What Is The Lasswell Communication Model? The Lasswell Communication Model In A Nutshell

The Lasswell communication model is a linear framework for explaining the communication process through segmentation. Lasswell proposed media propaganda performs three social functions: surveillance, correlation, transmission. Lasswell believed the media could impact what viewers believed about the information presented.

Concept OverviewThe Lasswell Communication Model, developed by communication theorist Harold D. Lasswell, is a simple and linear model that provides a framework for understanding communication by addressing five key questions: Who, Says What, In Which Channel, To Whom, With What Effect.
Key ElementsThe Lasswell Model comprises the following key elements:
1. Who: The sender or source of the communication.
2. Says What: The content or message being communicated.
3. In Which Channel: The medium or channel used for the communication.
4. To Whom: The target audience or receivers of the message.
5. With What Effect: The impact or outcome of the communication on the audience.
Who (Sender)The “Who” element represents the sender or source of the communication. It focuses on understanding the identity, attributes, and characteristics of the sender, which can influence how the message is perceived by the audience.
Says What (Message)The “Says What” element pertains to the content or message being conveyed by the sender. It emphasizes the importance of analyzing the substance, information, or ideas contained within the communication and how they are presented.
In Which ChannelThe “In Which Channel” element refers to the medium or channel chosen for the communication. It involves considering the means through which the message is transmitted, such as spoken language, written text, visual media, or digital platforms.
To Whom (Audience)The “To Whom” element focuses on the target audience or receivers of the communication. It seeks to understand the demographics, characteristics, and perspectives of the audience, as this can significantly impact how the message is received and interpreted.
With What EffectThe “With What Effect” element examines the outcomes or impact of the communication on the audience. It involves assessing whether the communication achieved its intended goals and the broader consequences it may have on individuals or society as a whole.
ApplicationsThe Lasswell Communication Model is used in various communication disciplines, including media studies, political communication, and advertising. It helps analyze and dissect communication processes by breaking them down into fundamental components.
Benefits– Simplifies complex communication processes into key questions.- Provides a structured framework for communication analysis.- Useful in studying mass media effects and political communication.- Supports critical analysis of messages and their impact.- Offers a starting point for communication research.
Drawbacks– Oversimplifies communication by focusing on basic components.- Doesn’t account for the complexity of interpersonal communication.- Ignores context, cultural factors, and non-verbal cues.- Doesn’t address the feedback or interactive nature of communication.- May not apply to all communication contexts.

Understanding the Lasswell communication model

The Lasswell communication model is named after American political scientist and communication theorist Harold Lasswell.

Lasswell, a former Yale University professor, developed the model in 1948 to analyze mass communication and the effect of media propaganda in various countries and businesses.

To that end, he proposed media propaganda performs three social functions:


Which gives those consuming media insight into what is transpiring around them.


This refers to the media’s interpretation and explanation of specific news events.


Where the media conveys social ideas and cultural heritage to subsequent generations of media consumers.

In general terms, Lasswell believed the media could impact what viewers believed about the information presented. This notion can be extended to any communicator, whether it be a person, group, or business.

Regardless of the context, however, the communicating entity has some intention to influence the receiver through messaging. This means Lasswell’s model treats communication as a tool for persuasion.

The five components of the Lasswell communication model

Five components can be used to predict the effect a message has on a person or group of people, with each having its own analysis method.

Let’s take a look at the five components below:

1 – Who  

The communicator, sender, or source of the message. This may be a person or an organized institution like a newspaper, radio station, website, or television station. 

Here, Lasswell argued that a control analysis should be used to critique the sender on how they exercise control and power over the message being disseminated. Do they have authority on the topic? Do they have a political agenda or some other bias? How have they reported on similar events in the past?

2 – Says what

Put simply, the message being communicated. This may include a news story, fairy-tale, biblical story, political story, or story with an important take-home message.

In this case, Lasswell favored a content analysis where a transcription of the message is scrutinized. This enables the receiver to identify recurring themes, highlight important passages, and identify how the message distorts the truth. 

