Challenges of Corporate Image Building: a case study of Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (K.B.C)
This study is on Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), a state owned public media house whose responsibility is to provide free to air radio and television public broadcast services to the nation on behalf of the government of Kenya. The KBC Act CAP 221 that incorporated it in 1989 not only mandated it to assume a non-profit making role of public service broadcasting but also instructed it to ensure self sustainability of all the financial obligations that accompany running a vibrant broadcast organization. Since the liberalization of the airwaves was initiated in the early 1990's many more players have come into action, all of them operating on commercial terms. Consequently, KBC has had to join the fight for viewers and ratings, a determining factor for financial backing by the advertising industry. Viewers' perception of a media house, and therefore its image, in most cases dictates whether or not it will successfully market itself to advertisers. Failure to do so leads to financial obscurity which greatly impinges on all the activities of the affected media house. Various reports have confirmed that KBC in financially insolvent as it has accumulated massive debts from running the huge national network without extra funding from the exchequer. The Government, through its Assistant Minister for Information and Communication, KBC's parent ministry, has openly admitted this fact, placing the debt at over Ksh.20 billion. The purpose of this study was to determine the viewer's perception ofKBC and the challenges it faces while attempting to build an image acceptable to the public and the advertising fraternity. Without a good image, it will continue to face financial problems, thus failing to fulfill its public service mandate successfully. The study interrogated factors that militate against KBC's image, such as political interference in its editorial decision making and in the employment of its senior managers. Also investigated is its viability as a financial concern amid its status as a public service broadcaster. The study used a descriptive research design to illustrate factors affecting KBC's corporate image. Quantitative and qualitative data collections techniques were than utilized to .gather data. A structured questionnaire and an interview schedule were the tools employed. Data was also gathered from media diaries. The data was then edited centrally to detect errors and omission and ensure it was accurate, uniformly entered, complete and consistent with the objective of the study. It was arranged to simplify coding tabulation and alpha numeric data coding carried out to assign numbers and other symbols to the questions. This allowed the respondents to be grouped in a limited number of categories to make analysis of collected data easier and efficient. The coded data was tabulated using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 16.0. Finally, the responses were evaluated by means of descriptive statistics (frequencies and percentages). Prior to the data collection, the reliability of the data collection tools was tested on 20 respondents using Cronbach's Alpha reliability coefficient test. The study population comprised of all TV owners in Kenya who by the 2009 census were 20 million. To make the research possible and the fmdings representative, a sample size of 120 respondents was decided on. The selection of the respondents was done through the simple random sampling technique to afford everyone a chance at being picked on to participate in the study. A purposive sample was found appropriate in identifying KBC management staff whose departments were privy to the information required to answer the research questions carried in the interview schedule of Appendix 1. The study established that KBC Channel 1 TV indeed has an image problem that mitigates against most of its activities. It also established that steps to put right the problems it faces, most of them with financial implications , must be taken for it to remain in business as a relevant and functional media organ.