Communication, Public Relations and Crisis Management: A Study of Buhari Administration (2015-2021)
and Crisis Management: A Study of Buhari Administration (2015-2021)
Objective of the study
The objective of the study is to ascertain the communication, public relations and crisis management. The study will use Buhari administration as a case study. the specific objectives are;
- To determine the role public relations, play in crises management in Buhari administration from 2015 to 2021
- To ascertain how effective, the Public relations tools used in resolving the crises in Buhari administration from 2015 to 2021.
- To find out why there have been unsuccessful management of crisis by public relation in Buhari administration from 2015 to 2021
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Generally, public relations (PR) play many responsibilities in building the image and reputation of an organization. According to (Hsu, Shyu and Tzeng, 2005:12), it provides the opportunity for the organization to successfully monitor, interact, and react with other key groups within the organizational environment. Thus, it is defined as: “…the communication and action on the part of an organization that supports the development and maintenance of mutually beneficial relationships between the organization and the groups with which it is interdependent” (Grunig 2002:54). # Further, it is a “management function that identifies, establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the various publics on whom its success or failure depends” (Hill, 2000:23). PR can be seen as a function motivated by desires to understand or control the environment and to gain understanding from those in the environment, or alternatively, motivated by desires for mutual understanding (Grunig, 2002:32). Also, PR is not merely making a good impression, but more closely about fashioning and projecting credible renditions of reality itself. The services, policies, practices and products of an organization may be excellent, but unless the public understands these, and recognizes them for what they are, they will be neither used nor appreciated (Skinner 1994:26). Basically, the reality that public relations credibly render is the reputation of the company. Almost all PR practitioners agree that reputation is one of the keys for organizational success. It should be maintained because once it is tarnished; it could be very difficult to regain (Grunig 1992), though regaining reputation is one of the PR man’s job. (Gray, 1998:23) stated: “A company’s reputation affects its ability to sell products and services, to attract investors, to hire talented staff, and to exert influence in government circles” . Organizational reputation reflects employee attitudes and beliefs, customer perception, vendors and business partners as well as the community at large (Dozier and Lauzen, 2000). The PR man’s job is to publicize all those attributes and traits to the public and to the target people or organization. Many companies have gained enough positive reputation because of effective PR. For instance, Pepsi-Cola is respected for its moral and ethical values established all over the world. The corporate as well as the social responsibilities of the company contributed to their eventual popularity. Those facts about them do not just go out to the public with just mere benchmarking results. Rather, they are carefully publicized by public relation tactics (i.e. disseminated to broadsheets, tabloids, televised press conferences, etc.) That is why PR is closely related with corporate branding and governance. The management does the cultivation of the corporate brand, and then PR distributes the improvement and handles issues that are handful to the company’s image and reputation (Gray, 1998:67). Corporate brand refers to the overall characteristic of the organization, which provides: marks denoting ownership; image-building devices; symbols associated with key values; means by which to construct individual identities; and a conduit by which pleasurable experiences may be consumed (Cutlip, 2006:54). It communicates the brand’s values, i afford a means of differentiation from their competitors, and enhance the esteem and loyalty in which the organization is held by its stakeholder groups (Sriramesh & Vercid, 2001:89).Thus, marketing and sales strategies are dependent to the strengths or weaknesses of the corporate brands. If the positive values of the corporate brand are successfully publicized by the PR staff, then marketing strategies and sales strategies can use that good publicity to the corporation’s advantage. For instance, the advertisements of the Pepsi-Cola may include information regarding their reputation as a company that helps maintains a healthy environment for everyone. Because this is the company’s way of showing responsibility to the community, the elements related to those traits are likely to be shown in advertisements. However, this type of relationship between reputation and marketing and sales strategies is not widely researched. In fact, even the general public relations field is not widely researched (Sallot, Lyon, Acosta-Alzuru and Jones, 2003:45). Accordingly, lack of budget time are the two most given reasons
PUBLIC RELATIONS PROACTIVE STRATEGIES AND METHODS
Sam Black  contends that the purpose of public relations practice is to establish two-way communication seeking common ground or areas of mutual interest and to establish understanding based on truth, knowledge and full information. Basically, the major cause of conflict is misunderstanding. So, to resolve conflict, means to achieve an understanding. Work for a mutual interest, and the achievement of understanding is largely dependent on information, education and communication. Therefore, communication is at the root of resolving conflict situation. Public relations principles recognize that a pro-active approach is the best philosophy for addressing issues that lead to conflict or crisis. Supporting this view, Akinyemi [1993:99], opines that “the best tool for managing crisis is making sure that crisis do not arise by using the regular Public relations strategy of a planned and sustained programme of communication”. Nkwocha [1999:192] advises that they should employ “Crisis Management” rather than management of crisis. This means taking appropriate measures to prevent crisis before it occurs. It is pro-active, preventive, and pre-planned in nature. On the other hand, “Management of crisis” literally means managing a crisis that has occurred. It involves taking sporadic, largely uncoordinated actions to quench the crisis. It is fire brigade and reactive in nature. Tools for pro-active crisis management are: [A] Information [b] knowledge [c] Communication [IKC].
