HOW INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY SHAPES GOVERNMENT-PUBLIC RELATIONS: EKITI STATE AS A CASE STUDY.
1)Aborisade Philip. Olubunmi and 2)Bamisaye Femi Kehinde,
1)Department of Media and Communication,
Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti.
2)National Open University of Nigeria, Lagos Nigeria
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have always played a vital role in every aspect of governmental activities. The government and general public using public relation effectively has gotten a boost. This article reports a recent study on how information and communication technology shapes government-public relations in Ekiti State for the period of four years administration of the Dr. John KayodeFayemi-led administration in Ekiti State, Nigeria from 2010 to 2014.The research used qualitative method to provide answers to the research questions. This involves Interviews conducted among the indigenes of Ekiti State in the sixteen local government areas of the state, government officials involved in government-public relations such as Information officers in different ministries, permanent secretaries, and politicians in the major political parties in the state and information technology experts. Five Ekiti citizens were randomly selected and interviewed from each of the sixteen local government areas totaling eighty people in all. Five Information officers and five permanent secretaries were interviewed while five technology experts and five internet users in the state were interviewed. So, two hundred people were interviewed in all while secondary sources also provided data to answer the research questions. This research reveals that though government fully utilized information and communication technology to reach out to the people, some citizens were alienated, particularly those who have no access to modern technology such as the internet and the new media modalities such as facebook, twitter etc. This research also points out the need for government to increase awareness among the people at the grassroots to embrace information and communication technology. It also urges the Public Relations (PR) practitioners to employ the use of technology in Public Relations Practice.
Key Words: Information, Communication, Technology, Government-Public Relations, Media Modalities, Modern Technology.