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Communication Models

In Mass Communication on December 8, 2009 at 8:45 am

Definitions
Sender: the person or entity that sends the message
Receiver: the person(s) who receives the message
Encoding: the act of converting the information or message into a format that can be transmitted
Decoding: the act of organizing received data into useful information
Channel: the medium that is used to transmit the message
Noise: anything that is not part of the message that interferes with the transmission of the message

Example
Sender: Client
Receiver: Creative Director
Encoding: Client Contact
Decoding: Account Manager
Channel: Telephone
Noise: the Boss

Scenario
The above example is from my days of being an account manager in a catalog design house. Any time when we were working on a job, inevitably, the client contact would call me with directions or changes. Here’s what typically would take place: the client contact discusses with her boss (sender) what changes need to be made, (message) she (encoder)would then call me on the telephone (channel) to convey the message. While I, as the account manager (decoder), am on the phone with the client contact to digest the message, my boss (the noise) would usually watch over my shoulder to add his opinions, disturbing my concentration. After I organized all the information, my boss (the noise) would usually like to put his spin on it before I hand it over to the creative director (the receiver). In order to reduce the amount of noise, my creative director and I would then have a private meeting to go over all the changes and “delete” anything that my boss said.

Communication Model
The Shannon-Weaver model fits this scenario quite well.

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