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ABSTRACT: This study is aimed at looking into the impact of public relations in banking sector in Nigeria with a specific focus on First Bank Plc, Enugu headquarters. First Bank is a corporate organisation with a network of branches. Public Relations role in First Bank of Nigeria PLC cannot be over emphasised because the services of First Bank must satisfy the aspirations of its publics. This research identifies how public relations can help in maintaining high acceptable corporate identity, corporate image and corporate communication in First Bank PLC Enugu Zonal Headquarters. The survey research method was used in this study as the population was picked amongst the internal and external publics of First Bank of Nigeria PLC Enugu Zonal Headquarters. Copies of the questionnaire were administered to the respondents to elicit information that helped in the organisation of data and presentation. The research showed that public relations can help in uplifting the image of First Bank of Nigeria PLC Enugu Zonal Headquarters. It was therefore recommended that First Bank of Nigeria PLC Enugu Zonal Headquarters should consult a public relations practitioner in the dissemination of information to its publics.

 Impact of Public Relations


1.0       Introduction

1.1       Background to the Study

The common aim of every business organization is to achieve growth, increase turnover, assets and profit while that of non-profit have similar intention except for turnover. Nevertheless, all of these depend on the public perception and goodwill of the organization. However, whether an organization is profit oriented, non-profit oriented, public or private there is a need for understanding between the internal or external publics. Similarly for any serious organization to grow, survive and maintain its reputation at all time there is need to involve public relations practice in its strategy to achieve its goals.    

The PR department or unit deals with the management of both internal and external publics of First Bank. The PR department is responsible for the promotion and implementations of the bank marketing and communication programmes that are related to overall missions and visions of the bank. Also, First Bank managers and improves the flow of information within the First Bank and between the First Bank and the community it serves.

Public relations professionals have a role to play in helping management to keep in touch with their various publics because the role of PR within an organisation has become that of a spokesperson to the management, they actively solicit both employees and consumers opinion and make management aware of the effects various decisions will have on clients.   

This is similar to the Two-Way Symmetric Public Relations Model by Grung and Hunt which includes equality of communication using extensive dialogue and exchanges of views to change attitudes in order to reach the need of the other. The Public Relations department should also serve as liaisons to the community and work closely with top management.

According to Roger Hayward as quoted by Adegoke (2001) public relations is the propagation of the personality of the organization. This state the importance of communication between the organization and its publics. Also, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) cited in Arowosegbe (2005). defines public relations:

As a distinctive management function which helps to establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance and operation between an organization and its pubic”. Again, the International Public Relations Association of Mexico in North America cited in Arowosegbe (2005)defined public relation as:

“The art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizations leaders and implementing planned programs of action which serve both the organization and the public interest”. However, the non-profit organisations today are using public relations as a key strategy to reach their audience and to establish a sustainable.

Public relations department is saddles with these functions in the bank including to writing and distributing news release, to write feature on health matters and send to the newspapers, radio stations, television stations, blogs and social media,  to write newsletters, to build and maintain media relations, to organize press conference, to feature on interview on radio and television, to be responsible for community relations, to over sees banking publications such as calendar, fliers, brochure, etc.

Adam (2020) writes that banking sector being a financial organizations deal with lots of publics be it internal and external. Internal public is majorly the staff while that of the external publics include the customers, Central Bank of Nigeria, Business Owners, Job seekers, Insurance Company’s, other financial organizations e.g cooperatives etc. According to Adam (2020), a bank is a financial institution licensed to receive deposits and make loans. Banks may also provide financial services such as wealth management, currency exchange, and safe deposit boxes

It is against this backdrop that the research examines the impact of public relations in first bank of Nigeria Plc. Enugu zonal headquarters with the view to know the extent at which public relations department has enhanced the performance of the banking sector.  

1.2       Problem Statement 

Previous studies on public relations find out that so many organizations in the past neither recognized nor appreciate public relations efforts in Nigeria Hamad (2014). The managements do not realize the potential of public relations activities in building and enhancing not only a good image for the success of the organization but also ensuring success. It has been observed that the management’s attitude is lukewarm and non-challant toward public relations department and their activities (Okonkwo, 2015).

Besides, they don’t want to spend money on its activities such as organizing seminars, press conference, press tour etc because of the erroneous and selfish belief that public relations efforts bring little benefits to the organization unlike advertising.

Although, lots of studies have been conducted on the role of public relations in an organisation, such as Aregbesola (2017) titled “role of public relations in building mutual understanding between Osun State Polytechnic and Iree Community”, Ajayi (2013) titled “role of public relations in building corporate image of Dangote Group of Company”, Akpan (2014) titled “role of public relations in enhancing corporate image of the Nigerian army” but little or no research has been specifically conducted to focus on the impact of public relations in First Bank of Nigeria Plc. Enugu zonal headquarters with the view to know the extent at which public relations department has enhanced the performance of the banking sector.  

1.3       Objectives of the Study

            The objective of this study is primarily to do the following;

  1. To what extent has public relations impacted on First Bank of Nigeria Plc.?
  2. In what way has First Bank use public relations department?

1.4     Research Questions

  1. To what extent has public relations impacted on First Bank of Nigeria Plc.?
  2. In what way has First Bank use public relations department?

1.5       Scope of Study

The study which examines impact of public relations in First Bank of Nigeria Plc shall be narrowed in scope to Enugu Zonal Headquarters. The choice of this bank is due to the proximity, inadequate time to study all Banks in Nigeria, inadequate fund to run around among other logistics.

Also, the demographic factors of the respondents will be studied before the administration of research instrument such factors include: age, gender, academic level e.t.c 

1.6       Significance of the Study

At the end of this study, the following categories of individuals, corporate bodies and organisations will benefit from the research findings. 

This work will serve as a working tool for Chief Executives and managers in organizations like First Bank and others on why there is need for public relations department and effective funding the department.

The study will help brand owners to understand the importance of public relations especially the role of public relations on the overall organization success. It will also enable companies to structure their public relations programmes, campaigns, and activities to achieve mutual understanding not only with the external publics but also with the internal public in order to improve company corporate image and leading to better performance and public acceptance.

This study will give a clear insight into how public relations can increase workers morale and equally influence workers attitude, love and interest that will result to the overall performance of the organization. 

It will as well benefit the public relations practitioners on what is expected of them in banking institutions. It will serve as eyes opener to the management of banks on the need to have a functioning public relations department or unit.

Moreover, policy formulators will benefit from this research work because they will be able to identify the usefulness of public relations to them on policy formulations and corporate management.

Above all, this study will serve as an addition to existing literature on the topic. Future researchers and students will find the material relevant as it forms bulk literature that exist in the field of mass communication, public relations, consumers behaviour, etchat they can lay hands on when carrying out research related or similar to this.

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

It is of importance to define most terms used in the study for clearer understanding.

Impact: A strong effect or contributions on how public relations is employ in bank.

Public Relations: The deliberate and planned effort to create and maintain a mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.

First Bank of Nigeria plc: A Nigerian bank and financial service company. It is the country’s largest bank by assets.

Enugu Zonal Headquarters: A branch of First Bank in Enugu where banking activities is handled.



Format = MS Word, Price = ₦4000, Chapter = 1-5, Pages = 52, References = Yes, Questionnaire =Yes, Table of Contents = Yes and Abstract = Yes


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