ROLE OF SECRETARY AS A PUBLIC RELATION OFFICER
The desire to write on this particular topic. “The Role of Secretary as a Public Relation Officer grew out of the present significant roles secretaries play to ensure growth and stability of any organization they are working with and its relationship with the Public Relations life. The project report is divided into five chapters. Chapter one, Introduction, discuss the background of the study, the problem that led to the research, the questions raised by the problem to which this research work seeks to answer. Chapter two, Literature Review discusses facts drawn form related literatures. Chapter three, Researcher methodology delt with the method used in finding answers to the research questions, the population to be covered, the instrument used as well as the method of data analysis. Chapter four, elaborated exhaustively on analysis and results of finding of the information collected in he field. (ie Data presentation). Chapter five, delt with summary and conclusions drawn form the finding of the research. Recommendations that will enhance performance ere also made.
Unit quite recently, employers of labour and other members of the public had the perception that secretaries’ roles in a work environment are only confined to scribing shorthand and hitting of typewriter. It was equally perceived that secretary’s role in the office is related to women’s role in the family. Hence the application of these two related adages, “The women place is the kitchen”, “The secretary’s place is behind the typewrite. Coincidentally, development and technological advancement in Nigeria in particular and the world as a whole has come into play by reforming these wrong perceptions, just as women are fighting for women liberation, secretaries have gotten numerous qualitative recognition attributable to the significant roles they play in organization, which they final themselves.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The word “Secretary” is derived from a latin word “Secretaries” which means something that is known to one person or few persons but hidden form views of others. In other words, it means secret. A secretarial staff is an official with professional qualifications of a secretary and is equipped with the knowledge of general secretarial practice embodied mainly on shorthand and typewriting. But in recent time, secretaries are looked down upon on the employment list. They are regarded as “YES SIR” Elique and no wonder their highest level in any ministerial establishment does not extent beyond Grade level 13. This bad attitude towards secretarial staff has succeeded in debarring some new entrants into the profession and such, half-baked ones arose to take the position hence they know how to hit the typewriter. This bad impression about the role of a secretary was clearly manifested in the case of Barentt Hoares and company vs south London Tramway when Lord Esher (1887) noted that “a secretary is a mere servant, his position is to do what he is total and no person can assume that he has any authority to represent anything at all…”
The researcher in the course of this study will trace the role of a secretary in an organization as it pertains to public relations. It will compare the role of today’s secretary with that of the yester years because according to Lord Denning 91971) in the case between panorama Development Ltd Vs Fidelis Furnishing Fabrics, he ruled “…but times have changed. A secretary is much more important person nowadays than she was in 1887. She is an administrative office of the company. As regards matters concerning administration in my judgement, the secretary has ostensibly authority to sign contracts on behalf of the company. Furthermore, if a company is hiring cars to meet its foreign customers at the airport, nothing to my mind is more important that the company would hire these cars through its secretary”.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Over the years, the significant roles of secretaries were relegated to the background. That is to say, secretaries are known to be working behind the scene. They are wrongly perceived to be those group in an employment list who are keenly interested in taking orders from the boss and complying to such instructions sheepishly without applying their own natural sense, training or professional initiatives. Moreso, most employs have the impression that everyone who is a secretary has the same kind of job description. In fact, they fails to understand that secretarial work covers a whole collection of tasks often involving quite contrasting skills. The fact that most secretaries start off with training based on common technique, such as shorthand, typewriting and office procedures, frequently distinguished the completely different directions in which secretarial work develops.
The term “SECRETARY” has come to be used far too loosely. Many junior typists, who are more of less like “mango-tree” typists, like to think themselves secretaries. It also flatters young mangers, who are seeking to build up their importance, to refer to the typist who prepares their letters and reports, as their secretary all in the effort to boost their ego. No wonder Eleanor et al (1980) p. 4 in his book tried to distinguish these defects in peoples’ perception of the role of secretaries with what it is supposed to be. He maintained that “the true secretary, however, should not only have highly competent manual skills but an understanding of organization and administration and a capacity for obtaining result through people on behalf of her manager or managers.
However, those wrong perception or belittling of secretary’s role in organizations have caused an immeasurable harm to secretarial profession by dissuading some young men and women who might have had some interest in taking secretaryship as a profession. Furthermore, many have complained of undynamic nature of secretarial job. By this, the researcher means that routine job of a secretary has made people to believe that she usually sits tight in the office no movement at all she comes first to be office and will be the last to leave. For this reason, the secretary may have to suffer some kind of blockage on other things that happens in the society. With all these problems in view, this project has come to address all the issues as it pertains to the role of a secretary in general and how these roles are linked with or seen as a public relations functions.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
It is worthy to note that the society is interested about development every year marks a particular change; addition or reformation to business activities in the society. Secretarial field or profession is not left out.
This research is therefore aimed at discovering some innovations on the roles of modern days secretaries.
Sit will also discuss extensively those roles played by secretaries and how they can be seen as a public relations function. Another objective of this research is to expose the prospects of secretaries thereby expose the prospects of secretaries thereby encourage new entrants into the profession.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Indeed, the writer of this project would have preferred making a comparative study of as many establishment as possible, but owning to certain constraints, she resolved to use Igbo Etiti East Local Government Secretariat as a case study.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research questions are as follows
i) Do secretaries play any public relations roles
ii) What are those roles of a secretary that are linked up with public relation?
iii) Can any or all of these roles be improve through training.
iv) Does recruitment exercise have any contribution to make in public relations?
v) Are public relations the same as human relations?
vi) What is the importance of public and human relations?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance of this study which centers on the roles of secretarial staff as a public relations officer cannot be over-emphasized. Firstly, the study will assist in enlightening members of the public or the reader on the enviable roles which secretaries play in an organization, especially those that contribute to the advancement of public relations outfit of a firm. Secondly, this enlightenment shall in no small measures brush up the public on the latest or an ideal perception of what secretarial work entails. Thirdly, the study, after evaluation of the magnanimity of public relations roles of secretaries, will advise managers to relate mutually with practicing secretaries. Fourthly, the successful completion of this research will contribute in building up the body of literature, which is till lacking in the field.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Secretary A person that sees to all the clerical works in the office
Secretaries Something that is know to one or few persons but hidden to others.
Clique A group of people with related life or known behaviour
Eleanor, Macodonald et al (1980) Essentials of management, the successful secretary, Macdonald and Evans Limited, Aba.
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