book, Financial Public Relations, attempts to address the notable existing interrelationship between two global
issues of importance to mankind - economic activities and communication. It is a known fact that human beings struggle for
survival by exploring available information, through communication, for the purpose of acquiring wealth to cater for their
needs and wants. Therefore, refined
information or communication processes which public relations stand for, are sources of encouragement on how best to achieve
our needs and wants which largely depend on our financial capabilities.
Financial public relations
is therefore the application of public relations by financial organisations in reaching out to the public, finance-wise, in
achieving financial goals. Financial institutions play greater roles in the economic activities of any nation, which must
be correctly understood by the targeted public. With the world reaching the peak of the envisaged global village, where advancement
in communication technology such as Internet, E-mail and satellite broadcasting make nonsense of interpersonal communication,
mass communication and by institutions too, must be suited to respond to the dynamism of the society. Therefore, the emergence
of financial public relations should be seen as good tiding to financial reports and communication.
With the social and economic
development in Nigeria, some business magnates, public figures and institutions, have carved out niches for themselves and
have become household names that even the young ones are inspired to look up to, due to their effective communication skills.
Names that ring bell in
business circles are financial wizards like Hakeem Bello Osagie, Atedo Peterside and Mohammad Kari, among others. The millionaire
club of reputable businessmen has the like of the Dangotes, Jobi-Feles, Abiolas and Iwuanyanwus who are in multi-million Naira
businesses. Notable bankers cannot be listed without the mention of Pascal Dozie, Muhammed Hayatudeen, Segun Agbetuyi, and
the Bulamas. There are also female personalities, the like of Cecilia Ibru and
Dr. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, the amazon of Nigeria’s Capital Market who transformed the
relatively unknown Nigerian Stock Exchange to an enviable force with international standard.
The business concerns that
receive constant media attention include First Bank, NICON Insurance, Federal Discount House and even Lagos Business School,
These people and institutions
have become popular because of their competence as well as quality products and services, which are similarly provided by
others. The latter, however, may have directly or indirectly failed to utilise effective business communication to achieve
Many organisations have
come to grip with the stern modern reality that only through proper and articulate communication system, can receive the support and patronage of their target audience. This does not only obtain in private businesses,
but also in the public sector where top public functionaries have successfully built confidence into the spectrum of their
organisations. Anthony Ani and Abu Gidado, former Ministers of Federal Ministry of Finance, for instance, during their tenure,
showed how figures and data could be interpreted for better public understanding. Regular press conferences and media interviews
were some of their innovations. These publicity strategies were emulated by their successors, Ismail Usman and Akpan Etukudo.
Knowing the power of the media in a democratic dispensation, the Finance Minister under president Obasanjo, Alhaji
Adamu Ciroma, uses media relations appropriately to build enough confidence in the Nigerian economy. Apart from establishing
mutual relationship with the legislative arm through acceptable political lobbying, the Minister of State, Martins Kuye, makes
a monthly ritual the issuance of press releases on allocations to all tiers of government from the Federation Account. Even
at the state level, some commissioners of finance, especially David Edevbie, Aliyu Tukur, Wole Edu, Shuaib Ahmad, Dr. Hafiz
Abubakar, Evangelist SO Durojaiye and Suleiman Hunkuyi, were described as Apostles of Revenue Formula for their persistent
media activities through interviews, articles and publications to win public supports on the demand for favourable, equitable
and just revenue formula.
For a decade of its existence,
the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission was only known in few government circles. Until its inauguration
in 1999, when its new chairman, Hamman Tukur revitalised the body to conform
to democratic norms by building mutually beneficial media relationships that have made it a pride of all tiers and arms of
government which receives wider public recognition.
Another public officer
who used the media appropriately, is the acclaimed authority in Nigerian Tax System, the former Chairman of Federal Inland
Revenue Service, FIRS, Kayode Naiyeju. He knew when to organise seminars, book launches, etc, to make some sterling points
on development in the organisation and improvements on Value Added Tax (VAT) and its benefit to the populace. His efforts
greatly influenced the desire of companies to comply with the law, and thus tremendously improved the yearly VAT allocation
to the three tiers of government.
Public Relations, involves
continuous campaign and getting favourable mention in credible and responsible media for names and services to register in
the minds of the public. With the new names after the changes and improvements in their operations, First City Monument Bank
and Omega Bank featured regularly in the financial pages of newspapers in announcing their mission statements and new expectations.
They do these by promoting new products, announcing fresh appointments and supporting public-spirited activities by instituting
prizes for academic excellence, and rewards for individuals who exhibited high level of honesty and patriotism in the society.
The operators of Global
System for Mobile communication, GSM, particularly the MTN and Econet Wireless, are remarkable
investors who know their targets and use all media techniques to get regular patronage of customers on their friendly services.
Within a short period, mobile phones became very popular and pushed up their profits in the competitive environment.
Standard Trust Bank and
International Trust Bank have been performing creditably well in the financial market through extensive lobbying techniques,
which they complemented with the recruitment of professional communicators to take charge of their publicity.
Complimentary news items
on Central Bank of Nigeria in the media,
could be linked to its ebullient spokesman, Tony Ede. The regulatory bank, which some years ago found it difficult to make
any public disclosure on its operations, has found it compelling to keep the public informed in its efforts to get the support
of the stakeholders.
The moment mention is made
of financial public relations, the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers, which has Kabir Dangogo as its founding president,
would definitely be mentioned. This is the umbrella body that regulates and assists members on better ways of dealing with
the public through the media.
Have you ever wondered
the motive behind the new appointments and promotions published in the media? The story is not precisely on individuals but
on their contributions to the business success of the organisation, and on the favourable expectation in the business climate
in the years ahead. Whichever way it is examined, effective financial public relations boosts the image of an organisation
as a reliable entity, and makes societal heroes and heroines of the personalities involved in shaping the image of such a
must be understood here that this book is neither exhaustive on the topic nor is it an end to the continued search for solutions
to many problems of financial organisations.