PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF THE CORPORATE IMAGE MANAGEMENT OF THE NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION

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ABSTRACT


The establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was to provide a sustainable development in the Niger Delta region after failed attempts by various past agencies in tackling the problems accruing in the region. This failure by past agencies has not only caused underdevelopment but has also brought about poverty and suffering to people living in the region. This unfavourable situation prompted the researcher to find out the public perception on the corporate image management of the NDDC in the three selected oil-producing states in the region - Abia, Bayelsa and Rivers. The study was anchored on the Corporate Social Responsibility Theory. The survey research method was used to generate and collect data for the study. The four research questions which also received statistical support revealed that the public is aware of the Commission and the purpose of its establishment by the federal government in the region. After 13 years of its existence, the NDDC does not have a favourable corporate image in the region as there are some factors such as corruption, bad policies that have hindered public satisfaction with the commission. Even though the commission has tried using various strategies in tackling the problems, it still has not been able to improve its battered image as it has not lived up to the expectations of the people. The study therefore suggest that the Niger Delta Development Commission tackle the issue of corruption that rocks its commission and should involve communities in their development programmes that are aimed at improving the corporate image management of the NDDC in the region so as to help them achieve its mandate.

TABLE OF CONTENT

Title Page
Table of Content
List of Tables

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background of the Study
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Objective of the Study
1.4       Research Questions
1.5       Significance of the Study
1.6       Scope of the Study
1.7       Definition of Terms
            References

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.0       Focus of Review
2.1       The Concept of Public Relations
2.2       Corporate Image Management
2.2.1 Public Relations and Corporate Image Management
2.2.2 Corporate Image Formation Process
2.3       CSR as a strategy for Image Management
2.4       The Niger Delta Development Commission
2.5       Empirical Review
2.6       Theoretical Framework
            References

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1       Research Design
3.2       Population of the Study
3.3       Sample Size
3.4       Sampling Technique
3.5       Instrument for Data Collection
3.6       Validity of the Instrument
3.7       Reliability of the Instrument
3.8       Method of Data Collection
3.9       Method of Data Analysis
            References

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.1       Data Presentation
4.2       Analysis of Research Questions
4.3       Qualitative Analysis
4.4       Discussion and Interpretation of Findings

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1       Summary
5.2       Conclusion
5.3       Recommendations
5.4       Limitations of the Study
            Bibliography

Appendix

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study
For any organisation to survive, continuous public support and approval are essential. Whatever programme, activity or policy, which affects the public, definitely requires some form of public support, acceptance, recognition and patronage for it to be successful.

One very important development of the twentieth century is that Public Relations has been recognized and accepted as a useful tool for corporate image management and a vital communication link in any organised society. Consequently, the process of maintaining corporate image remains one of the topmost priorities of every organisation if it must remain in business and be in existence, as the success of every organisation is largely dependent on the perception of its public. It is more challenging, when the effort is geared towards correcting a longstanding view on image, especially negative ones.

The effectiveness of public relations as a tool for corporate image management cannot be overemphasized. According to Ogunsanya (1991), good image can only be earned through effective management of resources, industrial harmony and societal acceptance. (p.19)


Every organisation, irrespective of its size and purpose of establishment, has a corporate image to protect and project. For an organisation to survive in the face of competition and stay in touch with the world, the corporate image of such an organisation becomes an important issue. When this image is designed and managed properly, it reflects precisely to a large extent the level of the organisation’s commitment to excellence and relationships with both current and potential customers, employees and the general public.
Nweke (2001), argued that no matter how good, beautiful, appealing or inviting a corporate identity may be, and even with rapid application of the force of communication, without genuine supportive good deeds, such an identity can hardly lead to the realization of the desired positive impressions (p.219). Good deeds are thus the bedrock of effective public relations.

According to Belch and Belch (2001), many corporations enhance their public image through involvement in the affairs of local communities (p.587). Through the aid of public relations activities, organizations engage in campaigns that make them acceptable and position their image positively. Public relations is saddled with the daunting and arduous task of achieving a favourable image for an organisation and become a vital tool in the hands of management. Public relations is often times misunderstood and under-valued, most people see it as a form of advertising while others see it as a management tool that deals with sending out press releases. Public Relations if properly used, play a central role in the achievement of specific objectives at all levels of an organisation’s work by focusing, reinforcing and communicating an effective message. Public Relations is an excellent and cost effective method of improving the image of an individual, organisation or product. It ensures that your publics receive and accept the message projected.


Ironically, public relations has become one of the much-talked about but less understood professions. The abuse and misuse of the profession comes from the use of the concept of Public Relations to mean bribery and corruption and even to represent negative propaganda. Public Relations, far from being a form of bribery are planned programmes based on truth, with the sole aim of influencing positively public attitude and support for an organisation. It is concerned with all programmes aimed at cultivating and sustaining good image relationship between an organisation and its publics. A well executed public relations strategy is a long-term activity that builds favourable relationship between an organisation and its publics.
The British Institute of Public Relations (IPR), defined public relations as “the deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics”. Public relations is anticipatory, the effort to attain set objectives must not only be planned but continuous and sustained over time as this is the only way the desirable image can be built in the minds of the publics.

The view of the publics about an organisation goes a long way in telling the level of acceptability of that organisation to its numerous public. Corporate image management are terms enshrined in Public Relations as there can be no image management without Public Relations.

Public relations entail the sharing and conveying of adequate meaning and understanding between an organisation and its diverse publics. It produces, holds, asserts, maintains, sustains and propels the image of an organisation.

The creation and maintenance of corporate image of an organisation is the desirable overall result of Public Relations activity, creating the climate which aids achievements of its corporate objective and is concerned with its own management. Nnayelugo Okoro (1999), posited that: “The image making business is not a chance affair. And before you can make someone to feel and look good, you have to feel and look good yourself. You cannot give what you don’t have” (p.V). Image is not only everything but it is everything in public relations as our image is the result of what we think, what we say and what we do.
Public relations therefore, demand a commitment to excellence and an effective and efficient application of innovative communications skills in the process of presenting a favourable corporate image of an organisation to the target public. The interest of the publics must at all times be put into consideration if the organisation must have a sound reputable image. Public Relations.....

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