INFLUENCE OF RELATIONSHIP BUILDING AND COMMUNICATION ON THE RETENTION OF CORPORATE SUBSCRIBERS OF THE PRINT MEDIA PRODUCTS OF THE NATION MEDIA GROUP IN KENYA

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ABSTRACT
The general objective of this study was to investigate the influence of relationship building and communication on the retention of the subscription of print products of Nation Media Group by corporate organizations in Nairobi. The study was necessitated by the fact that organizations need to invest in strategies that enhance customer loyalty, retention and acquisition. Specifically, the study sought to explore the trends in the print media subscription; the factors that affect the subscription of print media products; and to examine the influence of relationship building on the subscription of the print media products of Nation Media Group by corporate organizations in Nairobi. The study was guided by the relationship management theory, which is drawn from the larger realm of the integrated marketing theory of corporate communication. Relying on the cross-sectional mixed method design, the study used systematic random sampling to choose 17 corporate organizations from a list of 51 corporate subscribers of Nation Media Group‟s print media products within Nairobi, three representatives of Nation Media Group‟s marketing, corporate affairs and subscription and circulations departments; and one representative from the Consumer Federation of Kenya. The study used a structured interview guide to collect quantitative data, and an open ended interview guide to collect qualitative data. The findings indicated that subscription of Nation Media Group‟s print media products by corporate organizations remained relatively stable of the five years under the study. The study also revealed that quality of media products, economic factors and relationship management affected subscription in differing manner. Lastly, the study found that relationship building greatly influenced subscription retention among corporate organization, even though certain factors played a role in this. The study concluded that communication and relationship management, however unquantifiable, are very central in building lasting relationship between organizations and their publics, which gave them high competitive advantage. The recommendations from the study were that an organization should not only focus on products and services that it offers to its clients, but should put extra effort in ensuring that customer relationship management with its clients remains steady. It also concluded that a proper disposal mechanism to be adopted for these print media products as in the long run this is actually going to be something that will affect the subscription of the print products as some of the loyal subscribers may switch to other options.

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