More specifically:

  • How does the message depict someone as a hero while depicting someone else as a villain? How does it frame the battle between good and evil?
  • How are minority groups portrayed? This is an increasingly important factor.
  • What are the concepts being reinforced as the ideal or truth?

3 – In which channel

This describes the medium or media used to disseminate the message, such as social media, photography, books, blogs, television, radio, letters, and magazines.

When Lasswell developed his theory in 1948, he had access to a very small number of media. But the premise remains the same today, with a media analysis determining the medium most suitable for sending a message to a particular audience.

4 – To Whom

This is the receiver of the message, which may be an individual or an audience. In the context of mass communication, the audience may constitute:

  • The citizens of a nation.
  • The readership of a blog, magazine, or newspaper.
  • Children – if messages are being sent on television before and after school and on weekends.
  • Adults – for products such as alcohol and gambling.
  • Women – for the promotion of women’s fashion and related social issues.

In the fourth component, audience analysis is key. This categorizes the preferences of audiences according to:

  • Demography – age, income level, ethnicity, location, and marital status.
  • Status – political or social affiliations, job titles, and professions.
  • Behaviors – needs, wants, values, hobbies, personalities.

5 – With what effect

What effect will the message have on the intended target audience?

In marketing, the effect the business wants to institute is consumers spending money. However, other effects may also include influencing voter preferences, increased brand awareness, or public awareness of a health issue.

To measure the impact of a message, an effects analysis is undertaken. For modern businesses, results can be attained almost instantaneously.

An eCommerce business will know how long a consumer spends on their site before purchasing.

Similarly, it will also be able to determine the success of a recent advertising campaign and be able to make important strategic adjustments.

Advantages of the Lasswell model of communication


Lasswell’s model is useful to describe almost any type of communication, irrespective of the context, message content, sender and receiver, and medium in which the communication occurs.


While it does not have the nuance of some other models, many enjoy Lasswell’s interpretation because it is simple, easy to understand, and contains only five components.

Disadvantages of the Lasswell model of communication


The main criticism of Lasswell’s model is that it does not account for feedback.

While the effect a message has on the receiver could be construed as feedback, Lasswell’s model was intended to study mass media communication.

As a result, it does not consider that the receiver may want to transmit a message back to the sender.


Furthermore, Lasswell’s model does not consider the impact of noise. This can be defined as any internal or external factor that disrupts the communication process.

In general, noise may be physiological (hunger, fatigue), physical (interference, static, a passing train), psychological (preoccupation, inattentiveness), and semantic – where words or concepts are not mutually understood because of age, culture, experience, or some other factor.

Common misconceptions of Lasswell’s model

Lasswell’s model has existed for over 70 years. During that time, several misconceptions have arisen and cast doubt over Lasswell’s contribution to the field of mass communication. 

Let’s take a brief look at these misconceptions below.

The model is static with fixed categories

Many assume Lasswell’s model is a product of its time. Post-World War Two, communication was mechanistic and consisted of one sender, a broadcast message, and many receivers.

However, in the years after his model was released, Lasswell stressed that his model could be adapted to a range of contexts.

In 1968, for example, he noted that it could be used to analyze political discourse and added several more components.

In the late 1990s, several scholars also equated “effect” with “feedback” and used it in various social, economic, and cultural contexts.

Lasswell created a graphical model

There is also an assumption that Lasswell created the graphical model behind his theory.

However, it was first mentioned by Denis Mcquail and Sven Windahl in their 1981 book Communication Models for the Study of Mass Communications.

Further analysis of the model and how it was applied to Lasswell’s theory has discovered potential inconsistencies.

Perhaps the most salient is that Mcquail and Windahl used arrows pointing from left to right to give the impression of linear communication.

However, experts argue that Lasswell’s categories of questions are just that. There is nothing in the theory suggesting communication must progress through the categories linearly.

Lasswell’s model is outdated

Some also consider Lasswell’s model outdated for obvious reasons.

But when the theory is perceived as more than a simple linear model and instead as a general concept, we discover that it has more utility and relevance today.

This can be demonstrated by the way in which Lasswell’s concept has been cited in literature over the past few decades.

Indeed, it has been adapted as a maxim, index, model, formula, paradigm, and dictum, among other uses.

