AN ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC RELATIONS STRATEGY AS A TOOL TO PROMOTE GOV…

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AN ASSESSMENT OF
PUBLIC   RELATIONS  STRATEGY AS A TOOL TO PROMOTE GOVERNMENT POLICIES TO THE CITIZENRY; THE PRACTICE OF ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNMENT

 

ABSTRACT

The
research  provides a theoretical and
conceptual assessment  of public relations
strategy as a tool to promote government policies to the citizenry; it
appraises as a case study the  practice
of the Anambra State Government. The research elucidate the concept of public
relations, its functions, significance and strategies as it can be applied to
implement and accelerate government policies to the benefit of the citizenry.

INTRODUCTION

The government as an institution is an
organization and can only succeed when it maintains mutual lines of communication
between itself and its citizenry. Public relations in government in brief, is
the concerted nefforts of the government officials to establish appropriate and
effective communication system that enables

them to produce, project and sustain
government’s goals, aspirations, programmes, activities and policies to reach
the ultimate beneficiaries of the programmes, in most cases, the community.
Public relations is employed in various ways to help the government to
establish mutual lines of communication for faithful

exchange of ideas and perspectives between it
and the governed and also, to create image for the government, both locally and
internationally . p.1). Nwosu (1996,p.204) says that:

Whether military or civilian, government must
have the support and acceptance of the citizenry to be effective and to even
survive for a reasonable period. In theory and in practice, every government
derives its legitimacy or rights to govern from the people or citizens. In a
true democracy, government is voted in by the people to hold  power, influence and control on behalf of the
collectivity, of the masses or citizenry

CHAPTER 1

1.1        BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Johnson and Zawawi (2004,p.404)
observes that public relations sector in modern democratic governance
implements its policies by using various mass media. Government management
takes two forms; dissemination of political information and dissemination of
public information. Nwosu (1996,p.204) however opines that very often, many
people in government, especially those in developing countries, seem to forget
the relevance of public relations in the government circle and as a result,
they operate as if they can do without the support and the acceptance of the
citizenry. They run state affairs as rulers or feudal lords, instead of leaders
or servants of the people, for whom they hold political power and trust. But
the theory and practice of modern governance teaches that government, like any
other social institution, must be accountable to the people and operate in the
people’s interest.

Black (1976,p.140) says that
public relations is an essential part of management and this is true in central
government as in industry. The function of public relations in government is
essentially non-political. It is the province of the political parties to
organize such public relations activity, as they may consider necessary to
publicize or promote their party’s policy. Public relations in a government
department has two main tasks; to give regular information on policy, plans and
achievements of the departments and to inform and educate the public on
legislation, regulations and all matters that affect the daily life of
citizens. It must also advise ministers and senior officials of reaction and
potential reaction to actual or proposed policies. In their work on public
relations and the information role of the government to the people, Wilcox,
Ault and Agee (1998,p.333) declare that: There has always been a need for
Government communication if for no other reason, than to inform citizens of the
services available and the manner in which they may be used. In a democracy,
public information is crucial if citizens are to make intelligent judgment
about the policies and activities of their elected representative. The research
intends to provide an assessment of public relations strategy as a tool to
promote government policies to the citizenry with a case appraisal of the
practice of Anambra State Government.

1.2    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

            The efficient running and
management of government affairs and activities lies with promoting and
implementing programmes and policies that impact on the citizenry. In this
regard the citizenry fully understand and appreciate the activities of
government thereby enhancing harmony and mutual benefit between government and
the people. However this goal  often  is far from being attained as the government
implement its policies without  the  impact and understanding of the citizenry.

Therefore
the problem confronting this research is to provide an assessment of public
relation strategy as a tool to promote government policies to the citizenry
with a case appraisal of the practice of Anambra State Government 

1.3   RESEARCH  
QUESTION


1      What
is public relation, functions and significance

1           
What is the nature of
public relation strategy as a tool to promote government policies to the people

2           
What is the nature of
public relation practice  of Anambra
State Government

1.4    OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

1      To
appraise the nature of public relation, functions and significance

2      To
determine the nature of public relation strategy as a tool to promote
government policies to the citizenry

3    To determine the  public relation  practice of anambra state government.

1.5    SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

         The significance of the study is to
project the importance of creating synergy, understanding and mutual benefit
and impact between the government and the citizenry

1.6    STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESIS


    H0    The level of public relation practice in
Anambra State is         low

H1  
The level of public relation
practice in Anambra State is         high

2      H0
   The 
challenges of public relation practice in Anambra   State is high

        H1    The
challenges of public relation practice in Anambra                    State is low

3      H0    The  impact of public relation strategy as a tool
in                          promoting government policies  in Anambra State is low

        H1
   The impact of public relation strategy
as a tool in                           promoting government policies in Anambra
State is high

1.7    SCOPE OF THE STUDY

  The research focuses on the assessment of
public relations strategy as a tool to promote government policies to the
citizenry with a case appraisal of public relations practice in Anambra State.

1.8     DEFINITION   OF TERMS

PUBLIC RELATION
PRACTICE


         A PR Practitioner is a liaison between his
institution and the public. He is responsible for setting public relations
policy to represent the corporation or agency to the public and for conducting
research to provide adequate feedback from the public to the institution.
Usually, a PR practitioner works closely with top level management and is
instrumental in influencing management’s policy changes. The PR person can be described
as a strategist who plans and executes large scale public relations efforts. It
is the duty of the public relations practitioners of an organization to
communicate the policies of its organization to the internal and external
publics, so as to make them know such policies.

PUBLIC RELATION PRACTICE IN GOVERNMENT

Public relations in government in brief, is
the concerted efforts of the government officials to establish appropriate and
effective communication system that enables them to produce, project and
sustain government’s goals, aspirations, programmes, activities and policies to
reach the ultimate beneficiaries of the programmes, in most cases, the
community. Public relations is employed in various ways to help the government
to establish mutual lines of communication for faithful exchange of ideas and
perspectives between it and the governed and also, to create image for the
government, both locally and internationally . p.1). Nwosu (1996,p.204) says
that: Whether military or civilian, government must have the support and
acceptance of the citizenry to be effective and to even survive for a
reasonable period. In theory and in practice, every government derives its
legitimacy or rights to govern from the people or citizens. In a true
democracy, government is voted in by the people to hold power, influence and
control on behalf of the collectivity, of the masses or citizenry.


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