This study assessed the application of public relations strategies by the public affairs department of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)”. Its objectives were to identify the specific forms of Public Relations strategies and institutional objectives of utilising Public Relations strategies by Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission. The study further addressed the level of effectiveness of Public Relations strategies adopted by the Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission and identify the difficulties encountered by the Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission in the application of Public Relations. The study adopted the quantitative approach with the use of survey as method. The study was anchored on the stakeholder’s theory. The study made use of primary and secondary data. From the data collected and analysed as well as the hypotheses tested, the study revealed that public relation plays a pivotal role in ensuring understanding, goodwill and acceptance of NCC and the Nigerian people. It also showed that NCC engages in PR as a means of establishing and maintaining good relationship between the commission and the stakeholders/community. Also, the study submits that the PR activities of NCC have been successful and effective in achieving its aims and winning a positive image for the commission in the eyes of the public which are significant to the commission development and achievement of the overall goal and objectives. Therefore, the study recommended among other things that NCC should go further by engaging in the provision of support systems, sponsorship and identifying with community needs so as to create goodwill between itself and the public. Likewise, the Commission should carry out periodical survey to inquire into the feelings of the public as well as the perception of the public towards the commission or organisation in order to adjust its policies and activities to accommodate such issues.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents - - - - - - - - - -vii
List of Tables -- - - - - - - - - -ix
Abstract - - - - - - - - - - -xi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study - - - - - - - -1
1.2 Statement of the Problem - - - - - - - -3
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study - - - - - - -4
1.4 Research Questions - - - - - - - -4
1.5 Hypotheses of the Study - - - - - - - -5
1.6 Significance of the Study - - - - - - - -5
1.7 Scope of the Study - - - - - - - - -6
1.8 Operational Definition of key Terms - - - - - -6
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Review of Concepts - - - - - - - - -7
2.1.1 Concept of Public Relations - - - - - - - -7
2.1.2 Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) - - - - - -10
2.1.3 Concept of Strategies in PR - - - - - - - - -11
2.2 Review of Related Literature - - - - - - - -13
2.2.1 Public Relations Practice in Public Agencies - - - - - -13
2.2.2 Public Relations Activities by Public Agencies - - - - - -15
2.2.3 Challenges and Complexities in Public Relations - - - - - -17
2.2.4 Public Relations Media and Image Building - - - - - -19
2.2.5 Public Relations and Conflict Management - - - - - - -23
2.3 Review of Empirical Studies - - - - - - - -27
2.4 Theoretical Framework - - - - - - - - -36
2.5 Chapter Summary - - - - - - - - - -38
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design - - - - - - - - -39
3.2 Population of the study- - - - - - - - -39
3.3 Sample Size - - - - - - - - - -39
3.4 Sampling Technique - - - - - - - - - -40
3.5 Research Instrumentation - - - - - - - - -41
3.6 Validity of Instrument - - - - - - - -41
3.7 Reliability of the Instruments - - - - - - - -41
3.8 Method of Data Collection - - - - - - - -42
3.9 Method of Data Analysis - - - - - - -42
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis - - - - - - - -43
4.3 Test of Hypotheses - - - - - - - - -53
4.4 Discussion of Findings- - - - - - - - -53
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1 Summary - - - - - - - - - - -64
5.2 Conclusion - - - - - - - - - -65
5.3 Recommendations - - - - - - - - -66
5.4 Contributions to Knowledge - - - - - - - - -66
5.5 Limitation of the Study - - - - - - - -67
5.6 Suggestions for further studies - - - - - - -67
References - - - - - - - - -- -68
Appendices - - - - -- - - - - -73
1.1. Background to the Study
Establishing a lasting relation relationship between an organisation and the public is very essential for the survival of any organisation. According to Kaplan & Haenlein (2010), the creation of lasting organisation-public relationship needed by organisation is dependent upon the management ability to identify and use strategies and resources of the organisation in relationship and engagement.The failures of some organisations have been traceable to unfriendliness and, in some cases, hostility which largely depended on the management inability to establish and maintain cordial relationship with the stakeholders.
Asemah (2011) submits that poor stakeholders’ relationship management knowledge, skill and stakeholders’ negligence hinder effective organisation- interrelationship. What is therefore expected of management is to evolve a system and strategy with which to change the impression of agencies on general issues concerning the organisation and providing means of involving the stakeholders (internal and external) in the organisation’s activities. This will help create a lasting relationship between the organisation and the public, and will promote involvement in different aspect of organisation’s affairs as well as give them a sense of partnership or healthy entitlement (Abdullahi, 2011). In Nigeria, it is observed that the relationship between most government agencies and the citizens is very poor. Many people in the country do not know what happens in the organisation of their own nations and do not care to know. They pay little attention to whatever happens and this isa challenges (Adewale, Abiola & Foluso, 2022).
The independent National Regulatory Authority for Nigerian's telecommunications sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission is one of such organisations. The Commission is in charge of fostering industry competition among operators and making sure that high-quality, cost-effective telecommunications services are offered everywhere around the nation.Over time, NCC has established a reputation as one of Africa's top telecom regulatory bodies. The Commission is currently seeking to work with stakeholders to encourage ICT use for several aspects of national development. However, a survey by Nworgu (2021) as well as Black, & Hartel (2020) revealed that very few individuals are aware of these mandate.Black, & Hartel (2020) opine that the essential objective of public relations in any organization is to increase public awareness of the organization or institution, to persuade the public to view the organization positively; to discover and target relevant audience; to change personnel attitudes in favour of the organization; to extinguish doubts and create appropriate internal and external environments for an organization as indicated by various studies cited in the previous part of this work.