Linear vs. Non-linear communication

While the Lasswell mode of communication is more comprehensive compared to other linear models, like the Shannon communication model, it’s still a linear model whose main focus is to understand the technical nuances of communication.

Indeed, compared to other linear models of communication, the Lasswell model takes into account group dynamics that might affect communication.

That is critical, as in the real world, made of human interactions, noise is the rule, rather than the exception.

And a communication model that works for human interactions must address this sort of “cognitive noise,” which is part of human communications.

Thus, wherewith linear models of communication have a more technical focus, like the Shannon model, the Lasswell model is a bit more nuanced.

However, just like the Shannon model, this is skewed toward understanding the technical nuances of communication.

And the Lasswell model focuses on mass communication, vs. the Shannon model is more skewed toward simple two-person communication types.

Thus, the Lasswell model tries to understand how communication is affected in a group dynamic from a technical standpoint.

Laswell’s model of communication today

Here is a look at another Lasswell model example.

This time, we will discuss the broader ways in which modern media companies communicate with their customers.

As technology and the internet continue to evolve, it is clear Lasswell’s model is becoming increasingly relevant.

1 – Who?

Lasswell noted in the late 1940s that the entity sending the message was mostly television and radio-based media.

Today, the impact of so-called “new media” online has increased the diversity of communication. The internet allows anyone with a modicum of knowledge to publish and broadcast information for myriad purposes.

Among these online communicators exists a wide spectrum of topic authority, expertise, credibility, honesty, and bias. 

2 – Says what?

Lasswell was concerned with underlying themes or messages present in the media.

He analyzed this via content representation, where the number of occurrences of a specific representation was compared to an objective measure such as official statistics.

In the new media environment of the 21st century, publishers can subvert traditional media channels and cater to virtually every type of consumer.

The sheer number of communicators also means those in minority or otherwise overlooked groups have more chance of media representation.

As the number of publishers increases, so too does the diversity and complexity of the messages that are transmitted.

The rise of so-called “fake news” is one negative consequence of a free and accessible media landscape.

3 – In which channel?

Technology has come a long way since radio and print media. Messages are now sent via blogs, emails, podcasts, video games, search engines, social media, cellphone texts, and even newer concepts such as the metaverse.

Within each channel, the message is crafted or altered according to its intended purpose.

In defining new media, researcher Vin Crosbie described interpersonal media as “one to one”, the mass media of Lasswell’s day as “one to many”, and new media as “many to many”.

4 – To whom?

As noted above, Lasswell’s model was developed at a time when mass media was dominant.

As a result, he considered the audience to be a broad group of people like all the citizens of a nation or the readership of a magazine.

Messages intended for new media are crafted or altered according to the behaviors, status, and needs of the target audience.

While it is estimated that there are over 4.66 billion internet users worldwide, transmitting messages to a broad swathe of people is no longer considered a worthwhile strategy for modern businesses.

5 – With what effect?

In an increasingly distracted and competitive world, the primary goal of new media marketing messages is to attract the audience’s attention.

Once attention has been earned, there may be one or more secondary goals such as:

  • Increased brand awareness or purchase intention.
  • Propaganda. 
  • Altered voting preferences, and
  • Public awareness and guidance during a crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

For online companies, it is easy to track whether the message had the intended effect using analytics software.

Fukushima disaster Lasswell Model of communication case study

Let’s now take a look at a real-world example of the Lasswell communication model.

On 11 March 2011, an earthquake off the coast of Japan caused a tsunami that disabled the power supply to a nuclear power plant in Fukushima.

How did this disaster play out in the media according to Lasswell’s five components of communication?

1 – Who 

News of the disaster was reported in broadcasts all over the world. Many of these were from influential news outlets such as CNN, Reuters, and the BBC.

However, there was also communication of the disaster via amateur footage captured by those on the ground.

Japanese emergency response authorities were best equipped to communicate the disaster to those most at risk, following a similar approach to the way in which civilians were evacuated from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

The operator of the nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., was also a sender of important information.

2 – What

The aforementioned emergency response authorities ordered an immediate evacuation of 109,000 people within a 20km radius of the nuclear plant.

