Assessment of public relations strategies employed by selected faith-based organisations in promoting religious tolerance in North Central Nigeria
Abstract Religious tolerance has been a pressing concern in Nigeria, particularly in the Northern region, where conflicts between Muslims and Christ...
Religious tolerance has been a pressing concern in Nigeria, particularly in the Northern region, where conflicts between Muslims and Christians have led to social instability and loss of lives. Public relations strategies are seen as essential tools in promoting religious harmony and peaceful coexistence among religious groups. This study focuses on the public relations strategies employed by the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) and the Interfaith Mediation Center (IMC) to foster understanding and cooperation between religious communities in North Central Nigeria. The primary objective of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of NIREC and IMC's public relations strategies in promoting religious tolerance in the region. To achieve this, the study employs both survey and library research methods, targeting focus groups representing NIREC and IMC in four North Central States of Nigeria, namely Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, and Plateau. The findings indicate that public relations initiatives, particularly interfaith dialogues, have played a significant role in increasing tolerance and mutual understanding among diverse religious communities. However, the study also identifies challenges faced by NIREC and IMC, such as limited funding, misconceptions, resistance from extremists, regional differences, and difficulties in measuring impact. Nonetheless, the study highlights the importance of public relations efforts in fostering religious harmony and peace. Successful strategies can contribute to social cohesion and stability in the region. The research recommends that NIREC and IMC focus on securing adequate funding, addressing misconceptions and stereotypes, engaging with extremist elements, and customizing strategies to specific regional contexts. By implementing these recommendations, NIREC and IMC can enhance the impact of their public relations initiatives, fostering greater religious tolerance and understanding among diverse communities in the North Central States of Nigeria. The study emphasizes the significance of public relations in bridging gaps between religious groups and underscores the need for continuous evaluation and refinement of strategies to achieve sustainable interfaith relations.
Key Words: Public Relations Strategy, Interfaith-Based Organisations, Faith-Based Organisations, Religious Tolerance.
About the Authors
*Suleiman Garba is a lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria. Research Interest: Public Relations and Development Communication.
**Josiah Sabo Kente, PhD., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mass Communication, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria. Research Interest: Broadcast and Media Studies.
JCMR Journal of Communication and Media Research, Vol. 15, No. 2, October 2023, pp. 86-97.
© Association of Media and Communication Researchers of Nigeria (AMCRON).
Garba, S. & Kente, J. S. (2023). Assessment of public relations strategies employed by selected faith-based organisations in promoting religious tolerance in North Central Nigeria. Journal of Communication and Media Research, 15 (2): 86-97.
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