ABSTRACT: This research examined the impact of social media in local government administration in Nigeria with Osogbo local government as a case study. Without a doubt, social media have revolutionalized the practice and performance of Public relations at all levels to include its uses in local government administration in Nigeria. The study was anchored on Technological Determinism Theory and Grunig and Hunt Model. The research method adopted for this research was a survey in which one hundred and fifty (150) questionnaires were administered to the respondents within Osogbo local government secretariat and community while 130 copies of the questionnaire were correctly filled and returned. The finding shows that social media is still in its infancy as it is very low in adoption compared to traditional mass media in local government ADMINISTRATION. It was recommended that if the Information Department of the local government is fully equipped with personnel and materials, it will go a long way in integrating social media into local government activities.
social media in local government
1.1 Background to the Study
In the last few years, the social media phenomenon has become increasingly entertaining across the world. Social media is a type of online media that expedites conversation as opposed to traditional media, which delivers content but doesn’t allow readers viewers/listeners to participate in the creation or development of the content. There is a wide variety of social media ranging from social sharing sites such as YOUTUBE and Flicker through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Today, the world boasts of several emergent brand names that were practically unknown six to seven years ago Face book which was founded by a 26years old same years ago now has a following of over 300million that include Nigerian President Good luck Jonathan others are Twitter, Chatter, linked in, Yammer to mention but few. In addition to social networking sites like Face book the average man have access to blogging sites and could indeed, from the comfort of his home set up his own blog.
The sheer ability to broadcast instantaneously without needing the series of a third party has been very liberating to many people. A good number of people have been very excited about the possibility of sharing their views, their lives, dislikes and indeed everything about them in the media.
However, individuals are not the only ones tapping into the limitless possibilities of social networking sites. A number of corporate organizations are using social networks to publicize production, services and even deploy promotional activities. This has also caused uproar in the world of advertising. Advertising can be done with relatively less funding and yet attain a mass reach with social media. It is much easier to find your target audience direct your message to them and be adequately sure that they will see it.
Aside from connecting loved ones, social media avails the everyday man, a public and somewhat inexpensive medium of expression citizen journalism has become more effective and more rampant in the world today due to the rapid growth of social media. It is the active participation of ordinary citizens in the gathering and disseminating of newsworthy events. The main focus of this research work is to measure the role of social media in bringing about a communication revolution in Nigeria which by virtue of its role the world has begun to view social networking sites as a source of reliable news.
There is a wide variety of social media of communication both formats and delivery methods. There is also a wide array of communication and how we use these social vehicles. In the era of social media, the sphere of communication has expanded significantly in recent years who you communicate with or how you communicate has changed radically. This new connected era brings both opportunities and challenges; one of that social media communication is e-mail. With an email, public interactions are a great starting point for engagement and head to more fruitful direct communication. It allows for more in-depth communication, it can be easily forwarded and sent to numerous people at once. When an e-mail is used skillfully it enables deeper communication.
Other social media of communication is Twitter, and Facebook, which is apparently the best network. For example, Facebook users are primarily interested in conservation, connections and sharing between both individuals and organizations. One of the most recent evolutions in social media communication is the websites, its web-based mode of dialogue that uses a wide array of tools and other applications to encourage communication between individuals, corporations, non – profits and other organizations. Other varieties of social media of communication are Blogs, Forums, Microblogging, Podcasts, Image sharing, Video, Socio bookmaking, Social Networking Sites etc.
It is against this backdrop that the research investigated the role of social media in Local Government Administration in Nigeria with a particular reference to Osogbo Local Government, Osun State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This research has observed that in so many organizations, management neither recognizes nor appreciate social media efforts. The management, individuals, or government institution does not realize the potential of social media activities in building and enhancing a good image for the success of the institution. It has been observed that the management’s attitude is lukewarm and non-challant towards media department or unit and it activities.
Besides, they don’t want to spend money on its activities such as organizing seminars, workshops, symposium e. t. c. Therefore, this study investigated the role of social media in Local Government Administration in Nigeria with a particular reference to Osogbo Local Government, Osun State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To know the impact of social media in the society.
- To examine if social media has helped Oshogbo Local government in building and maintaining a mutual understanding between the council top management and its various publics.
1.4 Research Questions
- Do social media have impact on the society?
- To what extent has social media helped Osogbo Local government in building and maintaining a mutual understanding between the council top management and its various publics?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The research will benefit a lot of individuals, institution, local government and other organization. Few among the beneficiaries include undergraduates and graduates of mass communication and social media including the public relations practitioners.
Local Government Community: One of the beneficiaries of this work is local government community which include all the departments to know the role of PR and how to relate with PR for effective performance
Academic World: The work will form part of the academic world if completed that other academician and students can use as a reference point.
1.6 Scope of the Study
With the selection of Osogbo local government as a case study, this project work has been limited because visiting all local government cannot be possible.
However, the demography of the staff and management of Osogbo local government examined such as: age, working experience, academic qualification considered before the distribution of questionnaires.
1.7 Operational Definition of the Terms
Impact: This is synonymous to functions or contributions of public relations to local government easy administration.
Social media: This is the social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks.
Local government: This is third ties of government such as Osogbo local government.
Administration: This is concerned with organizing, managing and coordinating the affairs and activities of an organization.