1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The success of an organisation can be derived from the efficiency and effectiveness of its resources use. Some organisation can do well with minimum resources, but thee are others which do not do well even with abundant resources – both human, financial and material resources. The difference between depends on the method of allocation of resources and the use to which they are put. As a result, the importance of resources management in achieving organizational success cannot be under estimated.
And so, the need for planning arises. Planning is the part of management process that attempts to define the organisation’s future (Dalton, 1986) it is the process by which managers examine their internal and external environments, ask fundamental questions about their organisation’s purpose and establish a mission, goals and objectives (Ivancevich et al, 1994).
Simply put, planning is the process of determining organizational objectives and identifying the ways and means of realizing them. since objectives are derived from plans, organisations are bound to set objectives so that they can, in the long-run, achieve corporate goals.
It is in this perspective of achieving corporate goals and objectives that public relations is a half-way house between transforming corporate objectives into corporate goals. This is why public relations practitioners are always on the lookout for time bombs and landmines. Therefore, the first assignment of the corporate affairs people/department in any organisation is to have full grasp of an organisation’s objectives.
Having done this, it believes them to use relevant public relations strategies and tractics to achieve a corporate culture that is profit driven.
All over, whether private or public companies, organisations’ first aim is to make profit. This is because profit maximization is the core of a business, this claim is justified by the fact that most companies that have not been able to break even, talk les of making profit, have gone under. To this extent, profit maximization is a thigue measurement of efficiency, just as it ensures the sustainability of the company.
Since good public relations can be a catalyst to profit making, the public relations unit of an organisation as an engine room of corporate reputation of their organisations are saddled with the responsibility of not only creating sales, but also of making customers and sustaining them. and so, public relations professionals have no choice than to dabble into market research, branding, advertising and other promotional campaigns. As such public relations people are always in the vanguard of finding out how customers could be better served life the Chinese saying goes “a man without a smiling face must not open a shop”. In a nutshell, customers’ care is all that it takes to keep business flourishing, no matter the size of the business.
In a hostile environments, companies would face a lot of troubles because of negative attitudes by their host communities. Instances abound where companies have been made to lose a great chunk of their host communities.
Consequently, the public relations unit has the responsibility of ensuring that it’s organisation is a good corporate citizens and is socially responsible to the community in which it is situated. The central argument here is that companies which widely accepted by their host communities is likely to translate the collective patronage of the host communities assistance well as that of other customers, into revenue.
It is common knowledge that some business organisations which paid up service to their host communities has left in their trail adverse, social and political consequences which effects snow-baled into negative publicity of unimaginable dimensions. In some cases, these organisations have been made to retreat rather than much forward.
This study is aimed at exploring the impact of effective public relations in marketing expansion of banking services in Enugu metropolis. In the banking sector the banks needs their customers to remain relevant in business and ensure the sustainability of customers patronage, the bank image must be maintain through stimulating quality customer service and creating good public relations. It is in this sense that public relations – automatically becomes the basic foundation for organisation, particularly bank in this age of global competition, that strive towards profit maximization and marketing expansion of banking services.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Communication as a profession is multifaceted. It helps to establish and promote goodwill and mutual understanding (rapport) between an organisation and its various publics.
This explains why most companies in this country have adopted the practices, and All States Trust Bank is not an exception.
Although All States Trust Bank maintains pubic/corporate affairs department charged with the responsibilities of performing public relations functions, yet the management is unhappy because there is a lot of complains by customers of the bank of poor services (bad image), despite efforts to promote mutual understanding and corporate image among it’s various publics.
The following problems arises:
i) Most policy decisions by companies operating in Nigeria, including All States Trust Bank are taken without regards to the effects they will have on the life’s of the people in the area in which they operate provided such policy will maximize the companies profits.
ii) Majority of companies operating in Nigeria do not consider social responsibilities as a managerial function and as such they regards it as an obligation not as a right of society or community in which it operates.
iii) Several factors accounts for their effectiveness in the performance of corporate social responsibilities in Nigeria.
iv) Non performance or discharge of social responsibilities creates instability in operating environment of these companies, thereby having serious negative effect on the companies turnover, profitability, growth and survival.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Base on the problem identified, the purpose of the study includes:
1) To find out whether All States Trust Bank Management consider the public relations effects of it’s policies to it’s customers as strategic.
2) To ascertain whether All States Trust Bank Communities effectively major policy issues to it’s public.
3) To ascertain whether corporate gifts contributes to good image management of the organisation.
4) To ascertain the factors which are responsible for the effectiveness of the performance of corporate social responsibilities in Nigeria that contribute to bad image.
5) To ascertain and discuss whether public relations activities of the bank has any significant impact on the existence, profitability and survival of the bank.
6) To make recommendations based on the findings.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research study is of importance because it is done at a time when most organisations, including the All States Trust Bank, are saddled with image problems. The significance includes:
i) The outcome of this research will enable All States Trust Bank discover the extent of harm the company had suffered due to it’s bad public relations practices and consequently improve on it’s promise to provide effective, efficient and reliable services to its customer publics.
ii) It will be used by the company’s management to decide on how to improve on it’s customers relations and public relations practices.
iii) Similar organisations will use it as a tool in repositioning their business practice and how to avoid negative image.
iv)It will be of help to future researchers on how public relations can be used to strengthen relationship between customers and stay afloat in business.
1.4 Research Questions
1. Do public relations have any role to play in the management of any organization’s corporate image?
2. Can All States Trust Bank rely on the use of public relations to maintain and ensure manual harmony and understanding between the organization and its various public?
3. To what degree have banks in Nigeria succeeded using public relations practice in marketing expansion of banking services?
4. Do you think that public relations are really an important tool for organizational harmony?
5. Do you feel that the establishment of public relations department in banks will help in marketing expansion of banking services?
1.5 Formulation of Hypotheses
The following hypothesis shall be tested in this study.
Ho: Public relations have no role to play in management of an organization corporate image.
Hi: Public relation’s has a role to play in the management of an
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