On March 12, the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) communicated that radiation levels near Fukushima’s front entrance were more than eight times higher than normal.

As the extent and severity of the disaster become apparent, Japanese Emperor Akihito held a televised address urging citizens to understand and help one another. 

One month later, on April 12, NISA announced the disaster had reached Level 7 or ”major accident” status.

This was noted as a ”major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures.”

3 – In which channel?

Information on the Fukushima disaster was transmitted via television, radio, newspaper, and various online channels.

Following the earthquake, a tsunami alert siren also sounded throughout Fukushima and adjacent areas to warn residents of imminent danger.

4 – To whom?

The Fukushima disaster was communicated to citizens all over the world. But as noted in the previous sections, most initial messages were intended for those who lived within a 20km radius of the nuclear plant. 

However, the subsequent tsunami was much larger in extent, inundating 561 square kilometers of land and affecting over 600,000 residents.

In areas where electricity had not been impacted, residents in low-lying or coastal areas were told to evacuate.

5 – With what effect?

The intended effect of communicating the Fukushima disaster was to increase public awareness of a life-threatening disaster – whether that be from radiation, building collapse, or flooding.

Part of Lasswell’s model also considers the extent to which the communications(s) had the desired effect.

The order by authorities to evacuate residents within a defined radius was seen by many as too effective.

This is because an additional 45,000 residents fled their homes in non-affected areas, which placed further strain on resources.

With respect to information communicated about the tsunami, it was found that hazard maps delineating risk levels caused communities in low-risk areas to become complacent.

These maps were also based on scientific modeling that did not account for a wave of the magnitude that occurred in the Fukushima disaster. 

To ensure better communication in future events, the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) expanded its tsunami warning network by installing broadband seismometers and offshore monitoring systems.

Clothing brand Lasswell Model of communication case study

Imagine that a clothing brand is sending a marketing email to a list of prospects.

We’ll describe this process using Lasswell’s model of communication.

Who? (Communicator)

The communicator is an outdoor company that sells tents, cookware, hiking shoes, kayaks, compasses, first aid kits, camping equipment, and associated items. 

Control analysis

The company is an authority on the topic of outdoor living and various sub-topics because it has been in operation for over 50 years.

Many staff have qualifications in outdoor education, outdoor leadership, and orienteering or are otherwise knowledgeable about outdoor products and survival in nature.

The company is also a firm believer in environmentally friendly products and environmental stewardship in general.

Says what? (Message)

The message is the email sent to subscribers of the company’s email list. The email is part promotion and part education. 

Subscribers are warned of the imminent summer season when temperatures and wildlife become hazardous, but there are also tips on how to enjoy the outdoors safely and a list of recommended products.

These products include hydration packs, summer tents, and water purifiers. 

Content analysis

The underlying theme of the communication is framed as a battle between man and nature how man can survive.

The company paints the harsh realities of extreme summer temperatures as the villain and its own products as the heroes.

But it does so in such a way that its environmental values are upheld.

In which channel? (Medium)

The medium transmits the message from the sender to the receiver. In this case, emails are sent via the internet.

Media analysis

Whilst the outdoor company has been around for over 50 years, it is a family-owned business and thus does not have a substantial advertising budget. 

The marketing team has experienced limited success with other internet-based channels such as contextual video ads.

However, it finds that the effectiveness, control, and affordability of email marketing are difficult to beat.

To whom? (Audience)

The audience is a list of subscribers who are outdoor enthusiasts.

Most have purchased something from the company in the past, while a smaller subset has signed up for a newsletter for advice on outdoor products and access to store discounts. 

To measure whether its communication has the intended effect, the company’s marketing team analyzes email and sales data against campaign KPIs.

Audience analysis

The company’s core demographic is predominantly middle-aged males between the ages of 25 and 44.

Research shows that this audience tends to live near the coast or mountains, and is 22% more likely than the average consumer to earn an annual income over $100,000.

Not surprisingly, these individuals are interested in outdoor or even extreme sports and like to be associated with organizations that share their environmental values.

With what effect? (Effect)

The outdoor company wants its email subscribers to purchase equipment from them.

