An Assessment of Public Relations Strategy as a Tool to Promote Government Policies to the Citizenry
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Chapter one on An Assessment of Public Relations Strategy as a Tool to Promote Government Policies to the Citizenry
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Johnson and Zawawi (2004,p.404) observes that public relations sector in modern democratic governance implements its policies by using various mass media. Government management takes two forms; dissemination of political information and dissemination of public information. Nwosu (1996,p.204) however opines that very often, many people in government, especially those in developing countries, seem to forget the relevance of public relations in the government circle and as a result, they operate as if they can do without the support and the acceptance of the citizenry. They run state affairs as rulers or feudal lords, instead of leaders or servants of the people, for whom they hold political power and trust. But the theory and practice of modern governance teaches that government, like any other social institution, must be accountable to the people and operate in the people’s interest. Black (1976,p.140) says that public relations is an essential part of management and this is true in central government as in industry. The function of public relations in government is essentially non-political. It is the province of the political parties to organize such public relations activity, as they may consider necessary to publicize or promote their party’s policy. Public relations in a government department has two main tasks; to give regular information on policy, plans and achievements of the departments and to inform and educate the public on legislation, regulations and all matters that affect the daily life of citizens. It must also advise ministers and senior officials of reaction and potential reaction to actual or proposed policies. In their work on public relations and the information role of the government to the people, Wilcox, Ault and Agee (1998,p.333) declare that: There has always been a need for Government communication if for no other reason, than to inform citizens of the services available and the manner in which they may be used. In a democracy, public information is crucial if citizens are to make intelligent judgment about the policies and activities of their elected representative. The research intends to provide an assessment of public relations strategy as a tool to promote government policies to the citizenry with a case appraisal of the practice of Anambra State Government.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The efficient running and management of government affairs and activities lies with promoting and implementing programmes and policies that impact on the citizenry. In this regard the citizenry fully understand and appreciate the activities of government thereby enhancing harmony and mutual benefit between government and the people. However this goal often is far from being attained as the government implement its policies without the impact and understanding of the citizenry. Therefore the problem confronting this research is to provide an assessment of public relation strategy as a tool to promote government policies to the citizenry with a case appraisal of the practice of Anambra State Government
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