THE ROLE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS IN COMMUNITY BANKING
The banking industry is a service oriented one. For any service to be desired, there must be a conscious need for it, such a need must be generated by the knowledge of its ability to satisfy customers, requirement
Generally, community Banks are run on the basis of profits motive, and they all know the importance of public consent to their continued existence and survival. People are generally influenced by their belief and impression of certain banks and how they perceive these banks determines the way they will patronize them.
A Community Bank should strive to make plans on how they expect to be perceived by the members of the public, and this image can be communicated through the services offered by the bank; the attitude of the bank’s employees as well as the activities came out by the bank. Since “reputation” is very important in a bank’s growth, the role of public relations cannot be under-estimated. At best its practice and importance are recognized more as a useful effective tool of corporate image promotion.
The attitude of the Public towards an organization will determine its credibility. These attitudes could be positive or negative depending on how the organization earns the reputation or image it deserves.
Public relations, which is a two-way communication process involves working with public opinion. Public relations experts or bridge builders attempt to influence public opinion in a way that is positive to the Babnk they are working for. It is the responsibility of the public relations expert to disseminate information on what the Bank does and how it does it.
The basic tool for public relations is “communication”. Sequel to this, a public relation personnel must endeavor first to know what the public opinion is through research, how to uphold, correct or change such opinion (planning); after the communication an evaluation of the campaign is necessary for feedback.
Nowadays community Banks generally strive to be seen as efficient and effective”. Based on this fact, they either set up their own in-house public relations department or employ the services of successful Public Relations Consultancy Firms to polish their image.
On the other hand, some community bank seem to ignore the importance of public relation practice, a specially when such community bank enjoy the patriotism of the community where it serves.
With the Nnebuife community bank Nigeria limited (NCB), still waxing stronger after over seven years of existence, this study will to a great extent show how the bank has been able to build it customers’ confidence through public relation.
The project work is also to fund out how public relation is practiced at the Nnebuife Community Bank Nigeria Limited, and the means the Bank employ to0 achieve an efficient communication with it relevant public.
1.1 BACK GROUND OF THE STUDY
The history of Nnebuife community Bank Nigeria Limited, Enugu could be traced back to 31st may, 1995 when it was issued a provisional License by the corporate Affairs commission Abuja to undertake banking service for the members of the public.
The Bank commerce full business transaction and operations in August, 1997 with a handful of customer patromsing the Bank, and the number of shareholders is quite encouraging.
It started with an authorized capital of five million Naira (5,000,000.00). As at the time of this research, the share capital has been increased to Ten Million Naira (N 10,000,000.00) by the corporate Affair Commission in collaboration with the National Board for Community Banks (NBCB).
Nnebuife Community Bank has Men and Women of good reputation and unquestionable character of the helm of its affair and at the top management levels, hence it continuous survival in the midst of the economic devitalisation engrossing the nation and it populace.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Like any other business enterprise, Nnebuife Community Bank concern is profit maximization. Pursuit of this objective, it is very essential that the Bank put motion some public relation strategy in achieving mutual understanding and good relationship between the Bank and its customer.
Since profit maximization, and good relationship with the Bank’s public are desirable, the public relation practitioner or whosoever is responsible must work hand in hand in achieving the primary objectives of the Bank. And to achieve the primary objectives of the Bank, it is necessary to investigate the following:
(a) How is public relations practiced at the Nnebuife Community Bank (Nig) Ltd?
(b) Does the Bank have good and functional public relation s policy?
(c) How is the public relations policy implemented?
(d) How does the public relation officer relate to the public / customers of the Bank?
(e) What does the public perception of the Bank look like?
1.3 THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.
The purpose the study is to find out:
1 How Public relation is practiced at the Nnebuife Community Bank
2 The Procedure the Bank employs to achieve efficient and effective communication with its Public.
3 To justify the need for effective Public relation as a mean for goodwill and Customers satisfaction.
4 The effect of the Bank Public relation strategy o its customers.
The study will cover the activities of the Public relation or of the general service unit of the Nnebuife Community Bank Nigeria limited.
The study centers on Nnebuife Community Bank in order to carry out research finding on the staff and customers of the bank or customers of the bank perceive the image of the Bank
This study is exploratory. Thus, it only answered series of research question. Most available studies have concentrated on the role of public relation in Nnebuife Community Bank, and how it functions between the staff, customers and the management.
It answered the following research questions:
1 What are the reasons for embarking on public relation practies by Nnebuife Community Bank?
2 Is there a discernibly pattern for the practice of public relation in Nnebuife Community Bank?
3 Does the public relation programme help in promoting the image of the Bank to its various publics/customers?
4 What method does the Bank employ achieving effective and efficient Communication with its public?
5 Is the public relation practice in NCB (nig) ltd a management function?
6 How does public relation practice influence the public of the NCB (Nig) ltd toward perception of the image of the Bank?
1.6 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
Th8e significance of this study is to show how Nnebuife Community Bank Nigeria Limited has been able to use public relation to win its cuotomers confidence. The study will further help to educate other Community Bank on the essence of embarking on public relation practice, using Nnebuife Community Bank as a yardstick because of the achievement ht r Bank has gained through public relation effort.
1.7 DIFINITION OF TERMS
This is a function or part in life or in any event. In order words, it is a function or part assumed by any person or thing
Cutlip, Broom and Center (1985) states that Public is the group of the people bound together by some common interest that is specific to them.
Chambers concise 20th Century Dictionary defined public as a group of people bound together by a common interest that is specific to them and their situation
This is a contract, communication etc, which exist between people, countries, industries, and organization etc
The British Institute of Public Relation defined Public relation “ as a deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its public.
World Book 2001 Dictionary defined Public relation as the activities of the organization, institution, or individual that are designed to win the favour of the general Public and purpose.
The action or the process of doing something. In this context, Public relation Practice means the actual duties toward achieving goodwill and to safeguard the reputation of an organization
It is a financial institution that accepts and keeps money for the member of the public. It is also store other valuable items such as gold, jewel lies and other important document for a certain of money.
A Community Bank is a financial institution which is normally owned by the member of Community or by a group of people. They carry out all financial service rendered by community Bank, like accepting deposits, (current, Saving or deposits accounts). They equally grant loans to members of the community and their other customers and transfer demand deposit among customers and bank when ordered or instructed to do so by their customers through the use of Bank cheque. Since they have other commercial bank as correspondent Banks, they can invest in interest earning financial assets.
This is the character or attribute of a person or institution as perceived by the general public. It is the totality of the perception, views, expectation that a given public has on the services or products of an organization or institution.
This is the feelings or estimation toward another person or organization.
This could be defined as a method disposition to respond positively or negatively to a given situation, object, person or product. It is a manner of feeling and behaving.
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