After reading information on how to prepare for the summer reason, the company includes a call to action and links to where subscribers can purchase the products.

Key takeaways

  • The Lasswell communication model is a linear framework for explaining the communication process through segmentation. It was developed by American political scientist and communication theorist Harold Lasswell in 1948.
  • The Lasswell communication model was based on a study of media propaganda across various countries and businesses and the role it played in mass communication.
  • The Lasswell communication model is comprised of five components, with each component asking the receiver to critically analyze various aspects of the message. 

Lasswell Communication Model Applied Strategies

Business ScenarioElementsApplicationImplicationOutcome
Product Advertising CampaignWho: Marketer, Says What: Product info, In Which Channel: TV, To Whom: Target Audience, With What Effect: Increased SalesA marketer advertises a new product on television to a specific target audience to boost sales.Enhanced brand visibility and consumer engagement.Increased product sales and market penetration.
CEO’s Quarterly Earnings Report PresentationWho: CEO, Says What: Financial Results, In Which Channel: Conference Call, To Whom: Investors, With What Effect: Informed Investment DecisionsThe CEO addresses investors via a conference call, providing financial results for the quarter.Informed investment decisions and shareholder confidence.Investor trust and potential stock value increase.
Social Media Marketing CampaignWho: Social Media Team, Says What: Promotional Content, In Which Channel: Social Media Platforms, To Whom: Target Audience, With What Effect: Increased Brand EngagementA company’s social media team shares promotional content on platforms like Instagram and Facebook to engage with the target audience.Expanded online presence and brand visibility.Higher user engagement and brand loyalty.
Employee Onboarding and TrainingWho: HR Department, Says What: Training Materials, In Which Channel: In-Person and Online, To Whom: New Hires, With What Effect: Skill DevelopmentThe HR department conducts onboarding and training sessions for new employees through both in-person and online channels.Employee skill development and productivity.Efficient integration of new hires and improved performance.
Customer Feedback CollectionWho: Customer Support Team, Says What: Feedback Surveys, In Which Channel: Email and Website, To Whom: Customers, With What Effect: Improved Products and ServicesThe customer support team sends feedback surveys to customers via email and posts them on the company’s website.Enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty.Continuous improvement of products and services.
Marketing Email CampaignWho: Marketing Department, Says What: Promotions and Offers, In Which Channel: Email, To Whom: Subscribers, With What Effect: Increased SalesThe marketing department sends promotional emails to subscribers to encourage sales.Direct marketing to a specific audience segment.Higher conversion rates and sales revenue.
Public Relations Crisis ManagementWho: PR Team, Says What: Crisis Response Statements, In Which Channel: Press Releases and Social Media, To Whom: Public and Stakeholders, With What Effect: Reputation RecoveryThe PR team issues press releases and social media statements to address a corporate crisis.Reputation repair and crisis containment.Restored public trust and stakeholder confidence.
Supplier Relationship ManagementWho: Procurement Team, Says What: Contract Negotiations, In Which Channel: Meetings and Correspondence, To Whom: Suppliers, With What Effect: Reliable Supply ChainThe procurement team negotiates contracts and communicates with suppliers through meetings and correspondence.Efficient supply chain management and cost control.Reliable supplier relationships and cost savings.
Quarterly Sales MeetingWho: Sales Team, Says What: Sales Reports and Targets, In Which Channel: In-Person Meeting, To Whom: Sales Team and Management, With What Effect: Sales Strategy AlignmentThe sales team holds a quarterly in-person meeting to discuss sales reports and set targets.Sales team alignment and performance improvement.Achievement of sales targets and market share growth.
Marketing Research and Consumer InsightsWho: Market Research Team, Says What: Research Findings, In Which Channel: Reports and Presentations, To Whom: Management and Marketing Teams, With What Effect: Informed Marketing StrategiesThe market research team compiles research findings into reports and presentations for management and marketing teams.Data-driven decision-making and strategic planning.Targeted marketing campaigns and improved ROI.
Employee Performance AppraisalWho: Supervisors and Managers, Says What: Performance Feedback, In Which Channel: One-on-One Meetings, To Whom: Employees, With What Effect: Skill ImprovementSupervisors and managers provide performance feedback to employees during one-on-one meetings.Employee motivation and professional growth.Improved job performance and career development.
Product Development Brainstorming SessionWho: Cross-Functional Team, Says What: Ideas and Concepts, In Which Channel: In-Person Meeting, To Whom: Team Members, With What Effect: Innovation and Product DevelopmentA cross-functional team holds an in-person brainstorming session to discuss product ideas and concepts.Collaboration and idea generation for innovation.Development of new products and competitive advantage.
Marketing Budget Allocation StrategyWho: Marketing Executives, Says What: Budget Allocation Plan, In Which Channel: Meetings and Reports, To Whom: Finance Department and Executives, With What Effect: Cost-Effective MarketingMarketing executives communicate the budget allocation plan to the finance department and other executives through meetings and reports.Efficient use of marketing resources and budget control.Optimized marketing campaigns and ROI.
Employee Engagement Survey and Action PlanningWho: HR Department, Says What: Survey Results and Action Plans, In Which Channel: Email and Workshops, To Whom: Employees, With What Effect: Improved Employee EngagementThe HR department shares survey results and action plans with employees through email and workshops.Employee feedback incorporation and engagement improvement.Higher employee satisfaction and retention rates.
Strategic Partnership NegotiationWho: Partnership Negotiation Team, Says What: Terms and Conditions, In Which Channel: Meetings and Legal Documents, To Whom: Potential Partners, With What Effect: Business ExpansionThe partnership negotiation team discusses terms and conditions with potential partners through meetings and legal documents.New business opportunities and market expansion.Successful partnership agreements and growth.
Internal Communication of Organizational ChangesWho: Leadership Team, Says What: Change Announcements, In Which Channel: Meetings, Emails, and Intranet, To Whom: Employees, With What Effect: Change Adoption and AlignmentThe leadership team communicates organizational changes through meetings, emails, and the company’s intranet.Employee understanding, acceptance, and alignment with change.Smooth transition and successful implementation of changes.
Crisis Communication to Employees and StakeholdersWho: Crisis Management Team, Says What: Crisis Response Plans, In Which Channel: Internal and External Communication Channels, To Whom: Employees and Stakeholders, With What Effect: Trust RestorationThe crisis management team communicates crisis response plans to employees and stakeholders through internal and external communication channels.Employee and stakeholder trust restoration and crisis containment.Minimized damage, restored trust, and reputation recovery.

