PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF THE REBRANDING NIGERIA PROJECT IN SOUTH WEST NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

The study examines the influence of public relations in rebranding Nigeria taking into consideration public perception in this regard. The objectives are to determine if rebranding is relevant; to assess the extent rebranding can help Nigeria in her foreign investments drive; to examine how Nigeria is rated in the world; and to evaluate the extent, public relations can be used in rebranding Nigeria. The research used the theory of socio -cultural model and rational model of persuasion, adopted the survey research method with the stratified random sampling technique to choose a sample size of one hundred (100). Data were collected through the questionnaires. The findings reveal that public relations will be very instrumental in mobilizing the grass roots and get them involved in the rebranding project through the use of excellent persuasive medium; removing all barriers to accessing governmental information by both local and international media; and restoration of national loyalty among the publics through creation of mutual lines of communication and understanding between the public and the government. The research concludes that public relations is very essential in nations' branding or rebranding process and recommends that professionals should be given freehand or the autonomy to implement the rebranding Nigeria project. The study further recommends that the Nigerian populace should be carried along in the rebranding efforts of the government by providing infrastructural facilities to the people.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title
Table of Content
Abstract

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background Of Study
1.2       Research Objectives
1.3       Research Questions
1.4       Significance
1.5       Definition of terms
            References

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1       Focus of Review
2.2.1    Meaning of Public Relations
2.2.2    History of Rebranding
2.2.3    Branding
2.2.4    Place of Branding
2.2.5    Rebranding Nigeria Project: An Overview
2.2.6    Rebranding: Lessons from Nigeria
2.2.7    The Role of Public Relations in Rebranding Nigeria
2.3       Theoretical Framework
2.3.1    The Socio-cultural Model
2.3.2    The Rational Model
2.3.3    Review of Empirical Studies
            References

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1       Methodology Focus
3.2       Research Design
3.3       Population of Study
3.4       Sample Size
3.5       Research Instrument
3.6       Method of Data Analysis
            References

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.1       Introduction
4.2       Data Presentation and Analysis

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1       Summary
5.2       Conclusion
5.3       Recommendations
            Bibliography
            Appendix

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1        Background of Study
Branding and Rebranding are two closely related marketing techniques traditionally associated with products and services. Recently, these marketing techniques (rebranding and branding) have been imported by some countries in their bid to market their cities, services and regions to the rest of the globe to increase their international profile, attract or improve their foreign direct investments and earnings from tourism and trade. Agba, Ushie, and Akwara (2009) observe that the Nigerian government through the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation launched the Nigeria Image Project in July 2004, following in the footsteps of some other African States which had launched similar image campaigns such as Uganda’s “Gifted by Nature” campaign, and “Proudly South African” image programme.


Over the past years, the country’s image has become worse. Nigerians as a whole have been branded thieves, 419ers and all sorts. This incidence has a lot of problems on the country’s international image. Nigerians have been associated with various crimes and other social vices both at home and abroad. For a country suffused in moral decadence in public offices where criminals have become celebrities and protection of corrupt people from justice has become a direct policy of state. Over the years, Nigeria is being identified as the headquarters of cybercrime, popularly known as yahoo-yahoo all over the world which has given the country a denting image, advanced fee fraud is also one o f the activities of some Nigerians particularly among the few who have left the shores of the country to seek greener pasture abroad. And the pitiable thing about this is that the activities of these few bad elements are giving the country bad name.

No nation can be a tourist destination without first paying attention to the issue of security. More than any other economic activity, the success or failure of tourism destination depends on being able to provide a safe and secure environment for visitors. Considering the prevailing state of insecurity in Nigeria, coupled with unprecedented insurrection by the Boko Haram sect, many have argued that the industry has not fared well in the last few years, aggravated by a terrible image problem. However, the opinion that all Nigerians are thieves, 419ers, fraudsters, could be proved wrong, by carefully adopting the procedures of rebranding Nigeria through public relations.

In pursuit of this, the Yar'Adua-led democratic administration through the Minister of Information and Communication initiated a Public Relations project of healing the national wound of the country and psychological re-organization of perceptions of Nigerians, the government and its policies by the international community, with the aim of stimulating the interest of Nigerians in the ideals of nationhood.

The media, among others, is a focal point for public relations and brand building. Rebranding never ends, it’s on going in every interaction. Hence, the need of this project is to reveal the role of public relations in rebranding Nigeria to renew its poor image, encourage investment and partnership that will aggravate developmental growth in both human resource and infrastructure facilities to make Nigeria a country to be reckoned with in the committee of nations.

1.2        Statement of Problem
Nigeria as a brand has suffered so much and most people who have come into contact with Nigeria are skeptical about patronizing the country as a product. This is as a result of the negative connotation attached to the product called Nigeria. Truly, the country has been in a mess over the years and this is as a result of the experience of some Nigerians involved in the ‘brand Nigeria” project; culminated into psychological issue of the brand which is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people and consists of all the information and expectations associated with the Nigerian people.
Scholars, research analysts and communication experts have continued the debate over what really rebranding is. The general publics are also at a loss on the relevance of public relations in the quest to rebrand and help shore up her foreign investments drive. There is no doubt that the image of Nigeria has suffered serious blow in the past years. But what is the present rating of Nigeria’s image in the world? If there is need to correct the various ills of the Nigerian society is public relations the right tool to achieve this?

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