THE ROLE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS IN MARKETING
This research project is about the role of public relations as a tool in enhancing consumer patronage in the paint industry in Nigeria. The public relations plays an important role as a marketing communication tool in our today’s industries. The public relations as very important communication tool is been used in some of the organization such as charitable organization, a political of a commercial organization. This research work tends to project some and ensuring that the objectives of the consumers are duly achieved. This project underlay the methodology used in getting the responds of view of the people over ensuring viable patronage of the consumers. If the enlisted recommendations made in this project in adhere to, there is every possibility that most f the consumers would not be loosed easy and their ground in the organization will be fortified. This will in turn yield a profitable effect to the organization.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In fact the subject of public relations is not new and it has been there and in practice since time immemorial. Man has always tried and wanted to communicate to make him understand, e.g. pictograms (Chinese characters still an example). 1000 of years ago wall paintings in the caves of premature people, writings on tablets of stone, ancient buildings, pyramided early temples, mosques, care paintings in Zimbabwe bear pictorial messages. Holy books also communicate and tell people about faith so, it will be appropriate to say that public relations are as new as civilization.
MEANING OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Now a days PR is misunderstood and supposed to try and create a favourable image or climate of opinion and or improve a tarnished image. This is not true, this is only marketing and advertising which is only a segment of PR. PR is about createing and understanding through knowledge which often involves effective change. So it menas that PR is a form of communication which applies to any sort of organization, commercial or non-commercial in the private or publci sector
DEFINITIONS OF PUBLCI RELATIONS
The universally accepted definition of public relations as per Edward Burney’s popularly known as the father of public relations is that:
It is a planned and sustained effort to established and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its publics.
However, Quentin Bell, another public relations consultant thought the word “Persuation” would be better than “mutual understanding”.
For better understanding if we take the two initial of the world public relations i.e. P and Rl, “P” for performance for public and “R” for result as against Relations.
DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES OF PR
In the olden days for PR purposes people used pictograms (Chinese characters are still an example). 100 o years ago wall paintings in the care about premature people, writing on tablet of stone, ancient buildings e.g. pyramids, early temples and mosques, care painting in Zimbabwe bear pictorial messages. Holy books communicated and told people about faith. While these days bill boards, hand outs, print and electronics media, sponsorships, free sampling, corporate identity practices, audio and video mediums, conference seminars special offers etc are few of the visible PR techniques used to achieve defined objective.
1.2 Aims and purpose of the Study
The aim of this research work is to analyze the role of public relations in marketing of Burxin paint industry. For public relations to be used to achieve this aim, it must be able to touch certain critical factors which influence consumers patronage and these includes:
1 To public relations exist between produect band differentiation and consumers.
2 To consumer education by firms and to public relations to consumers.
3 To effective market information system leads to enhanced public relations to consumers.
4 To high consumer confidence generate high public relations in the industry.
1.3 Aims and objective of the study
The aim of public relations is ot inform the public, prospective customers, investors, partner’s employees and other stakeholders and ultimately persuade them to maintain a certain view about the organization. Its leadership, products or of political decisions.
Aims in public relations are to identify the target audience and to tailor messages to be relevant to each audience. Sometime the interests of differing audiences and stakeholders common to public relations effort necessitate the creation of several distinct but complementary messages. These messages however, should be relevant to each other, thus creating a consistency to the overall message and theme. Messaging is the process of creating a consistent story around a product, person, company or service.
Messaging aims to avoid having readers receive contradictory or confusing information that will instill doubt in their purchasing choice or other decisions that have an impact on the company. Brands aims to have the same problem statement, industry view point or brand perception shared a cross sources and media.
1.4 Statement of the Problems
Businesses are faced with the problem of low consumer’s patronage due to certain factors which often times are faults of firms within the industry. Some of those actors are out lined below:
i Problem of poor outreach due to partly to firm’s business activity and partly to non-functional public relations to enhance their outreach. This impacts negatively or the willingness of consumers to attach and maintain patronage since the firms have negative or zero outreach.
ii Problems of absence of brand differentiation medians by firm.