Read Next: Lasswell Communication Model, Linear Model Of Communication.

Connected Communication Models

Aristotle’s Model of Communication

The Aristotle model of communication is a linear model with a focus on public speaking. The Aristotle model of communication was developed by Greek philosopher and orator Aristotle, who proposed the linear model to demonstrate the importance of the speaker and their audience during communication. 

Communication Cycle

The linear model of communication is a relatively simplistic model envisaging a process in which a sender encodes and transmits a message that is received and decoded by a recipient. The linear model of communication suggests communication moves in one direction only. The sender transmits a message to the receiver, but the receiver does not transmit a response or provide feedback to the sender.

Berlo’s SMCR Model

Berlo’s SMCR model was created by American communication theorist David Berlo in 1960, who expanded the Shannon-Weaver model of communication into clear and distinct parts. Berlo’s SMCR model is a one-way or linear communication framework based on the Shannon-Weaver communication model.

Helical Model of Communication

The helical model of communication is a framework inspired by the three-dimensional spring-like curve of a helix. It argues communication is cyclical, continuous, non-repetitive, accumulative, and influenced by time and experience.

Lasswell Communication Model

The Lasswell communication model is a linear framework for explaining the communication process through segmentation. Lasswell proposed media propaganda performs three social functions: surveillance, correlation, and transmission. Lasswell believed the media could impact what viewers believed about the information presented.

Modus Tollens

Modus tollens is a deductive argument form and a rule of inference used to make conclusions of arguments and sets of arguments.  Modus tollens argues that if P is true then Q is also true. However, P is false. Therefore Q is also false. Modus tollens as an inference rule dates back to late antiquity where it was taught as part of Aristotelian logic. The first person to describe the rule in detail was Theophrastus, successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school.

