Content analysis is one characterized form of data gathering style available to communication researchers. It is use to derive data from an existing data source or better to say a secondary sources.
So instead of interviewing people or asking them to answer a questionnaire as in survey research or observing behavior as in human understanding and test, any researcher using content analysis must examine that communication based on an already produced form like newspapers which is an everyday publications or magazine which is a monthly, yearly, bi-annual publication, in the idea of content analysis, you make your research based on a well defined and produced form of communication at time and his own personal choosing.
The purposes concerned with the characteristics of content which may form basis for content analysis include the following :
- To see to the audit of communication content against objectives
- To discover stylistic features
- To exposed half truth I.e a propaganda technique
- To expose the global discrepancy in communication content.
- To describe trend in communication content.
Now let quickly talk about method to which one can conduct public relation research, one can use the following :
- DESCRIPTIVE SURVEY : this offers a snapshot of a situation or condition. They are the research equivalent of a balance sheet, capturing reality at a specific point in time. A typical public opinion poll is a prime example.
- EXPLANATORY SURVEY : Are concerned with cause and effect. Their purpose is to help explain why a current situation or condition exists and to offer explanations for opinions and attitudes, frequently, such explanatory or analytical surveys are designed to answer the question “why” why are our philanthropically efforts being appreciated in the community? Why don’t employees believe management’s message? Why is our credibility being questioned?
- INTERVIEW : The interview as being defined by “Berger” as a conversation between a researcher ( someone who wishes to gain information about a subject) and an informant ( someone presumably has information on the subject). Interview can provide more personal, first-hand feel for public opinion interviews can be conducted in a number of ways. This include face to face, telephone, mail ( by post) and through out the internet.
- TELEPHONE INTERVIEW ( PHONIA) : This interview conducted via telephone. This approach suffers from high refusal rate because many people do not want to be bothered especially when the interviewer is unknown to the respondent.
- MAIL INTERVIEW : This is the least expensive approach, but it often suffers from a how response rate. Frequently people who return mail questionnaire are those with strong biases either in favor of or ( more commonly) in opposition to the subject at hand. As noted, one way to generate a higher response from mail interviews is through the use of self – addressed, stamped envelopes.
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