Public Relations has been widely recognized as an essential tool in the creation of goodwill and understanding among customers, employees and the general public. In the execution of this responsibility, Public Relations has become a professionalised activity that is carefully guided by ethics and codes of conduct.
This paper reviews the relationship between Public Relations as a profession and the Nigerian Society. This is done by analyzing Public Relations in a historical and social context. In other words we are looking at the historical forces that led to the emergence of public relations as a professional endeavour as well as the social issues it sets out to address and how it addresses these issues.
Two issues have been related to the emergence of Public Relations i.e., the World War and the Post War Economic boom. Governments also came to play an important role in the consolidation as well as legitimation of Public Relations as a profession.
Secondly, with an impoverished theory to inform the concept of ‘public’, the profession of Public Relations has come to function essentially through the use of modern communication media of broadcasting and the press.
Thirdly and as a result of its reliance on the mass media to deliver its services, Public Relations appears to work within the problematic confines of message/effect theory paradigm and therefore subject to the limitations of this paradigm.
The conclusions that arise from all these are that, neither the historical forces leading to the emergence of Public Relations nor the social focus of this endeavour imbue it with any liberative capacity.
Public Relations and Society in Nigeria
Public Relations is one concept that is widely misunderstood and misapplied in Nigeria. Many people have come to associate the term with the singular creation of a favourable image without minding the who, what, to whom, at what cost and of what effects the image will serve. Thus, the term is easily...