NATURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF COMMUNICATION
The MacBride commission’s observation, “communication maintains and animates life. It is also the motor and expression of social activity and civilization; and runs a thread linking the earliest memory of man to his noblest aspirations through constant striving for a better life” summarizes the characteristics of communication.
1. Communication encompasses sharing and distributive justice, the basis of communitarianism and communion since its root is communis or communicate.
2. Communication is social interaction through messages.
3. Its basic process is intrapersonal, which is wholly individualistic.
4. Communications are constructed for the people by the people.
5. Communication is the language of life.
6. It creates a common pool of ideas and strengthens the feeling of togetherness.
7. It serves to contribute to the liberation of mankind from want, oppression and fear and to unite it in community and communion, solidarity and understanding.
Objectives of Communication
A. In Society
The Objectives of communication are given below:
1. It has to educate the members of the society through various media tools. Example: Books are used to study and enhance knowledge levels.
2. It has to keep the society abreast of the news, views, and concepts that are relevant to its immediate neighbourhood, other societies, the nation, and world. Hence, the onus of responsibility of making enlightened and elite individuals in a society lies mass communication. Example: News about a scamster is telecast on TV and our masses learn how he has duped the public.
3. It has to provide vital daily-use data through TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, videotext, teletext etc. that could be used by the members of the society to carry on the daily routines of their lives. Example; Teletext services provide information about the arrival and departure of trains.
4. Communication informs the targeted audience about new products, services, and concepts
that they can buy or use. These products, services, and concepts can be old or new for the targeted receivers. Thus, communication informs the new targeted audience about old products, services, and concepts. It also informs the targeted audience about new products, services, and concepts with equal finesse. Example: Ads of clearance sales.
5. Communication motivates people take some actions in their own interest or in the interests of the place, society, nation, or the world.
6. It continuously impinges upon the minds of the audience and tells them about various products, services, concepts. These concepts need not be of a commercial nature. Certain communication exercises are executed to keep the audience informed and make them take certain actions. Such action or behaviour patterns develop the audience and / or preserve the social, political, environmental, or intellectual norms in which these audiences thrive.
7. Through its wide reach, communication transforms the society. It gives information to the elements of the society; such sets of information could be related to local polity, economy, health, sports, entertainment, global polity, the sciences, IT etc. Hence, it changes their thought processes and makes them modern human beings. In this context, its powers are incredible ! Mass communication has the capability of transforming traditional non-participant societies into modern participant societies.
8. Communication acts, in the societal context, to dissuade the masses from doing such things, or buying such products or services as are harmful to their health or to the society in general.
9. It has to entertain the members of a society through some mass media tools to make them relaxed and prepared for their next bouts of tough life. Example: A child plays Internet games in a Net Parlour.
10. It has to inform the society about various phenomena or events so that its members could take situation-specific decisions for avoiding, using or facilitating such phenomena. Example: People cast their votes when the media urge them to do so; hence, they keep the democratic traditions of a country alive and morally upright.
B. In an Organization
Communication, integrates various activities of any organization, therefore, is essential for the internal operations of the organisation. It helps the management of a firm managed most effectively. All the three levels of management – strategic, tactical and operation – depend upon finely designed (and transferred) messages that, in turn, deliver concrete results in the organisational context. Today’s corporate world is Tout a fait (absolutely) dedicated to the art and science effective communications. Every manager must learn how to communicate with the members of the external and internal environments of his firm, otherwise his firm should pay the price of his ineptness in its operational gamut.
The goals at this level are primary and secondary.
(i) Primary Goals
1. It monitors the performances of the employees at all the levels. It also controls the working of employees by monitoring their performances and taking corrective actions.
2. It develops an attitude among the employees that is necessary for motivation, co-operation, and job satisfaction.
3. It establishes and informs the members of the organisation about its goals.
4. It develops plans for the achievement of such goals.
5. It is used to lead, direct, and motivate people. It helps the top brass create a climate in which people may like to contribute with zeal. Its aim is to ensure that status and author of every employee is accepted.
6. It prepares workers for organisational changes, which are likely to be implemented in the organisation in the future.
7. It encourages suggestions from subordinates in work conditions.
8. It helps in reduction of costs, proper use of materials, time management, work study, time study, and identification of deviations from predefined norm’s. Thus, it ensures that the productivity of the firm improves.
9. It improves labour-management relations by keeping both in contact with each other.
10. It satisfies the needs of employees for recognition and a sense of belonging.
(ii) Secondary Goals
1. Communication helps the managers of a firm stop or check gossips, rumours, and grapevine
2. It elicits suggestions from subordinates for improvement of work conditions and environment within the firm.
3. It satisfies the needs of employees of a sense of belonging to the firm. It also helps the management improve the Quality of Work Life (QWL). Hence, the employees feel that they are loved the firm.
4. It maintains intra-organisational relations through informal communication channels.
5. It entertains employees, though on rare occasions, through informal get-togethers, party and festival celebrations.
C. In the external environment of an organisation
1. It advertises the products, services, and policies of the firm for the sake of knowledge of customers of the firm.
2. It informs customers about changes in a product or product lines.
3. It builds a healthy image of the company in the media so that shareholders maintain the faith in the company and new investors are attracted to invest in it. It also creates an image of the company in the government and bureaucratic corridors so that financial a legal hassles are minimal for the company.
4. It informs the society, concerned government institutions, and NGOs about the social work, charity work, and environmental issues handled by the company so that a clean and humanity-oriented image could be formed in the minds of masses and the officials of’ government.
5. It uses propaganda, PR, and publicity for achieving the long-term and short-term goals of firm. These goals can be achieved if it wins the publics, various ministries and / or departments of the government, and NGOs in its favour. It uses propaganda, PR, and publicity so; this is the latest trend in the realm of communication and seems irreversible at least now.