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PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF PUBLIC RELATIONS (PR) PRACTICES IN THE OIL SECTOR A CASE STUDY OF AFRICAN PETROLEUM PLC ENUGU

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF PUBLIC RELATIONS (PR) PRACTICES IN THE OIL SECTOR A CASE STUDY OF AFRICAN PETROLEUM PLC ENUGU

Abstract

This research “The effectiveness of public relations (PR) practices in the oil sector a Case Study of African Petroleum plc Port Harcourt   was aid at examining the extent to which media chart effects the handling of AP customers complaints in Port Harcourt, to access the significant influence of gift items on the flow of information with public of AP in Port Harcourt and to identify the extent to which community development projects influence AP market penetration in Port Harourt. The researcher adopter descriptive research design, data were collected and analyzed through the use of questionnaire. Based on the analysis it was revealed that the degree of African petroleum’s public relations message accessibility to their public is satisfactory as majority of the respondents indicated having easy access to AP’s public. Relations message and on a regular basis, the right public relations media were often used as majority of respondents reported that African petroleum uses media combination that they are familiar with and public relations programmes that is relevant to the target audience, the public relations practices of African petroleum influence the opinion of their public in favour of African petroleum as majority of the respondents indicated the African petroleum’s public relations message sound persuasive and convincing that it influence their opinion in favour of African Petroleum, after which it was recommended that the African petroleum plc should endeavour to always engage on a constant evaluation of their public relations practices to determine its effectiveness and where there is short comings, the organization should constantly review the media combination with thetends of things to know whether there is shortfall as regards coverage and those familiar to the largest audience and they should use more or rather employ more open house and staged events because they have the advantage of providing more information to the public, creating more rapport between the public and the public and the company and encouraging public expression of favourable opinions.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The history of African petroleum Plc date back to 1954 when the then British petroleum BP company Limited, brought up the assets of Atlantic refining company on the West African coast Ten years later (1964) that company was incorporated in Nigeria as British Petroleum of Nigeria Limited which of course is a subsidiary of the world wide British petroleum Group that marketed petroleum product throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In 1978, the company changed from a private company to a public company, when forty percent (40%) of the shares were sold to Nigerian citizens in compliance with provisions of the Nigeria Enterprises promotions degree of 1977. On the 31st July 1979, the Federal Government acquired the sixty percent (60%) share in British petroleum (BP) Limited, just to make the company wholly Nigeria affair. As a result, the name of the company had to change to African Petroleum (AP) Limited which was in November 1979.

Accordingly, 20% of the Federal Governments 60% shares in African petroleum were offered to the public in March 1989 in fulfillment of its privatization policy. The share were seven times over subscribed during the exercise, thus increasing the number of share holders from about fifty thousand to one hundred and sixty thousand share holders. The company’s current paid up share capital of N 86.4M which of course is the largest in the country.

 As a marketer of refined petroleum in Nigeria, African Petroleum (AP) procures and distributes petroleum products like petrol (PMS), Diesel oil (AGO), Household kerosene or Domestic petroleum kerosene (HHK/DPK), Low poor fuel oil (LPFO), Liquefied petroleum Gas (LPG), fuel oil, Jet-A-1 (Aviation furbric kerosene) etc the company also manufacture and market a wide range of lubricants, insecticide and chemicals. This company’s marketing operation areas are Kaduna, Kano, Port – Harcourt, Warri.

African petroleum plc has its head office in Lagos. The main source of its products is the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through its strategic network depots and refineries. As contained in its Diary (1998) African petroleum is a world class integrated petroleum company where outstanding and dedicated people supported by superior technology deliver exceptional benefits to its shareholders”. Their mission is to be an innovative and customer oriented, provider of quality petroleum and related products and services”.

Businesses are open systems, and most of what they do generates direct benefits and costs for their societies. Today society demands that businesses join in the urgent task of solving societies, problems. Corporations are more than economic institutions and have a responsibility to devote some of their resources problems mainly of which corporations helped to create. However, small or large our enterprise, we cannot isolate our business from the society around us. Nor can we function without its goodwill. The researcher therefore tried to x-ray the public relations practice in African petroleum plc to assess its effectiveness in building desired goodwill imperative to healthy business survivability.

