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- 'I will never allow any of my children to choose it': Ghanaian bank managers' views about public relations
- Kwansah-Aidoo, Kwamena; Owusu-Hemeng, Barbara
- Tymson & Lazar (2002) argue that all organisations exist with the approval of society (tacit or otherwise), and for that reason organisations need to act in ways that ensure that this approval is always there and not jeopardised in any way; that is, put in danger of being withdrawn. Agreeing with such a proposition means that the way organisations act and how these actions are seen and interpreted by stakeholders and the public, is a matter of importance. This also implies that organisations cannot afford to leave a communication vacuum between themselves and their publics, including the immediate communities in which they operate. This premise makes (organisational) communication one of the key strategic functions of any organisation that not only wants to continue to exist, but also wants to succeed. It also means that the key person in charge of communication in any organisation should be in a position to shape the organisation's decisions and actions. In this way, organisational strategy will consider stakeholder interests and communication strategy will involve not only what is said, but more importantly what the organisation does. Research in different settings, including Australia, UK and Canada has revealed that two-way symmetric communication used strategical1y can improve many dimensions of business performance and give organisations competitive advantage. These competitive advantages include, among others, a friendly business climate, improved national standing, good corporate image, reduced conflict with stakeholders, less or favourable government regulation, increased employee productivity and employee satisfaction. For an organisation to enjoy the benefits mentioned above, however, it must come to terms with the changing meaning of organisational communication and make the effort to embrace two-way symmetric communication between itself and stakeholders, which should be managed by the professional public relations practitioner who would be skilled in the art of communication management. Not only that, it also requires that organisations come to an understanding that the public relations role and the public relations manager are singularly and jointly crucial to an organisation's strategic management and must therefore be willing to allow the public relations manager to be part of the organisation's dominant coalition. This paper reports findings from a study which looked at the way top managers in one of Ghana's banks viewed and understood the public relations function and their preparedness to admit the public relations practitioner into the bank's dominant coalition.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, Vol. 7, no. 1 (2006), pp. 155-176
- Publication year
- Deakin University
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2006 Deakin University. The published version of the paper is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher.