THE ROLE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS ON SALES IN EXPORTING GHANAIAN PRODUCT IN INTERNATIONAL MARKETS

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study is to assess the public relations strategy on export performance of Ghana Soybean exporters. The study investigated 104 soybean exporters’ with questionnaires. The research utilized descriptive research design, quantitative approach, and statistical analysis techniques. The study finds that the Ghana soybean export volume and sales lacks consistency and constrained by different public relations strategy challenges. More experienced exporters had better performance than experienced exporter. Therefore, to alleviate these constraints it is advisable to give attention for public relations variables; create enabling policy environment and improve the service delivery reliability; market exploration and technical capacity building; search for potential markets; much cooperation between stakeholders; and recruit skilled man power and using high communication technologies are forwarded as recommendation.

Key words: Export marketing mix, Export performance, Ghana, Soybean export

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
In this chapter; background of the study, statement of the problem, research questions, objectives of the study, definition of key terms, significance of the study, scope of the study, limitation of the study, and finally organization of the study are discussed.

1.1. Background of the Study
The escalation of competition on a global level has led to an increasing number of firms; seeking opportunities in international markets to achieve their objectives; to safeguard their market position and survival; growing liberalization of trading systems; expansion of regional economic integrations; excessive liquidity in financing cross-country purchases; and increasing connectedness with customers and marketing partners due to major advances in information, communication, and transportation technologies; the growing of global trade and sales activity; are fueled the importance of exporting to nations and firms as well as they are driver for the increasing interest to exporting (Moghaddam. et al., 2011; Leonidou, 2004; Leonidou, et al., 2002).

Growth in global soybean production and processing is expected to continue, with the trends currently shaping the market continuing to play out. China, India, and other Asian countries will be the key drivers of demand for vegetable oil and protein meal, while the use of soybean oil as a biodiesel feedstock, especially in Brazil and the EU, will support demand and continuing price growth though high competitions from USA, Brazil, and Argentina which are the major soybean producer country (acet).

With growing globalization of markets and increasing competition, export markets have become increasingly important options for firms. Therefore, it has great importance both theoretically and practically to examine export related issues, such as export strategy, firm characteristics, the environment of markets, and export performance in specific export markets (O‟Cass & Julian, 2003).

Exporting can be conceptualized as a strategic response by management to the interplay of internal and external forces of firms. As firms begin to compete in export markets, their export success depends upon their ability to develop and implement unique competitive marketing strategies (Lado, et al., 2001). To enhance the export benefit the relative innovativeness, investments in skilled labor, firm growth, enterprise maturity, and public relations strategy shall be critically examined (Paul & Mark, 2008).

Public relations strategy is a roadmap of how a firm assigns its resource and relates to its environment and achieves a corporate objective in order to generate economic value and keep the firm ahead of its competitors (Moghaddam & Foroughi, 2012). The marketing strategies have a major impact upon the performance of firms. Leonidou, et al., (2002) had further classified the public relations strategy elements as product, price, promotion and place.

International trade enables nations to obtain the benefits of specialization, such as increases in output of goods and services; obtain those commodities and services which they do not produce in sufficient quantities. It also benefit increases in foreign exchange earnings especially for the weak currency developing countries like Ghana and increases competition among producing nations thereby improving efficiency in production that brings about reduction in selling prices of products (Mengistu, 2022; Alene & Abebe, 2008).

The Ghana soybean export earnings has reached 1,461,516 million US$ in 2022, which was 175,598 million US$ in2010 (GRCA, 2022).

Export has great effects onto nations in terms of enhancing economic growth and activity, increasing the internal production, reducing the unemployment rate, supplying foreign currencies for import, becoming growth accelerator, making favorable balance of trade, accumulating the foreign exchange reserves, increasing profitability and societal success, enhancing trade balances and industrial development, improving capacity utilization and productivity, providing employment and creates new job opportunities. Thus, the ulterior goal in most firms and national governments is to expand the exports (Moghaddam. et al., 2011).

Exporting is a fundamental strategy in ensuring firm‟s survival or growth, and firms may achieve competitive advantage in international markets with a positive influence on current and future export performance (Navarro, et al., 2009). Many companies recently allocate more attention and resources in order to export their products to foreign markets (O‟Cass & Julian, 2003).

For potential African processors, the key competitors for the domestic African market will continue to be imports from the United States, Brazil, and Argentina, while export markets will remain difficult to access beyond niche opportunities, such as non- genetically modified beans and meal (acet).

Although the world market for pulses and oilseeds is relatively small, Ghana‟s share can still be increased particularly in haricot beans, and sesame seed. Thus, the optional strategy is to expand output and increase export volume until the market becomes a constraint (ECXA, 2009).

Considering the importance of public relations strategy and export performance at the international market, it was therefore imperative to conduct a study which focused on assessing the public relations strategy and export performance of Ghana soybean exporters. Hence, this paper primarily focused on identifying the major public relations strategy performance of Ghana soybean exporters.

