The Transmission Model of Communication is described as a sequential, one-way system in which a sender deliberately sends a message to a receiver. Within a contact experience, this system focuses on the sender and message. Although the receiver is involved in the model, it does not become a part of a continuous process, but rather a target or endpoint. They are left to assume that either the receiver correctly accepts the message and knows it, or not. The scholars who developed this model expanded to include a message, speaker, and hearer on a linear model suggested by Aristotle centuries before that. These were also inspired by the introduction and spreading of new communication technologies, including telegraphy or radio, and these technological effects can be seen in the model. Think of how you hear a radio message from someone in the radio studio. The transmitter is the radio presenter that encodes a vocal message sent by a radio tower via the channel (electromagnetic waves) and then enters the ears (the recipient) via speakers and antenna to be decoded.
The radio advertiser doesn’t know when you hear his or her message, but if the device is functioning well and the signal is static-free, then the message may have been received successfully. However, some theories will help us to understand this transmission model of communications.
First Transmission Model of Communication Theory by Weaver and Shannon
Shannon and Weaver gave one of the oldest theories of communication in the year 1949. Yet Shannon and Weaver weren’t public relations professionals; they were employed for Bell Telephone Laboratories in the United States. Their emphasis was focused on efficiency and accuracy problems in telephony. Their approach is both easy to grasp and practical in general, making it appealing not only to those working in public relations and marketing but also to scholars who have since developed advanced models and theories that describe the system of organizational and human communication.
Weaver and Shannon’s model sometimes called the transmission model, consists of five elements;
A source that produces the message.
A sender that ‘encodes’ the message into a signal.
A channel that carries the signal is modified to be transmitted.
A receiver that ‘decodes’ the transmitted messages.
The destination the message arrives.
An additional element noise was included, it is described as any interruption with the message that can alter or interrupt the signal, thus turning the main message into another different thing.
The long existed concept of “transmission,” is a bit simplistic. But it serves as a reminder to professionals of the basic communication and Public relations processes. It is also the foundation of Harold Lasswell’s interaction clarification as a big lie for social scientists and gurus as being;
Who says what to whom in What Channel with What Effect?
Shannon and Weaver concluded that when talking about communications, there are three issues: the technical problem: and how effectively can the message be passed on?
The semantics problem: how exactly is the meaning transmitted?
The issue of effectiveness: how does the meaning obtain impact the behaviour?
They thought that solving the technical issues would effectively solve the problems of semantics and effectiveness (and that’s simplistic).
Second Theory by Carey James (communication and transportation links)
Technology and Invention play an essential part in the development of corporate communications. James Carey was a pioneer in American scholars and journalism. In his book Communication As Culture (1989), Carey talked about the telegraph’s understated role in future communication technologies and its development. In 1794, Claude Chappe created the non-electric telegraph, and it was a visual system that relies on a line of sight for communication and uses a flag-based alphabet, and semaphore. Samuel Morse’s electrical telegraph was later used to replace the optical telegraph.
The flow of information was more or less similar to the movement of goods and persons before the nineteenth century, and it was defined as’ communication.’ Most decisions, essentially political and business decisions, were taken’ face-to-face’ before the telegraph (and telephone). Carey proposed that the telegraph’… made the successful separation of communication and transport for the first time…’ So everything changed after the telegraph as soon as messages could fly faster than horses, people or trains that carried them, as to how people communicated over distances and over time.
Geography became unnecessary, allowing people to move away from the local, to the national, international, or world community. The telegraph enabled people on one side of the world to communicate with somebody on the other side of the world almost instantly.
Third Theory by Frank Dance (Helical Communication Model)
Another vital communication model is the helical communication model, which Frank Dance introduced in 1967. Helix is a three-dimensional structure with a smooth curve-like form that goes upwards, as well as downwards. Frank Dance clarifies the coordination mechanism based on this Helix structure, the bottom or start is tiny, then it slowly travels upwards in a circular motion creating larger circles in the centre.
It takes some time to reach out to the whole process. Just like a helix, the cycle of communication begins very slowly (defined by a small circle). Communicators exchange only small portions of information, and this slowly evolves into the next step widening the boundaries, but it will take some time. The communicators subsequently contribute more and share more information.
Frank Dance had included in his theory the concept of time. Over time everything happens, and the events that follow will be based on the first occurrence. This communication theory has been the subject of various experiments. While this communication model confirms everything, there is the issue of over-simplification.
Finally, one must remember that the dynamics that surround the structures of communication can only make the relationship much more difficult to understand. Models are a basic theory of building blocks. They are also a valuable teaching resource. Shannon’s model of information theory, Carey James (links to contact and transportation), Frank Dance (Helical Contact Model), etc., have all helped scholars to disintegrate the communication process into distinct structural components. Each of these provides the basis for relevant communication theory and academic bodies.