Monday, December 27, 2010

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AS A PUBLIC RELATIONS TOOL FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT


4th Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (Lagos State Chapter) PR Annual
Essay Competition, 2008.


INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AS A PUBLIC
RELATIONS TOOL FOR NATIONAL
DEVELOPMENT


By: Jennifer Ehidiamen, The Nigeria Institute of Journalism (NIJ) 2008.
 
Communication scholars Gasher and Lorimeter in the book “Communications
Technology and Society; Theory and Practice wrote:
We depend on technology for our communications with others- whether they are just a house or two away or halfway around the world. In the second half of the 20th Century, it became almost impossible to live without a telephone and now we hardly live without personal computers through which we gain Internet access and send and receive e-mail. The reality of new communications technology is that anyone is able to get in touch with anyone else, anywhere, at any time…”

Public Relation (PR) is a much misunderstood and under-valued management tool. To many people, PR is another form of advertising while others dismiss it as dealing with Journalists and sending out press releases (Daramola 2003:251).
But Public relations is more than that. The editors of PR news (1947) New York define Public Relations as “the management function, which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest and plans and executes a programme of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.”
 
During the International Conference of Public Relations in Mexico in 1978, World Assembly of Public Relations Practitioners defined public relations as “the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organization leaders and implementing planned programmes of action which will
serve both the organization’s and the public interest.”

“Public relations is the art and science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences…” this shows that public relation is a deliberately planned and sustained effort concern with relationship that involves an in-depth research.

“Implementing planned programme of action…” this imply that public relations does not just engage in lip service but they actually work to effect physical action.

“Serve both the organization’s and publics’ interest…” this is to emphasize that public relations creates a conducive environment that foster relationship between an organization and its public. It seeks common ground of mutual interest void of conflict.

According to Daramola (2003), the purpose of public relations is “to create goodwill, understanding and awareness…of an organization or institution by using the PR techniques of persuasion, information and education to project the organization to its public…”

Public relations is concern with improving mutual understanding within an organization as well as between organization and its publics. It directs a deliberate effort towards improving communication between the people and organizations to broaden its sphere of influence through appropriate advertising, publicity and other form of communication to create a good image.

Public Relation (PR) professionals serve in government organizations as well as private sector as a significant field communication in Nigeria. Serving its role of management function within and outside these organizations. To meet the demands of the rapidly changing world, PR needs to employ an effective method that will enable it achieve its objectives, thus, the importance of information technology.

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34 comments:

Fiona said...

“Public Relation (PR) is a much misunderstood and under-valued management tool.” This is so true. Even until now, people have misconceptions when receiving and reading one as they think it is as form of advertisement. Click here and you'll know it isn't just that.

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Alicia Austin said...

Great stuff again Jennifer! I work in PR in South Shore MA, and I really enjoyed it.

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