Financial Public Relations
Integrated Marketing Communications
In-House Staff and
The Public and the
is a purpose for the emergence of every profession in any given society and
environment. So also is the public relations practice in Nigeria, which started
before the country’s independence. According to Fassy Yusuf, (2000) public
relations practice commenced in the country in the early 1940s as a result of
World War II. The country, which was then under the British colony, participated
in the execution of the war. Knowing the importance of information to Nigerians
on happenings in the war front, the government created a Special Information
Centre for that purpose. With this, there was better understanding between the
colonialists and the colonised Nigerians, especially, when the citizenry
realised the necessity of their independence. The centre later metamorphosed
into the Public Relations Department in 1944, when Nigerians were employed to
manage it for better and further information dissemination.
In the private sector, the first company to establish a public relations
department was the United African Company, popularly known as UAC. The unit was
known in 1949 as Information Department. The Nigerian Railways Corporation, a
government parastatal, also established its own unit in 1956 where Dr. Sam
Opelle served as the first public relations officer. The Shell Petroleum
Development Company, then BP, created its own outfit in 1969.
was the effort of people like Sam Opelle, Chief Olu Holloway, Alhaji Ade Thani,
Adewale Fashanu and Mr. Malafa that the first umbrella organisation of public
relations practitioners was established in1963, known as Public Relations
Association of Nigeria (PRAN).
The association was renamed Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in
1969. It was later legally empowered by the Decree 16 of 1990. The decree made
NIPR a chartered body and empowered to determine what standards of knowledge and
skills are to be attained by all persons seeking to become registered members of
the PR profession. The decree was signed through the efforts of past presidents
of the institute which include Chief Alex Akinyele, Chief Bob Ogbuagu, Mr. Mike
Okereke and Alhaji Sabo Mohammed.
first known affiliate of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations is the Public
Relations Consultancy Association (PRCAN), which according to Cajetan
Otuekere-Ubani, was established and inaugurated in 1984 by Major General Tunde
Idiagbon, the then Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters in General Buhari’s
administration. Mr. Toye Ogunmorin was its first president with four consultancy
firms as its pioneer members. They are Bloomel Public Relations Practitioners,
Progan Promotions, Good Contact Public Relations Services and Philips, Johnson
of its aims and objectives are to raise and maintain standards in the practice
of the profession; and to provide facilities for government, public bodies,
professional associations, industrial concerns, financial institutions, social,
cultural and religious organisations. It also aims to improve the relationship
of public relations professionals with employers and clients, with government
and its agencies, with communications media and their agencies.
names have been mentioned of those personalities who are the doyens of public
relations consultancy in Nigeria. Festus Akande confirmed that consultancy
commenced in the late sixties and early seventies with the late Ebun Adesioye,
Dr. Clarkson Majomi, Chief Dotun Okubajo, Mr. Olu Ademulegu, Otunba Kunle Ojora
and Peter Hospdales as the doyens in the practice. He added that all these
practitioners were practising their consultancy service individually with no
merger between them.
is said that as the human society becomes more complex and diversified, the
professions of man become more specialised. In most developed societies, there
are alliances of people of specialised occupation and professions coming
together to form associations for the protection of such concerns. Some emerge
from already existing unions as affiliates.
For instance the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) is another
compartmentalisation with other affiliates like Correspondents Chapel, Finance
Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), Sports Writers Association of
Nigeria (SWAN), National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), etc. In fact,
a further scrutiny reveals that the NUJ itself, according to some quarters, is
just one of those organisations under the umbrella of Nigeria Press Organisation
which includes the Nigerian Guild of Editors and Newspapers Proprietors
Association of Nigeria. The same thing applies to advertising where the
Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) regulates the practice of
the profession with bodies like Association of Advertising Practitioners of
Nigeria (AAPN) and Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) carrying
out their activities under the umbrella of APCON.
