THE EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE PRACTICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS USING AIRTEL NETWORK NIGERIA AS A CASE STUDY


Content

ABSTRACT

 

The core objective of the research was to examine the Effect of social media on the practice of public relations using Airtel Network Nigeria as a case study. Basically, the use of social media has increased among consumers around the world, causing an increase in the adoption of social media as tactics and means of sharing information and interactions among many public relations professionals and its publics. Researcher adopted survey method coupled with 100 copies of questionnaires that were administered to one hundred respondents who were drawn using simple random sampling technique within the Airtel Office Lagos. The data collected were analysed and interpreted using simple statistics of frequency and percentage method with tables. It was recommended that social media or new media should form part of curriculum for undergraduates in mass communication and public relations in particular this will equip them for digital practice.

 


 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Statement of Problem

Objectives of the Study

Research Questions

Research Hypothesis

Significance of the Study

Scope of the Study

Limitation of Study

Operational Definitions

 

LITERATURE REVIEW

History of Public Relations

Definitions of Public Relations

Historical Background of Airtel Nigeria (Airtel Networks Limited)

Functions of Public Relations

Public Relations Role in a Manufacturing organization

METHODOLOGY

Research Design:

Population:

Sampling Technique and Procedure:

Sampling Size:

Instrument:

Pilot Study:

Validity:

Administration of Data and Collection of Questionnaire:

Rate of Return of Questionnaire

Data Analysis:

 

Data Analysis & Discussion of Findings

Summary

Conclusion

Recommendations

Bibliography

Appendix

Questionnaire

 


 

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Improvement in modern technology has transformed the world into a global village (Marshal McLuhan, 2000). This new technological device has compressed the whole world into a single electronic to where information about far and near can be exchanged and shared with just a click of the mouse.

Internet being the host of many other media tagged social media such as Facebook, 2go, Whatsapp, etc. make information dissemination faster, cheaper and easier. The advent of this information and communication technology has affected the usual shape of every human activity ranging, from education to agriculture, business, mass communication, public, and health among others.

However, the practice of Public Relations is not exceptional as social media or new media. ICT has influenced the public relations practice in this century. Ike Nwosu (2007:55) described internet and information technology thus:

‘Imagine a room filled with many spiders, each spinning its own webs. The webs are so interconnected that the spider can travel freely within the maze’

 Information and communication technology extends to a range of technological application such as computer software and hard ware, the digital- mobile phones, the internet and other electronic information resources like the Worldwide Web and CD ROMs among others.

Today, organizations and clients are making greater demand on public relation professionals that are more ICT creative, more innovative and more efficient in science delivery.

 

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

There is need to ascertain how social media such as Twitter, Face book, Instagram, 2go, YouTube and others have enhanced the practice of public relations especially in creating and maintaining mutual understanding for better interaction within internal and external publics. The cost effectiveness, speed of message delivery and public relations can translate the social media into feedback and opinion media.

There is therefore, problem of source credibility of information share via social media and new media which needs to be ascertained because such media is more opinionated and lack established gatekeepers (monitors). Social media problems may include examples such as imitation of web pages and sharing of fake or untrue information to the consumer “you have won 10000 worth of credit in our ongoing company promo pay N2000 to claim your prize. This offer is available only for today and tomorrow”. This is also a setback on social media use as public relations tool. In view of this, the study sought to find out the influence of social media on the practice of public relations especially in this digital age and cost of embracing social media/new media or ICTs.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this study is to examine the effect of social media in the practice of public relations. Specifically, the study sought to:

1.      To examine whether Airtel Nigeria use social media in communication and sharing of ideas and concepts.

2.      To find out the extent to which social media has helped Airtel Nigeria in solving problems and complaints from its various publics.

3.      To ascertain whether social media has enhanced the performance of public relation department of Airtel Nigeria.

4.      To highlight the strengths and weaknesses of social media as public relations tools.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The study will be guided by the following questions:

1.      Does Airtel Nigeria use social Media in communication and sharing of ideas and concepts?

2.      To what extent has social media helped Airtel in solving problems and complaints from its various publics?

3.      Have social media enhanced the performance of public relations department of Airtel.

4.      What are the strengths and weaknesses of social media as public relations tools?

 

RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

The following research hypotheses will be tested in this study:

1.      Social media has no significant effect in the communication and sharing of ideas and concept in Airtel Nigeria.

2.      Social media has no significant effect in helping Airtel in solving problems and complaint from various publics.

3.      There is no significant effect of social media in enhancing the performance of public relations department of Airtel Nigeria.

4.      There are no significant Strengths and Weaknesses of social media as public relations tools.

 

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research study is relatively new to the field of public relations, therefore being a new research; it will aid individuals, corporate bodies, government, researchers, students, media professionals and host of others.

The study is to reveal how social media can be translated into powerful tools in the hand of innovated and creative public relation practitioners especially in building public confidences and effective interaction.

Individuals will benefit from this study as they will know the best way to use and react to social media messages and information.

Future researchers who may want to carry out research in this area or related aspect will find this material useful, while it forms the bulk of academic material.

 

SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This research focuses on the Effect of social media in the practice of public relations with reference to Airtel Network Nigeria especially their public relations and customer care departments. However, the demography of the respondent within Airtel Nigeria Lagos state will be examined before the administration of data collection instrument (Questionnaire) such factor include but not limited to age, sex, education, work experience etc.

 

LIMITATION OF STUDY

Research work like this cannot be carried out to examine all organization and that is why the work is limited to only Airtel Nigeria.

Limitation is also posed by the few literatures that are readily available for this study since the work is new.

Time factor is another hindrance as attention is needed for other academic activities as well as lack of funds for regular visit to Airtel offices in Lagos.

 

OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS

Publics: A group of individuals working in a company or clients of the company.

Public Relations: This refers to a deliberate planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between Airtel Nigeria and all its subscribers, government, staff etc.

Relations: The way in which Airtel Nigeria deals with all its public, both internal and external publics.

Social Media: a group of internet based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundation of Web 2.0 and that allow the creation and exchange of user – generated content such as Face book, Twitter, 2go. Etc.

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