THE ROLE OF PUBLIC RELATION AS A CORPORATE TOOL FOR CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN ORGANIZATIONS A STUDY OF FIDELITY BANK PLC
This research study examined the role of public relations as a corporate tool for change management in Fidelity Bank Plc Enugu. The objectives of the study are to examine the role public relations play as a corporate tool for change management in organization. To ascertain the major organizational changes Fidelity bank has undergone. To determine if Fidelity bank has employed public relations as a tool in managing these changes. Determine the public relations strategies that were employed by Fidelity Bank Plc in managing these changes. Determine if public relations was an effective tool in the management of Fidelity banks organizational changes. The study adopted the survey research design to examine the role of public relations as a cooporate tool for change management in organization (Fidelity Bank Plc). A total population of 5000 were used, and a sample size of 370.37 from the population using Yaro Yamane sample size determinant formular. The test instrument used for the study was the questionnaire. Among the major organizational changes the bank has undergone include Bank capitalization, bank merging, computerization of banking system, online process/activities, training of staff to be computer literate and reduction of staff strength due to banking system computerization. Also, some of the public relation tools employed in managing organizational changes include communicating the idea of change to the workers, using press releases to make the information on change trustworthy, using blogging to reach online audience, organizing workshops to avoid threatened sense of identity, carryirng out a facility visit by the media. Also, among the public relations strategies used by Fidelity Bank Plc in managing change in the organization include shaping conversation on issues impacting their brand, establishing connections to support the new cause, building an advocate community to champion the cause of change and developing rapid response to emerging challenges. The employment of public relation tools that will positively affect the organization in her change management as identified in the study include: setting a change management committee headed by the public relations unit for smooth change development, training the personnel to properly condition them for quick adaptation to the policy change that is imminent, counselling the staff to disabuse their minds of the perceived negative consequences of the change thereby giving them confidence, maintaining a good pre-change media relations, putting in place compensation package for employees that may be disengaged from service due to policy change to avoid resistance, and developing a means for recording lessons learnt from change effort and ensuring that these lessons are used to guide the change effort for fruitful result.