Nigerian Institute of Public Relations too witnessed the same situation where
affiliates like the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN),
and Association of Corporate Affairs Managers in Banks (ACAMB), emerged in 1996
and as the case with the latter has the objective of evolving and implementing
strategies to improve and sustain a good image for the nation’s banking
notable researcher who has successfully identified the problems of financial
public relations in reference to the distress in the banking sector is Abubakar
Alhassan who states that the idea behind the emergence of ACAMB was first mooted
by the corporate affairs managers at the 1992 Bank Directors Seminar organised
by Financial Institute Training Center in Abuja. Subsequently, discussions were
made informally among some of the Banks’ Public Relations managers in Lagos.
He continued that the machinery for formal discussion of the idea was set in
motion after a media management seminar held at Badagry also in Lagos in 1996 at
which suggestion for the formation of the
body was extensively discussed. Subsequently, a series of meeting were
held at Eko Hotel, Lagos, during which the PR managers of banks agreed to have
an association. They set out the association’s aims and objectives and also
laid conditions for membership.
of the association is open to all Heads of PR in the banking sub-sector. In
addition, all members of the association must have been duly registered with the
NIPR as required by decree 16 of 1990. A member who ceases to be a PR manager in
the banking industry, has automatically relinquishes the right to membership but
may be considered for Associate membership. There is also the Code of Conduct
for membership, which states, among others, that erring members whose acts
contravene any rule or regulation of the association will be reprimanded.
first Annual General Assembly of ACAMB was held in September 1996, during which
elections were held into offices of the association’s Executive Committee. The
Executives were sworn in during the Committee’s inauguration on 3rd
December, 1996. Those sworn in were Kabir Dangogo,as President; Tunde Thomas,
Vice President; Waheed Olagunju, Secretary General; Aduke Gomez (Ms), Financial
Secretary; Steve Osuji, Publicity Secretary; and Emeka Adio,as Assistant
Secretary General; and five EX-officio members are Abubakar Minjibir, Tony Ede,
Toyin Abayomi-Banjo, Gbade A. Zanda and Ogie Eboigbe.
every serious body must have a legal framework, which is to guide it in its
operation, ACAMB has its constitution and Code of Conduct. As a non-profit
making body established to foster interaction among PR managers of the banking
sub-sector and advise the leadership of the sub-sector on the PR implications of
policies and development, the association is registered under the Companies and
Allied Matters Decree of 1990.
of the objectives of the association include to evolve and implement strategies
to improve and sustain a good image for the nation’s banking industry; educate
the public on relevant banking laws and policies; represent the industry as a
group on public relations matters; promote and protect the interest of the
banking industry as well as carrying out public enlightenment campaigns on
behalf of the industry. It is also intended to promote continuous public
confidence and trust in the nation’s banking industry and to promote
facilities for training the members of the association on banking practice and
other related matters.
future of any business enterprise and corporate institution depends largely on
how it reacts to the hopes, aspirations and demands of its publics.
Considering always the interest of the target public, and working towards
satisfying such interest can as well give an institution a good image. This is
one of the objectives of financial public relations.
need to foster a better business relationship in today’s turbulent environment
characterised by fierce competition and customers who are increasingly aware of
alternatives in terms of services, products and organisations or institutions
that provide them, make financial public relations imperative.
desire of financial institutions to adequately inform their customers is
gradually waxing stronger. Owing to the fact that relentless pursuit of flawless
service is the hallmark of excellence and a better relationship between the
parties involved, is capable of enhancing profitability.
subject financial public relations, became more pronounced in Nigeria recently
due to the parlous state of the economy and the attendant high competition among
financial institutions that either try to win more patronage or seek the
understanding and cooperation of the public.
With the media devoting special pages, columns or introducing
publications on financial and economic activities, with occasional
misrepresentations, there is the compelling need by financial institutions to
handle their public relations activities, including explaining the direction of
the organisation and correcting erroneous impressions, which may have been
created about the organisation.
an emerging concept in public relations, financial public relations is yet to
achieve a broad definition. Terrence Collins in his contribution on the subject
admitted that financial public relations people, suffer from inability to define
their jobs. He added that at its most basic, the scope of financial public
relations in simple investment terms can be considered as “all communications
activity is based around the simple fact that money only has real value as an
investment and that investors are people. Even though this may sound a bit
ambiguous, he made the point in one of his observations that the skills of
financial public relations people is focused on the need for publicly owned and
listed companies to communicate with those that own them directly or indirectly
through the media or city analysts.