For these reasons, the strategies of managing organisation-stakeholder’s relationships call for critical intellectual examination in order to propound new systems and strategies for developing and promoting effective organisation-community relationship as NCC can only achieve the people cooperation and goodwill through her Public Relations Strategies which is the responsibility of the Public Affair department of the commission. So, the need for the Commission to establish required system of Public relations strategies cannot be overemphasized.In line with this, Okoi, Bassey, Yahaya-Idinye & Awah (2021) state that every government, organization, individuals and groups need to communicate with public to achieve their corporate goals and the only way that public will get to understand the polices, programs, activities of an organization is through a two way communication.
Conversely, the question to be asked here is does the management of NCC have amongst it a Public Affair Department responsibility, public relations strategies that report and respond to issues directly to issues related to public? This is an area of great concern in this study; there isthe need to find out if NCC is using the open rather than the closed system ofcommunication which is a determinant of the success of every organization that employs it. Other questions agitating for answer includes the objective, the effectiveness as well as difficulties encountered by the Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission in the application of Public Relations. It is against this background that this studyassesses the application of public relations strategies by the public affairs department of Nigerian Communications Commission.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) over the years has attempted buildingpositive public opinion as well as goodwill, inform the public on her policies, and deliver messages in line with the regulations of the government(Ogbemi, 2020). However, one recurring issue is the knowledge gap between the commission, the government, the telecommunication networks and the Nigerian populations. The NCC in doing the vital function of sieving through the several regulatory functions to ensure that communication within the country is safe and effective. However, significant percentage of the Nigerian populace believe the commission’s operations are highly influenced by the government as tool to propagating her own interests (Adewale, Abiola & Foluso, 2022). This is the crux of this study. Empirically, over the years, public relations researchers have focused mostly on the role of public relations in commercial organizations (mostly commercial organizations), public relations role in corporate social responsibility (CSR) as well as its role in crisis management among others. However, not so much attention has been paid to specific PR strategies by public agencies such as theNCC. This is the gaps this study seeks to fill in assessingthe application of public relations strategies by the public affairs department of Nigerian Communications Commission in her operations.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this study is to assesshow Public Relations strategies has been used by the Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The objectives will be as follows:
i. To identify thespecific forms ofPublic Relations strategies used by Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
ii. To ascertain the institutional objectives ofutilising Public Relations strategies by Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission.
iii. To find out the level of effectiveness of Public Relations strategies adopted by the Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission.
iv. To identify the difficulties encountered by the Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission in the application of Public Relations.
1.4. Research Questions
For the purpose of this study, the following questions will be addressed:
i. What are the specific forms of Public Relations strategies used by the Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)?
ii. What are the institutional objectives of utilising Public Relations strategies by Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission?
iii. How effective are the Public Relations strategies utilised by the Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission?
iv. What are the difficulties encountered by the Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission in the application of Public Relations?
1.5 Hypotheses of the Study
The following hypotheses will be tested by the study;
1. Ho: There is no effective utilisation of Public Relations strategies by the Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission.
Hi: There is effective utilisation of Public Relations strategies by the Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission.
2. Ho: Public Relations does not have significant impact on the operation of the Public Affairs Department of the Nigerian Communication Commission.
Hi: Public Relations has significant impact on the operation of the Public Affairs Department of the Nigerian Communication Commission.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study cannot be over emphasized. To the Nigerian Communication Commission, the study will serve as a catalyst on the success, the level of effectives as well as difficulties in the application of PR strategies and help the commission on policies to promote reciprocity and collaboration between them and Nigerians as her publics.In addition, this study will be useful or important to Nigerian Communication Commission of learning because it will help them to ascertain whether or not they make effective and proper use of public relations and to know whether due recognition has been accorded to their public relations.
Also, the study will provide the platform on which PR theory can be used by government agencies and institutions to achieve effectiveness in organization and management of the institutions affairs for public goodwill as this can invariably be achieved through the application of the principles PR theories.
The research will also be helpful for academic purposes in that it advances previous academic work on the subject of organization and community the public interactions with regard to effectiveness of PR strategies. It therefore provides future scholars and students with a reference materials.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study covers the assessment of the application of public relations strategies by the public affairs department of Nigerian Communications Commission covering a time duration of six months (December 2022 to March, 2023). The study will address staff and management of the Public Affairs Department of Nigerian Communications Commission at the commission’s head office at Plot 423, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama District,Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
1.8 Operational Definition of Key Terms
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC): The Nigerian national body in charge of monitoring and fostering the communication industry, regulate competition among operators, ensure high-quality service delivery and cost-effective telecommunications services in the country.
Public: This is any group considered in terms of its relation to NCC’s activities or programmes or the presumed external environment of an organization in which the organization depends on for its staff, managers, customers, shareholders, etc.
Public Relations: The management function saddled with the responsibility of imaging building, relationship making and conflict resolution between an organization (NCC) and the publics on whom its success or failure depends”
Public Relations Strategies: This covers the Public Relations systems of reaching the stakeholders such as press releases, corporate brands, Live programs, souvenirs, tours, news conferences, subsidized information, Interviews, documentaries, personal visits, phone calls, media relations and maintaining of contacts with journalists by corporate public relations personnel with the intent of influencing media narrative.
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