THE INFLUENCE OF PUBLIC RELATION ON THE CORPORATE IMAGE of CHAMPION BREWERIES PLC UYO
1.1 Background to the Study
The importance of public relations in any organization cannot be over emphasized. This is largely buttressed by the fact that the public relation unit of an organization is an important factor which aids in the success of any organization through building and sustaining its corporate image. In many government, parastatals and private organizations whether seeking profit or not in their operations, public relations practitioners and public relations practice play a very important. As Rensburgant Cant (2003:34) indicates, public relation exists in every company and institution wants it. Within an organization, activities such as phone calls, news letters, public letters including its every day encounter with it public, to name only few, from a perception and an image in its public’s minds about the organization.
The Influence Of Public Relation On The Corporate Image
Various images come into identified its self to the public. According to Lukusa (2009:1) if an organization’s portrayed identity does not coincide with the image perceived by its public, the organizations reputation and corporate image might suffer and as a result this might also affect the management of the entire organization.
The roles of public relation practitioners are thus very important and crucial in building the corporate image of their organizations to the public. These roles contribute to the development, the sustainability and a good functioning of the organization. Public relations practitioner’s roles also contribute to identifying establishing and extending the organizations sphere of influence. The practitioners’ roles help in monitoring, controlling and establishing its corporate identity and corporate image. The image making functions of public relations are principally counseling based on the understanding of human behavior.
By analyzing trends and predicting their consequences, through research of public opinion, attitude and advising a necessary action, public relation establishes and maintains two- way communication based on truth and full information. This is to say that a public relation is concerned with maintaining public image for high profile organizations, programme, or individuals (Seital 1998:6). Building the corporate image of organization is not an easy task that can be achieved in a day within an organization by a public relations practitioner. Some industries, financial services chemical factories, etc. suffer from a serious (corporate) image problem. In eyes of many, they are seen as exploiters, inefficient having fat cat bosses, etc. Varey (2002:193).
Meanwhile, according to Dowling (1994:8) quoted in Varey (2002:195), corporate identity is the symbol (Such as logos, colour scheme) that an organization uses to identity its self to people. Since corporate image management practitioners and scholars, to be an intangible asset that enables the enactment of relationship among the corporation and their public. The importance of the fore going according Nwosu (192:8) is that the time has come when professional public relations are made to play its proper role towards promoting the type of positive. Image which the organization needs this can be achieved, if the public relations.
Professionals are allowed to influence the policies at the stage of initiation, analysis and preparation of programmes. According to Dozier and Grunig quoted in Grunig et al. (1992:395) public relations must placed high in the organization hierarchy and must be practiced strategically if it is to make the more effective and, thus, to be excellent. Meanwhile, in many existing organizations the roles of public relations to the public are taken for granted, neglected and even attributed to other departments within the organizations it should also be noted that, public relations roles have become the subject of extensive research by public relations scholars.
Roles define everyday of the public relations practitioners and practitioners roles are keys to understanding the functions of public relations in building the image of an organization achievement of practitioners (Dozier and San Diego in Grunig et al, 1992: 328). According to Kitchen (1997:16), public relations practitioners fail to release their full potential because of how their roles are perceived within organizations. He adds that the question whether public relations practitioners are allowed by management to fulfill their potential various roles played in organizations are considered, along with implications for the profession (Kitchen, 1997:7). It is in the light of the above issues that the research examines among other things, the extent at which roles played by public relations practitioners in building the corporate image of an organization.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Issues on the role public relations plays in building and sustain corporate image of organization have being an area of importance in public relations research scholars are of the view that a corporate image is powerful, it helps to determine how a person will behave toward a company. How that company is perceived a weak or strong, open or dubious, warm or cold, rigid or flexible. The role of P R therefore is to assist in building and protecting an organizations image (Bernestin, 1984: 103). The problem this study investigates is therefore how champion Breweries uses public relations strategies in managing its corporate reputation in other to avoid having negative image among its teaming public.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to determine the extent to which public relations has been used in building a sustainable corporate image for champion Breweries Plc. Uyo. Specifically, the study objectives are:
- To determine whether Champion Breweries plc Uyo utilizes public relations in building a sustainable corporate image.
- To determine how the management of Champion Breweries Plc Uyo has been carrying out effective public relations activities.
- To determine the factors which encourage or hinder the practice of public relations in Champion Breweries Plc. Uyo.
- To find out the extent the usage of public relations activities has contributed to the positive image of champion Breweries Plc Uyo.
1.4 Research Questions
Effort will be made to provide relevant answers to the following questions in the course of this research work
- Do champions Breweries plc Uyo utilize public relations in building a sustainable corporate image?
- How does the management of champions Breweries plc Uyo carry out effective public relations activities?
- What factors encourage or hinder the effective practice of public relations in champions Breweries plc Uyo?
- How has the usage of public relations activities contributed to the image of champion Breweries plc Uyo?.
The Influence Of Public Relation On The Corporate Image
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research was conceived in fall realization of the various interests it would serve. The corporate institutions and public relations practitioners would likely be activated by the findings to invest their utmost creative abilities in marketing communication -commensurate with current image building challenged facing their esteemed profession.
To the public relation and mass communication students, the study is intended to motivate further study on other much unattended subject matter on product branding and proved them with store house knowledge as well as provide direction to enable them exercise high prudence in their daily economic decision especially on how they brand themselves. The study will also provide corporate marketing executive in Nigeria with an insight into the dynamic nature of image branding activities in the economy.