THE EFFECT OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION AND PUBLIC RELATIONS IN MANAGEMENT OF HOTELS (A CASE STUDY OF WHITELEAF HOTEL ENUGU)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Communication may be defined as the activity aiming to constitute an arrangement to convey information as one of the fundamental pillars of social life and organizational structure as well as the activity of forming relationships between organizations and groups. A healthy communication is needed for people to know and understand each other better, to create better functioning organizations and to resolve problems easier (Ruck & Welch, 2012). If an adequate importance is not placed on communication problems in an organization, it may not be possible, for example, for people to have better relationships within that organization. Communication has various definitions and descriptions in the literature. Writers have suggested that communication is the activity of exchanging messages or thoughts through speaking, pointing or writing; on reciprocal terms, however, they define it as a message exchange process and they suggest that communication event happens when messages have been completely conveyed. Communication has also been defined as the process of conveying a message containing information from a source to a recipient and has been indicated to be a term expressing the exchange of feelings and thoughts between people (Okay & Okay, 2011).
Human factor comes forth as the most important factor for the organizations in tourism sector due to its labor-intensive quality. Communication is considered as an important factor in tourism establishments and especially in accommodation establishments where human factor is significantly important for the constancy and regularity of the activity of workers as well as sustainability and efficiency of organizations. An accommodation establishment which does not use communication channels properly may not be able to conduct operations regularly and correctly as well, since this specific sector provides services for human beings by human beings as a labor-intensive sector. Human beings who are positively or negatively affected by any behavior, spoken word and attitude make their decisions as a result of these interactions.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Communication and public relations is one of the fundamental characteristics differentiating human beings from all other living creatures. Brownell (2010) has pointed out the importance of employees and the obligation of the management to communicate effectively with their employees in accommodation establishments and has indicated that the need for effective communication skills could increase even more due to the newly emerging international quality of labor in tourism sector and continuous changes in customer demand. He has also emphasized the quality of “racing against the clock” which is specific to accommodation establishments as well as the increased importance of timely and clear communication between employees in this specific sector.
Frontline employees play an important role in connecting with and providing service to customers, and forming long-term relationships with them (Kusluvan, 2013). Employees’ understanding and perception of the information related to the work to be done in accommodation establishments, and the clarity of employees’ roles within the organization, in other words clear expression of the expectation of the organization from the employees play very significant roles in the relationship between employees and customers. The employee who has all the information needed for the work to be done, would be able to increase the quality of service by managing relationships with customers more effectively due to increased self-confidence and would contribute to the positive perception of customers with regard to the service quality.
As one of the determinants of success in tourism establishments as in all kinds of other organizations, communication is the fundamental condition enabling the coordination of organizational functioning.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Specific objectives are as follows;
- To find out whether strategic communication and public relation is adopted in the management of the hotel
- To examine the strategies used in communication and public relation in the management of the hotel
- To investigate the effect of strategic communication and public relations in management of the hotel
- To determine the benefits of strategic communication and public relations in management of hotels.