on the above, it may not be surprising that Sam Black described the specialised
sector of public relations, which has developed rapidly over the years as
Investor Relations. While he sees its importance in bid, takeover and right
issue situations, he suggested that a Financial Public Relations (FPR)
practitioner must be familiar with the increasing number of disclosure
regulations and insiders’ restrictions applicable to all deals affecting Stock
though financial public relations as a subject is new in Nigeria, it is an
aspect of public relations, which can be understood through a good look at
general public relations principles and practices.
Public relations is defined as a “distinctive management function which
helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding,
acceptance and cooperation between an organisation and its publics.”
inclusion of management functions in the definition explains the reason for the
appointment of public relations officers with the responsibility of operating at
the management level of organisations. Officers
responsible for public relations programmes must, at all times, liaise with the
public of the organisation and act as the middle man in-and-out of the firm, but
not as an errand staff.
Institute of Public Relations (IPR), London states that public relation ‘is
the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual
understanding between an organisation and its publics’.
a distinctive management function, it maintains beneficial line of
communication, cooperation and acceptance between an institution and its
publics. It keeps the management
fully aware of and reacts appropriately to diverse outside opinions while
counseling it to serve the public interest by making purposeful changes toward
ensuring additional public good. It engages in research regularly, including content analysis
of media reports on trends in the environment and uses professional
communication techniques to achieve maximum results.
is in view of these onerous tasks that the International Public Relations
Association (IPRA) defined public relations as a “continuing and planned
character, through which public and private organisations and institutions seek
to win and retain the understanding, sympathy and support of those with whom
they may be concerned by evaluating public opinion about themselves.
(Cited by Duyile 1987)
present, big and small companies make their full and half year financial reports
in more informative ways to attract enough publicity for proper public
understanding. It can therefore, be summed up that financial public relations
addresses issues bordering on capital investment patterns, budgets, economic
forecasts, mergers and acquisitions as well as profit and losses in the most
sophisticated terms for better public understanding.
is confusion by many who substitute public relations practice for marketing and
vice versa. As a result, it is necessary to correct the wrong impression by
knowing the definitions of the two management functions.
according to Kotler (1988) is a social and managerial process by which
individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and
exchanging products and value with one another in harmony and respect.
his part, a pioneer of public relations and author of several publications on
public relations, Sam Black (1996) defined public relations as the art and
science of achieving harmony with the environment through mutual understanding
based on truth and full information.
marketing is specifically targeted at selling a product and commodity, public
relations is aimed at projecting the corporate image of the entire organisation
and indirectly, its products and services.
concepts are interrelated as they aim at satisfying the targeted public. But one
difference is that, whereas marketing managers are much more bottom-line
oriented, public relations practitioners see the job as communication at
on Kotler’s definition, the emphasis in marketing lies in human needs and
wants, which vary from person to person, group-to-group, etc.
Strong desire for particular basic goods and services is normal for
individuals. A human need is
described as a state of felt deprivation of some basic satisfaction.
These needs exist in the very texture of human biology and the human
condition, hence its wants and desire for satisfaction for specific deeper
needs. Human wants are continually
shaped and reshaped by social forces and institutions such as religion, school,
families and business environment, among others.
people satisfy their needs and wants through what they desire, the desires are
the service or product, which can be offered to satisfy a need and want. The
terms “service” and “product” are visibly satisfying items, which cover
all vehicles capable of delivering satisfaction of a want and need.
fact that people’s needs and wants can place values on products does not fully
define marketing. Exchange is one of the four ways in which people
can obtain products they want. The four ways are self-production, coercion,
begging and exchange (Kotler
arises from the approach to acquiring products.