In this study, the survey research method was adopted as the scientific approach in the study. Survey research was found to be most appropriate for this particular study. Survey research as a research technique used to obtain data, requires either interviewing the respondents or providing them with self-administered questionnaire.
This technique of data collection involves careful questionnaire construction and simple selection.
According to Campbel et al (1982:17) see research design as “the process of narrowing or focusing your perspective for the purpose of a particular study; Research design is also an outline or scheme that serve as a useful guide to the researcher in his efforts to generate data for his study.
Research designs are used in research proposals to show how the variables of the proposed research will be observed, controlled or manipulated to generate necessary data for this study.
The research design adopted for this study was the survey research method. As the name implies survey is a research method, which focuses on a representative sample driven from the entire population of the study. It specifies how such data will be collected and analyzed. This method was chosen for data collection, because it enables the researcher to solicit for information that might not be available on the pages of the text book and also to bring successful completion of the study.
Area of the Study:
The area of the researcher’s study is within the geographical location of Abuja. This is because of the proximity of federal government parastatal. Federal civil service commission at my disposal.
Population of Study:
This is generally taken to be the totality of all elements or subjects or number which possess common and specific characteristic within a given geographical location. In this research work, the population of study was made up of all staffs of federal civil service commission which we selected a total of 52 of staffs.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
This chapter of the study is aimed at analyzing in a tabular form data collected using simple percentage and frequency tabular presentation for clarify and easy understanding.
Therefore, the total number of questionnaire presented and analyzed is 52.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Summary of Findings
This project examines Communication, Public Relations and Crisis Management: A Study of Buhari Administration (2015-2021). In this study role of public relations in crisis management is an empirical research conducted from Jan to June 2014. The researcher carried three research questions that raised three hypotheses and all received empirical and statistical support.
The researcher reviewed four concepts, concept of public relations, concept of public relation management, concepts of crisis, concept of crisis management. The researcher applied social responsibility theory in this work. The theory is one of four normative theories of the press. It was propounded by Wilbur Schramm, Siebert and Peterson in 1956. The social responsibility theory posits that it is an ethical theory that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act to benefit society at large. It is also a duty every management has to perform so as to maintain peace and harmony in the organization. To ensure an effective crisis management through the use of public relations, the management should show its responsibilities to the workers or employees by giving their workers free launch, ensuring that there is good communication among the staff, giving them good package like gift, provide them with wardrobe allowance etc. In other words, the employees are expected to report the areas that will improve the image of the organization and as long as the management agrees to carry on their responsibilities and make the workers united, there is no type of crisis they cannot handle.
The researcher uses chi-square to test research hypothesis and the entire hypothesis received empirical and statistical support. The researcher noted that the response rate from the respondents was encouraging. This means that the information gathered has a higher degree of accuracy. Findings from the study shows that public relations play a vital role in crisis management Buhari administration. Then conclusion was drawn from the data obtained from the respondents.
The result of this study “Communication, Public Relations and Crisis Management: A Study of Buhari Administration (2015-2021).” has played a vital role in crisis management and it has changed the perception of Nigerians about public relations department.
It is of note that public relations have positively imparted in Buhari administration. The researcher was able to deduce from the results of the hypothesis that there is significant increase in the role public relations play in crisis management in Buhari administration. From the hypothesis 3, the researcher revealed that a good public relations unit can maintain peace in Nigeria. The researcher also submits that public relations has greatly changed and impacted positively on resolving crisis in Nigeria.
Public relations has played a tremendous influence in ensuring that favorable cooperation and conducive environment in Buhari administration from 2015 to 2021. The researcher further deduced that crisis not well managed can adversely affect the operation of the Buhari administration if not properly and effectively handle. The researcher was able to conclude that public relations that was effectively utilized remains a vital tool for forestalling crisis to Buhari administration. Finally the researcher then concluded that public relations is and will continue to play a very significant role in the management of any kind of crisis in Buhari administration
- No organization can survive without public relations unit especially when they have crisis. The researcher recommended that every good organization must have public relations department.
- Buhari administration should encourage the public relations department and staff to be up and doing in ensuring harmony and to have daily records of the organizations performance that can lead to crisis.
- They should employ qualified staff and give them basic facilities to work like security camera etc.
- The researcher recommended that public relations policy and planning should be handled at the top management level of Buhari administration.
- Buhari administration Should imbibe public relations as a philosophy of management and that the organization should be made to appreciate the place of public relations in the organization.
- Public relations concept should permeate the entire organization with public relations taking its place in the organizational structure.
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