Five Cannons of Rhetoric

The five canons of rhetoric were first organized by Roman philosopher Cicero in his treatise De Inventione in around 84 BC. Some 150 years later, Roman rhetorician Quintilian explored each of the five canons in more depth as part of his 12-volume textbook entitled Institutio Oratoria. The work helped the five canons become a major component of rhetorical education well into the medieval period. The five canons of rhetoric comprise a system for understanding powerful and effective communication.

Communication Strategy

A communication strategy framework clarifies how businesses should communicate with their employees, investors, customers, and suppliers. Some of the key elements of an effective communication strategy move around purpose, background, objectives, target audience, messaging, and approach.

Noise if Communication

Noise is any factor that interferes with or impedes effective communication between a sender and receiver. When noise disrupts the communication process or prevents the transmission of information, it is said to be communication noise.

7 Cs of Communication

The 7Cs of communication is a set of guiding principles on effective communication skills in business, moving around seven principles for effective business communication: clear, concise, concrete, correct, complete, coherent, and courteous.

Transactional Model of Communication

The transactional model of communication describes communication as a two-way, interactive process within social, relational, and cultural contexts. The transactional model of communication is best exemplified by two models. Barnlund’s model describes communication as a complex, multi-layered process where the feedback from the sender becomes the message for the receiver. Dance’s helical model is another example, which suggests communication is continuous, dynamic, evolutionary, and non-linear.

Horizontal Communication

Horizontal communication, often referred to as lateral communication, is communication that occurs between people at the same organizational level. In this context, communication describes any information that is transmitted between individuals, teams, departments, divisions, or units.

Communication Apprehension

Communication apprehension is a measure of the degree of anxiety someone feels in response to real (or anticipated) communication with another person or people.

Closed-Loop Communication

Closed-loop communication is a simple but effective technique used to avoid misunderstandings during the communication process. Here, the person receiving information repeats it back to the sender to ensure they have understood the message correctly. 

Grapevine In Communication

Grapevine communication describes informal, unstructured, workplace dialogue between employees and superiors. It was first described in the early 1800s after someone observed that the appearance of telegraph wires strung between transmission poles resembled a grapevine.

ASE Model

The ASE model posits that human behavior can be predicted if one studies the intention behind the behavior. It was created by health communication expert Hein de Vries in 1988. The ASE model believes intention and behavior are determined by cognitive variables such as attitude, social influence, and self-efficacy. The model also believes that intention predicts behavior such that one’s attitude toward a behavior is influenced by the consequences of that behavior. Three cognitive variables are the primary determinants of whether the intention to perform a new behavior was sustained: attitude, social influence, and self-efficacy. Various external variables also influence these factors.

Integrated Marketing Communication

Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is an approach used by businesses to coordinate and brand their communication strategies. Integrated marketing communication takes separate marketing functions and combines them into one, interconnected approach with a core brand message that is consistent across various channels. These encompass owned, earned, and paid media. Integrated marketing communication has been used to great effect by companies such as Snapchat, Snickers, and Domino’s.

Social Penetration Theory

Social penetration theory was developed by fellow psychologists Dalmas Taylor and Irwin Altman in their 1973 article Social Penetration: The Development of Interpersonal Relationships. Social penetration theory (SPT) posits that as a relationship develops, shallow and non-intimate communication evolves and becomes deeper and more intimate.

Hypodermic Needle

The hypodermic needle theory was first proposed by communication theorist Harold Lasswell in his 1927 book Propaganda Technique in the World War. The hypodermic needle theory is a communication model suggesting media messages are inserted into the brains of passive audiences.

7-38-55 Rule

The 7-38-55 rule was created by University of California psychology professor Albert Mehrabian and mentioned in his book Silent Messages.  The 7-38-55 rule describes the multi-faceted way in which people communicate emotions, claiming that 7% of communication occurred via spoken word, 38% through tone of voice, and the remaining 55% through body language.

Active Listening

Active listening is the process of listening attentively while someone speaks and displaying understanding through verbal and non-verbal techniques. Active listening is a fundamental part of good communication, fostering a positive connection and building trust between individuals.

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