Exchange is the act of obtaining desired product and service from someone
by offering something in return. It
is the defining concept underlying marketing.
marketing managers and public relations practitioners work in the same firm, the
relationship should be mutual at advising management about public issues, public
needs and demands. However, effective strategies to improve the reputation of
the company and its services solely depend on the public relations man.
present call by big organisations for much more market-oriented public relations
is appropriate, since most businesses are profit-oriented. Marketing-oriented
public relations plays important roles in the launching of new products,
repackaging of a product, repositioning of a company, influencing specific
target groups, defending products that have encountered negative public attitude
and also building the corporate image in a way that projects its products
is also another process or act of selling goods, which generally intends to
persuade prospective customers to buy the products in exchange for money.
profit is the aim of all sales activities as much energy is deployed to persuade
particular buyers in taking specific products. With this, only little attention
is given to the reputation of producers and marketers. Public relations has
enough potentials in creating a conducive environment for sales activities to
take place successfully.
may claim that products speak for themselves, but many firms provide relatively
similar goods and services and have to seek better ways of enhancing the image
of the organisation for the sole aim of improving patronage. To create a better
household name for the organisation in a highly competitive environment, PR
provides effective news items on the organisation’s social responsibility,
reputation and its contribution to the national economy. Therefore, public
relations is used in sales support to build up credibility and create goodwill
for the success of such sales campaigns and promotion.
is one of the aspects of Mass Communication. An advertisement is paid for by an
identified sponsor and is expected to appear at a particular time exactly as
presented to the media house. The advertiser has greater and total control on
the contents of the message for use in the media.
the years, there is the misconception that advertising is the same as public
relations practice. This is far from the truth. While public relations employs
all rightful channels to keep the public adequately and truthfully informed, so
as to maintain goodwill and beneficial relationship between the organisation and
its publics, advertising is a process of buying media space and time to persuade
the public to accept its products and services’ view points. Advertising is
direct and involves identified praise-singer who always blows his trumpet and
credits himself as the best. How the public perceives it may not be necessary as
it tries to assert its relevance among the gullible public. Take the examples of
all those adverts on cigarette smoking, alcoholic drinks and nude fashion, which
are not only immoral, but dangerous to health, as well as a naked abuse of
morality and righteousness.
is primarily concerned with creating awareness for products and services, while
public relations attends to behavioural changes, societal attitudes towards such
products and services, building prolonged and honest relationship between the
organisations and their target audience.
is widely known, especially in Nigeria, that most organisations prefer to have a
special section for public relations to that of
advertising. In fact, it is sometimes argued that advertising is a part
of public relations functions and never the reverse.
view of the sophistication of the mass media with their occasional biased
editorial judgments in treating press releases and coverage of activities, PR
activities may some times pay for the timely publication of unbiased reports by
employing advertising techniques.
unethical advertising messages are exaggerated, while some are hardly
believable. But public relations is truthful and non-deceptive.
public relations, which is the combination of the two at achieving the desired
goal of the organisation, is useful in publishing institutional announcements,
supplements, rebuttal/rejoinder, corporate profile, financial statements,
goodwill and seasonal messages. The message to be passed across is processed
from the public relations perspective, while the method of delivery takes the
form of advertising
the costing and timing. Public relations has a continuous responsibility in an
organisation in advisorial roles and at monitoring trends, events and react to
them. Advertising is costly and only applicable occasionally. All said, in
recent times, a new concept is introduced in the communication process known as
integrated marketing communication, which, like a tripod, encompasses the three
professions of public relations, marketing and advertising.
major concept and activities of public relations as defined by professional
groups and individuals are, counseling based on understanding of human behaviour
and characteristics, by foreseeing future trends and predicting their
consequences. It involves researching into public opinion, attitude and
expectations and advising on truth and full information. It is also aimed at
preventing conflicts, misunderstandings and promoting mutual respect and social
responsibilities, with the desire to harmonise the private and the public
interests. In addition, it promotes goodwill with staff, suppliers, customers
and the general public.
the above, it is clear that PR covers all aspects of communications. But in
recent times there is also this new concept popularly known as integrated
marketing communications. The integration being employed by corporate
organisations and communications consultants is to have a one-way approach to
facilitate effective communications. But this involves the techniques of
marketing, advertising, sales, promotion, media relations and their packaging.