This leads to low patronage to a particular brand resulting in zero brand attachment.
iii Problems of consumers ignorance. Most times consumers may
be ignorant of some vital information regarding particular products such as usage, application and operators and when confronted with such they may choose not to make purchases since it requires other information from the producers in order to be used effectively.
iv Problem of consumer response in a market environment of producers and consumers, it is expected that business activities will generate certain response form consumers who are end users of the product. Business need to assess analyze and internet these response in order to serve the consumers better.
v Problems of low or lack of consumer confidence in firms. Most times business does not consider it important to generate consumers confidence or even when they do, the appropriate tools to use to engender consumers confidence which leads to enhanced patronage may not be utilized.
1.5 Research Questions
i Does public relations exist between product brand differentiation and consumer?
ii Will consumer education by firms lead to public relations to consumers?
iii Can effective market information sysem lead to enhanced consumer patronage?
iv Does high consumer confidence generate high consumer patronage?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
i Ho: there are no public relations between product brand differentiation and consumer,.
Hi: There are public relations between product band differentiation and consumer.
ii Ho: Consumer education by firms will not lead to enhanced public relations to consumers.
Hi: Consumer education by firms will lead to enhanced public relations to consumers.
iii Ho: Effective market information system will not enhance public relation to consumers.
Hi: Effective market information system will enhance public relations to consumers.
iv Ho: High consumer confidence does not generate enhancedpublic relations in the industry.
Hi: High consumer confidence generates enhanced public relations in the industry.
1.7 Significance of the Study
In carrying out this research work it is expected that a lot of benefits will be derived both by firms in the paint industry and firms in the other industries and also general business. This work specifically addressees the relevance of public relations in business and more especially in the maintenance and enhancement of consumer patronage.
Business will understand through this work the effectiveness of public relations in achieving this objective more so the contribution of public relations to growth of business. public relations seek to enhance the public image of business or the perception of the business by the public and create a cordial relationship with their customers. It is expected that businesses will learn a lot from this work and know that their businesses to thrive successfully even under stiff competition they have to maintain strong consumer patronage.
1.8 Scope of Study
In carrying out this research work efforts were made clearly to understand the impact and effectiveness of public relations on consumer patronage as a tool.
Another point worthy of mentioning is that factors affecting consumer patronage are inexhaustible therefore only a few of them wee under studied.
The last point to note here is that though public relations are a tool that can be used to enhance consumer patronage in marketing of Burxin paint industry. Its effectiveness depends on proper presentation and application by the firm involved though this research work was carried out primarily the point industry it has to be born in mind that its application stands all business and hence have general applicability.
1.9 Limitations of the Study
During the course of carrying out this research work, certain difficulties were experienced which includes among others things:
· Financial constraint which limits the coverage or geographical spread during the administration of questionnaires.
· There was time constraint which did not permit for a more elaborate of the respondents in order to ascertain business.
1.1 Definition of Terms
i Public Relation; This is a tool or mechanisms that enable an
organization to properly and adequately generate good will and therefore endear it to its public.
ii Consumer Response: This is the reaction of consumer to
business or firm activities.
iii Product Line: Is defined as a group of product which passes through the same production process and usually requires the same raw materials.
iv Consumer Patronage: This is that financial input made to the business in exchange for goods purchased or services rendered to the consumer.
v Corporate Image: This is the image of a company or firm, corporation or business which a consumer has, it is an impression that an organization gives to the public.
vi Consumer confidence: is that state of land of a consumer which allows him to have total belief in a firm and its line of product, being assured that his best interest is served by the firm than rival firms.
vii Consumer apathy: This is a feeling of unenthusiasm disinterest and indifference by a consumer towards a form or its product.
viii Brand differentiation: Is a mechanism where by firms producing eh same produce or line of product. Distinguishes their brands form others through appropriate packaging and labeling.
ix Brand Attachment: Is the psychological feeling of maximum satisfaction which a consumer feels towards a particular brand of product that makes him give preferential trust to the brand.
x Advertising: This is the act and process of telling the public about a product or service in order ot encourage people ot buy or to use it.
Importance of public relations
Public relations practice is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain good will and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics.
Public relations are essentially a long-term process sending messages to the public, designed to build and develop the reputation of a brand over a period of time.
Above all, public relations must work to planned programme wit clear objectives and it must be sustained.
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