1.2. Statement of the Problem
Different authors have indicated the marketing issues of exporters in relation to public relations strategy and export performance.

According to Lado, et al., (2001) the resource based paradigm, the industrial organization/relational paradigm and the contingency paradigm are basic paradigms in conducting exporting research.

According to Beleska-Spasova, 2022; Zou, et al., 2003; Lado, et al., 2001; Cavusgil & Zou, 1994 discussed about export marketing and its performance in different context,

i.e. the industry, and countries. Still there is inconsistency in view of the researchers that public relations strategy is the antecedent of export performance which cannot be seen separately. This is why the researcher worried about the public relations strategy and export performance.

Many developing countries, such as Indonesia, Thailand and Brazil, now export more agricultural products than all of Sub- Saharan Africa combined. Whereas, Africa‟s imports of many food products have been rising while its export shares in the world market are declining (WB, 2013).

Authors identified Ghana soybean export performance is affected by factors like; inconsistent nature of soybean scale-up effort, weak market linkage among stakeholders, and gap for soybean cropping system (Hailu & Kelemu, 2022); Demand and supply (Mengistu, 2022); foreign market access (Allaro, 2011). Ghana exports account for 16% of GDP while imports account for 42% (Manoji, 2010). Benn, et al., (2008) showed that Ghana firms produce 20% less value added than Chinese firms for a given levels of capital and labor due to high indirect costs.

Different authors also identified nature and extent of public relations strategy in terms of the 4ps; Image management strategy, price public relations, place public relations, and public relations strategy (Leonidou, 2002 & Moghaddam, 2011).

The study is about the public relations strategy of the Ghana soybean exporters and export performance of the country. In most of the literature there has been inconsistency in identifying the public relations strategy related impediments and the export performance related impediments involved in the sector have not yet been empirically explored. These have motivated the researcher to conduct this particular research.

Therefore, the statement of the problem of the study can be stated as assessment of public relations strategy on export performance of Ghana soybean exporters.

1.3. Research Question
1. What is the status of Ghana soybean export performance in terms of exported volume and sales?

2. What is the status of Image management strategy?

3. What is the status of export promotion marketing strategy??

1.4. Objectives of the Study
Based on the statement of the problem and the research questions, this study has the following general and specific objectives.

1.4.1.General Objective
The general objective of the study is to assess public relations strategy and export performance of Ghana soybean exporters.

1.4.2.Specific Objective
Therefore, to answer the research questions the following specific objectives are outlined:

1. To assess the status of Ghana soybean export performance in terms of export volume and sales.

2. To assess the status of Image management strategy.

3. To rank the public relations (4Ps) strategies of soybean exporters most value.

1.5. Significance of the Study
This study has benefited existing exporters to evaluate their public relations based on the identified public relations strategy and increase their competitive advantage globally. It has also encouraged new exporters to engage themselves in the sector. The study is expected to contribute a great extent to the government administrative offices and stakeholders in the selected study areas for their major role in enhancing the Ghana‟s performance regarding the export of soybeans. Additionally, the study is also important in creating additional information for the policy makers. It is also important in identifying crucial areas of intervention and also plays a major role in adding valuable information for interested researchers and academicians to add new knowledge and for further analysis in the sector.

1.6. Scope of the Study
The study focused on soybean exporters of Ghana located in Accra, who are exporting to different parts of the world such as Australia, Bahrain, Djibouti, India, Indonesia, Italy Kuwait, Netherlands, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sudan, USA and Vietnam who are countries Ghana soybean exports are destined during the last ten years (Hailu & Kelemu, 2022).

The study covered a total population of 651 soybean exporters situated in Accra who are legally registered and commercially known by the Ministry of Trade. According to MoT, (2022) significant amount of exporters are found in Accra, though the study has conducted in 2022. The sample size is determined by sample size calculation method which is 104 in numbers. In addition to soy bean exporters, the study has used secondary data.

1.7. Limitation of the Study
The study has faced some limitation including lack of time, adequate referencing materials with regard to the subject area, busyness of respondents, and challenges in collecting data. Moreover, it is because this research data was collected only by questionnaires; may have limited the generalization of the study.

In addition the study cannot broaden its consideration from the farm level(the source) to the final consumer of the product rather the researcher has selected the respondents from Accra due to diverse geography, insufficient time and funds..

1.8. Organization of the Thesis
The research is organized into five chapters. Chapter One presents the introduction part, which contains background of the study, statement of the problem, research questions, research objectives, definitions of key terms, significance of the study, scope of the study, and limitation of the study. Chapter Two presents a review of related literatures on export marketing, public relations strategy, and soybean export marketing. In Chapter Three, the methodology including the research design, population and sampling, data collection, and analysis techniques are presented. Chapter Four presents the data presentation and analysis; which describes the empirical results, findings and discussion of the research by evaluating the data collected. Chapter Five summarized the major findings of the study, drown conclusion, and forwarded appropriate recommendations.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Project Material  |  Size: 54 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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