a management function, a public relations department is always located at the
corporate headquarters and its staff are occupied with various publics,
including stockholders, employees, government agencies, community leaders and
the media on whom its success or failure depends.
related departments, like marketing, on the other hand, can be sited at the
headquarters of the organisation with other units at the company’s branch
offices. Its officers are fully engaged with retailers, wholesalers, industries
and prospective customers at major marketing events such as trade fairs and
on their interwoven relationship in performance of duties, public relations and
other related professions could complement the efforts of each other in product
publicity, which involves various efforts to publicise specific products in
corporate communications (internal and external communications) for the purpose
of promoting understanding of the organisation.
the advertiser uses the instrument of financial power to say and get his
messages across, so also the propagandist employs the instrument of state,
political might to hoodwink the target audience in wrongly believing and
accepting whatever is dished out from the powers-that-be. Propaganda is the
propagation of indefensible action through falsehoods and tricks with the sole
aim of influencing the target audience to pursue a predetermined line of action.
This type of communication is used by bad governments and exploitative
organisations who, for selfish reasons, fail to address the real issues at
a large extent, public relations practice, like journalism, believes strongly in
fairness, objectivity and style. Even though many journalists have found a place
in the public relations environment, their experiences cannot be an automatic
licence into the image-making field, if they fail to adhere to those basic
principles underlying the practice. The best a journalist can do in an
organisation with his background knowledge is in media relations and issuing of
press releases, which are just few of the functions of Public Relations.
the public is becoming more knowledgeable, wise and sometime aggressive on
products and services, public relations supports the activities of other related
professions. It creates goodwill among the public by creating awareness,
maintaining credibility, minimising competition and correcting wrong impressions
about products and services. In general, PR comes in different stages of product
tests, launch and trade fair, among others.
claim that products speak for themselves is untenable in the modern society;
public relations provide effective communication for the enlightened environment
for sales to take place. Enquiries and information boxes are provided by serious
PR units to respond promptly and adequately to public complaints on sales
activities. As it supports marketing and sales, so also it assists greatly in
scripting for adverts, which may be inevitable in special project adverts like
supplements, corporate profiles, public announcements, annual statement of
accounts and rejoinders, which are all within the ambit of public relations.
the foregoing, therefore, public relations involves awareness campaigns and
promotional activities, which include events sponsorship, social responsibility,
facility visits, community relations, spokesperson, publication of in-house
journals and presentation of corporate gifts and lobbying with reason
(Government Relations), as well as placing institutional and corporate
advertising for some obvious reasons in the media.
a nutshell, PR is the protector of the entire organisation and what it stands
for. It plans all its activities at promoting, protecting and projecting a good
image for the organisation, its personalities and services through the
establishment, continuous maintenance and sustenance of mutual and beneficial
relationship with its various publics.
recently, many financial institutions relied more on engaging the services of
consultants to handle their public relations and advertisement programmes.
This may not be unconnected with the lack of enough materials/facilities
at their disposal. Such include
Audio/Visual equipment and professionals to handle jingles and publicity copies.
is quite advisable for a big firm to have its own PR outfit, while smaller
organisations who desire such function can patronise consultants.
Sam Black, in his book noted that the quality of public relations service
depends on the ability and experience of those providing the service and not
whether they are operating from within or outside the organisation.
is beneficial for big organisations to encourage their staff to identify the
mission and objective of the organisation.
Being members of staff, the officers have unlimited right and access to
gather relevant information, which enable them to fraternise easily with all
management staff of the departments. Where
necessary, the service of consultants may be effective only in advisory
consultants in finance-related organisations may be those who are well versed in
economy and can arrange programmes involving their clients with other
organisations. For instance, events involving organisations with multilateral
and multinational institutions i.e. IMF, World Bank, etc., as well as organising
public awareness campaigns, seminars and workshops are activities whose
scope may be too much for the internal PR Unit to handle. Another need for a
consultant is when there may be clashes of events at the same period.