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF PUBLIC RELATIONS (PR) PRACTICES IN THE OIL SECTOR A CASE STUDY OF AFRICAN PETROLEUM PLC ENUGU

1.2    STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS:African petroleum plc (formerly British petroleum) that has been in existence since 1954 is now one of the major marketers of petroleum products in Nigeria. African petroleum plc operates few major marketing areas in Kaduna, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. It has depots at (Apapa) Lagos, Jos and Kano but its main source of Petroleum Company (NNPC). Presently the company entered into the marketing of chemical, real estate development and manufacturing of insecticides.

Coming to the ever-increasing number of competition and continued fuel scarcity in the country, the company does not fold its arms watching rather she continues to diversify and expand on its activities. The reason being that should the company fail to satisfy her numerous publics by constant supply of product as at when needed and of course quality product, the publics negative reaction would affect its profit making ability and in respect affect the nations economy. In the effort of improving the quality of its product and services, as regards achieving public commendations, goodwill and support, cannot in the actual sense understand how actually the publics feel about their company’s quality of services and their public relations programmes.

     OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

  1. The general objectives of this study was to evaluate the significant effect of public relations practices on the delivery of service in the oil sector.
  2. To examine the extent to which media chart effects the handling of AP customers complaints in Port Harcourt.
  3. To access the significant influence of gift items on the flow of information with public of AP in Port Harcourt.
  4. To identify the extent to which community development projects influence AP market penetration in Port Harourt.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. What is the significant influence of public relations practices on the delivery of service in the oil sector?
  2. Do media chart have significant influence on the handling of AP customers       complaints in Port Harcourt.
  3. What are significant influence of gift items on the flow of information with public of AP in Port Harcourt?
  4. What are the effect of community development projects on market penetration of AP in Port Harourt.

1.5       FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESIS

Ho: Public relations practices do not have significance influence on the delivery of service in the oil sector

H1: Public relations practices have significance influence on the delivery of service in the oil sector.

Ho: Media chart do not have significant influence on the handling of AP customers complaints in Port Harcourt.

H1: Media chart do not have significant influence on the handling of AP customers complaints in Port Harcourt.

Ho: Gift items do not have significant influence on the flow of information with public of AP in Port Harcourt.

H1: Gift items have significant influence on the flow of information with public of AP in Port Harcourt.

Ho: Community development projects do not have market penetration of AP in Port Harourt.

H1: Community development projects have market penetration of AP in Port Harourt

1.6     SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of study is focused on public relations practices in African Petroleum Plc. and their internal and external publics in Port Harcourt metropolis were studies as for the topics covered, all the items as contained in the objectives of the study and hypothesis were treated.

The view of the office holders and opinion leaders were bought since they constitute decision makers.

1.7    SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Coming to the diversification and expansion of its activities, the current crisis and the ever-increasing competition among oil marketing companies. African petroleum plc are concerned with generating marketing information which all will help them to achieve a favourable market share and maintain its profit marketing ability if really wants to remain in business.

The researcher may after some recommendation that will help to ensure an adequate and effective use of public relations as a tool for business promotions.

Moreover, this work will also serve as a working tool for Chief Executives and managers in the oil marketing sectors; this piece of work will actually form a basis for further development and as well contribute to the existing knowledge in the area of oil marketing.

1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

In pursuing this study, a lots of pediments and obstruction were encountered as the research progressed. All these impediment brought about a conscious clauses with research work. They include, lack of relevant data due to poor respondents, time constraint and financial conditions.

Lack of Relevant Data: The design of the study was negatively affected by the nature of respondent, which was projected by the workers within the case organization. The non-challant attitude of most employees approached, sample of the studying population was discouraging relevant information needed for the research was not made available easily to the researcher while information were censored before being allowed to be used.

Time Constraint: Time was also limited to the researcher in carrying out the study effectively and efficiently. The time constraint was experienced under dual stages. One was with the sample of the population understudy. They either schedule appointment that they cannot meet up with or complain of limited time within their work through they are willing to respond.

1.9    DEFINITION OF TERMS

Public Relations: Public relations is the art and service of achieving harmony with the environment through mutual understanding based on truth, knowledgeable and full information. (Sam Black 1990) in (Ajala 200/p.3)

Communication: This means the process through which needs, emotions, desires, ideas, sentiments and goals are expressed among human beings using codes, symbols and languages understand by the parties involved in the process.

Company:   This can be defined as a business or an organization created to pursue profit by providing goods and services.

Diversification: This is the financial strategy of holding different investment to reduce the risk of financial loss.

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF PUBLIC RELATIONS (PR) PRACTICES IN THE OIL SECTOR A CASE STUDY OF AFRICAN PETROLEUM PLC ENUGU

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