive levels of humans in relation to their work, place and interpersonal activities.

According to Nwokoye (1984:212) defines public relations as the activities of co-operation, union, government or other organization in building and marketing sound and productive relations with special publics such and customers, employers or stockholders and with the public at large so as to adopt itself to its environment and interprets itself to society.

The giant in marketing management Philip Kotler adduced that the appeal of public relation and publicity is based on three distinctive qualities which includes:

  • Higher creditability:- New stories and features are more authentic and credible to readers than advertisement.
  • Ability to catch buyers off guard:- Public relatives can reach many prospects who prefer to avoid sales people and advertisement. The manager gets to the buyer as news rather than as a sales directed communication.
  • Dramatization:- like advertising public relations has the potentials of dramatizing a company or product (1997:625).

Udeagha (1995:230) segregated public relations into two viz.

  • Public relations as social management philosophy
  • Public relations as a social philosophy expressed in policy decisions.

Public relations as a social philosophy places emphasis on the interest of the public first in all matters relating to the activities of the barriers organization. And that the right of barriers organization to operate in any given society is conferred on it by the public and the right could be withdrawn if its publics are no longer satisfied with it policies (where these are known and or its actions. Public relations as a social philosophy expressed in policy decision. For an organization to believe in the philosophy of serving its publics without expressing this philosophy in its policy decisions. This definition demands that whatever the company could offer to the public and or any segment of the society must be expressed clearly in its policy decisions. The company must be precisely clear – cut and honestly implemental.

According to Noabazato (2001:13) the most useful definition in all appears to be that of Cutlip et al based on the following maxims.

  • It introduces the need for research to aught or assess the situation (the current image) and to consider the implication of what is discovered.
  • It stresses the advisory role of public relations, its service to management.
  • It shows that public relations must be planed.
  • Public relations actions must not only benefit its sponsor’s bid “but” must be socially responsible.


The following arising from the various definitions constitute the functions of public relations. The last may certainly not be exhaustive.

  • It is a management function that aims to improve the corporate equally all the participants in the company’s existence.
  • It studies equally all the participants in the company existence.
  • It weight on their contributions to determine how it effects the firm (ie positive or negative)
  • It is planned and sustained by management.
  • Examines the relationships, the extent, the effect and the result between an organization and its products, product performances, product contribution to the survival of the organization and things like that.
  • Monitors awareness, opinions, attitudes and behaviours inside and outside the organization.
  • Studies and evaluates the impacts firms policies procedures, actions and break-even.
  • Adjusts those policies, procedures and actions found to be in conflicts with the interest of the public and organisations survival.
  • Counsels management on the establishment of new policies, procedures and actions that are mutually beneficial to the organization and its publics.

However, the modern public relations emerged in Nigeria 1940s at the peak of world war 11 when British colonist created an information office in Lagos. The aim was to disseminate information about the war, having been our colonial administrator then. This later gave way to the public relation officer in 1944.

In 1947, it was renamed public relations department. As the British continued their expansionism agreement in their colonial domination, and with the emergence of the united African company in Nigeria, it became the finish public relations department in the corporate world in 1969. The trend moved on progressively and later knew no bounds.

According to Iioabanato, the late Sam Ekpelle was the public relation officer of the Nigerian Railway corporation in 1963 (2001:17) fortunately, with his brevity, he introduced the public relation association of Nigeria (PRAN).


As an association, her principal aim then was:-

  • Promotion of public relations education in Nigeria
  • To monitor and utilize latest trends in the industry to sharpen the associations activities
  • To further retrain members to meet the current challenges of the industry.
  • To encourage participation by pioneering encouragement.

Since the formation and proffesionalization of public relations practices in Nigeria, several people has published books on the area which gave way to attracting membership and recognition too.

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This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic


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