This study focused on the impact of effective public relations practice in the marketing of banking service in Enugu metropolis. A case study of zenith bank plc operating in Enugu state. It aims at identifying the areas of potential problems in order o enable corrective measure to be taken. Although zenith bank plc maintains a corporate affairs department that performs public relation functions, yet the management is not happy because the bank does not have good image in the opinion of its customers. It was based on this that the research decided to embark on the present study, with the following objective in mind to determine whether zenith bank considers as important the public relations policy of the organization as strategic. To determine whether zenith bank communicate effectively major policy issues to its publics. To ascertain and discuss whether public relations activities of the bank has any significant impact on the existence, growth profitability an survival of the bank. Construction of the questionnaire and the formulation of other items. The questionnaires was meant for two categories of respondents as follows. The staff and management of zenith bank , the customers of the bank. The questionnaire was structured to contain both the multiple choices and the open ended questions. Major findings of the study were also obtained. The study concludes that effective public relations is a necessary ingredient for the survival and continued relevance of an organization
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The success of an organization can be derived from the efficiency and effectiveness of its own resources .public relation is one of the most difficult concepts to define .This is because it seems so easy to understand but yet quite difficult to describe in practical terms .Also many people including public relation practitioners believe they have the best understanding of the concept and so have come up with many different definition of the concept. Some organizations can do well with minimum resources but there are others which do not do well even with abundant resources, human, financial and material resources. The differences between these organizations depend on the method of allocation of resources and the use to which they are put as a result. The importance of resources management in achieving organizational success cannot be under estimated. And so, the need for planning arises. Planning is the part of management process that attempt to define the organizations future.[DALTON 2006] Said that planning is the process by which managers examine their internal and external environment , as fundamental questions, goals and objections [LVANCEVICHET 2004] Simply put , planning as the process of determing organizational objectives and identifying the ways and means of realizing them . Since the objectives are derived from plans, organizations are bound to set objectives so that they can in the long-run, achieve corporate goals and objectives. It is in this perspective of achieving corporate goals and objective that public relations is a half-way house between transforming corporate objectives into corporate goals .This is why public relations practitioners are always on the lookout for time bombs and landmines .Therefore, the first assignment of the corporate affairs people [department] in any organization is to have full grasp of an organization objectives. Having done this, it helps them to use relevant public relations strategies and tactics to achieve a corporate culture that is profit driven.
All over, whether private or public companies, organizational first aim is to make profit. This is because profit maximization is the core of a business, this claim is justified by the fact that most companies that have not been able to break even, talk more of making profits, have gone under .To this extent, profit maximization is a way of measuring efficiency, just as it ensures the sustainability of the company . Since good public relation can be a catalyst to profit making, the public relation unit of an organization as an engine room of corporate reputation of their organizations are saddled with the responsibility of not only creating sales, but also of making customers and sustaining them. And so, public relations professionals have no choice than to dabble into market research, branding, advertising and other promotional campaigns. As such public relation people are always in the vanguard of finding out how customers could be better served. As the Chinese saying goes,’’ A man without a smiling face must not open a shop’ in a nutshell, customers care is all that it takes to keep business flourishing no matter the size of the business. Consequently, the public relations unit has the responsibility of ensuring that its organization is a good corporate citizen and is socially responsible to the community in which it is situated. The central argument here is that companies which is widely accepted by their host communities is likely to translate the collective patronage of the host communities’ assistance as well as that of other customers, into revenue. It is common knowledge that some business organizations which paid up service to their host communities has left in their trail adverse, social and political consequences which effects snow-balled into negative publicity of unimaginable dimensions. In some cases, these organizations have been made to retreat rather than forward .This study is aimed at exploring the impact of effective public relation on marketing of banking services in Enugu metropolis. In the banking sectors the banks needs their customers to remain relevant in business and ensure the sustainability of customers patronage, the bank image must be maintained through stimulating quality customer services and creating good public relations. It is in this sense that public relation automatically became the basic foundation for organization, particularly bank in this age of global completion that strive towards profit maximization and marketing expansion of banking services.