authors in public relations have attempted to show the importance of PR
consultancy over the in-house staff. Many of the arguments are lopsided and to
serve selfish interest since the contributors are mostly consultants. If that is
not the case, how can they claim that the consultancy provides expert,
professionals and technical skills to carry out some functions as well as
experience to execute these project of which the in-house practitioner could not
acquire and excel in the day-to-day running of the office?
like Nnemeka Maduegbuna, Chairman Corporate & Financial in his paper
“Achieving Growth and Development of Public Relations Consultancy Practice in
Nigeria” writes that external consultants are independent, objective and
posses an impartial ability to ask penetrating questions; that they are
experienced in other firms with specialist techniques and range of contacts. He
even goes ahead to state that their overhead cost is little. These advantages,
though tenable, are however not exhaustive as good in-house staff can perform
better if they have all the necessary requirement, and facilities to operate.
in-house PR staff know that their progression and remuneration depend on their
job, and are responsible for their actions and inaction, they are available for
any urgent assignment and in better position to get all the required information
needed for any PR programme. In fact, many have come to realise the importance
of in-house PR in image projection, due to the belief of the management in their
commitment and absolute loyalty to the organisation they represent unlike the
consultants whose loyalty, occasionally may be divided and frequently vanish
after receiving the fees for their assignments. The only way by which the staff
in the organisation can receive the confidence, trust and respect of the
management, the media and even the consultants is by rising up to the task and
exhibiting the best practice which would enable them ward off the intruders. The
consultants can supplement the PR departments by carrying out such tasks as
training delivery, advert placements, mailing service, global network, printing
works and other related service.
PUBLIC & TARGET AUDIENCES
organisation survives and succeeds without its publics. The target audiences are
the backbone on which a firm rests its programmes, projects and products. It
thus anticipates favourable response from them in terms of support and
institution that fails to identify its publics, will definitely fail to achieve
its aims and objective. The essence of audience identification is to enable the
organisation fashion out a most reliable strategy in reaching out to all
individuals and groups. This is necessary because the publics’ come in
different forms and different environment with different behaviours, attitudes
and characters. The public may be a target market, special audience or the
general public. By the identification, it is easier for the organisation to
recognise the information requirement of each key target.
public of public finance institutions like Federal Ministry of Finance, Central
Bank and Tax Agencies, can be the entire citizenry. This is reasonable
considering the essence of governance, which they represent. Therefore, we may
say all individuals in the society who have a stake in governance are the public
of the government. The electorates, farmers, artisans, teachers, labourers,
businessmen and women and even the common people, and many other civil society
organisations look up to the government for its obligatory social and financial
public of private financial institutions varies from one institution to the
other. But it should be noted from the outset that every organisation relies
solely on its internal and external publics. But most of the time, many
organisations ignorantly fail to realise that internal publics need to be well
oriented and seen too as target audience for their success.
major internal publics of financial enterprises include the employees,
shareholders, board members (directors) and at times, their consultants and
contractors. The external publics are the buyers, potential and existing
business clients, users, opinion leaders, suppliers, regulatory bodies,
customers, clients, stockholders, etc.
is necessary for organisations to prioritise their groups and study their needs
through opinions and other researches. For instance, while the relevant public
may need to be informed on the effect of the organisation’s new policies on
share price, the marketing officers need re-orientation on new strategies. In
fact, the timing and manner of launching or public presentation of new products
and services are also very essential.
special groups may require special attention. Example can be given of a group
that holds strong feelings and beliefs, which may not help in presenting new
products. For instance, there are adherents of a faith that forbidden from
taking interest (usury) by which other products like interest-free services and
taking share can be promoted.
the public, assists greatly in conducting public opinion for effective
programmes of action in convincing and influencing them towards accepting the
service and what the organisation stands for.
matter how we look at it, any action or inaction taken, is deliberately geared
towards a particular individual or group. The better way therefore to have the
best of relationships is to specifically identify the weakness and strength of
the target at achieving maximum benefits from the interaction.
All public relations’ activities are aimed at satisfying the various publics through objective and honest information via effective communication channels. The advantages of the relationship, which are indisputably beneficial, are to promote goodwill, maximising profit, avoiding crises and conflict and encouraging good relationship and understanding.