The determinants of the uptake of public relations services in Kenyan Financial Institutions: case study of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the determinants of the uptake of public relations services by financial institutions, in this case, by KCB. Public Relations has for many years been mixed up with other functions in various organizations. At KCB, PR personnel work together with the marketing team in packaging and selling the bank's products, they also work with the finance department majorly through the KCB Foundation in disbursing funds for activities like sponsorships for various initiatives like for school fees or community service events. I sought to find out what actually motivated the company to form a PR department. The study was guided by four research questions that were generated earlier in the study. The research design was descriptive; questionnaires and interviews were used as the data collection instruments. Information from the KCB website was also helpful in putting together the data. Data analysis included examination and organization of both qualitative and quantitative data collected from the field, in discussion form and tabular form respectively. The major findings of the study were that KCB established the PR department majorly to be able to implement; Media relations, Stakeholder relations/communication, Publicity/ marketing, Internal! Employee communications, Reputation management, Publications, Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and even sponsorships and partnerships. It is also clear that the bank values the PR department/function since they are allocated their own budget and also report directly to the Chief Executive officer through the Company secretary who is a member of the Executive committee. Based on the findings, the study concluded that Public Relations are better practiced by professionals and with proper budgetary and staff allocation. The bank is able to outshine the other financial institutions because of its solid PR background that firefights for it, communicates for it and also does research for the bank for better placement in the financial business. It was recommended that the bank puts in more effort in informing all its members of staff of their PR activities, train them on how to handle clients better and also work on better ways to communicate with its clients/publics.