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FINANCIAL PUBLIC RELATIONS By Yushau A. Shuaib

Financial Public Relations

Home
Foreward by Prof. Jerry Gana
Preface by Senator J. M. Kuye
Introduction
Financial Environment
Public Finance
Financial Institutions
Public Relations Concepts
Financial Public Relations
Marketing Concepts
Advertising and Integrated Communication
In-House and Consultancy
Target Publics
Research in PR
Budgeting in PR
Planning in PR
Regulating Financial Information
Getting Started and PR Unit
Basic Functions
Requirement for Media Event
Annual Events
Publications
Social Responsibility
Information Technology
Reputation Management
Crises Management
Media of FPR
Corporate Identification
Building Brand
Membership of Professional Bodies
Conduct and Ethical Standards
Conclusion
Appendix NIPR Code
Appendix II: IPR Code
Appendix III: PRSA Code
Appendix IV: IPRA Code
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Contributions and Reviews

FINANCIAL PUBLIC RELATIONS

The 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.

            The 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.

            The 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.

            The 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.

            Being 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.

            Based 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 Exchange.

            Even 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 to establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance and cooperation between an organisation and its publics.”  (Harlow 1976)

            The 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.

            The 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’.

            As 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.

            It 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)

            At 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.

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