The Communication Definition

Everything communicates.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

Explore the com­mu­nic­a­tion definition.

Explore the com­mu­nic­a­tion defin­i­tion based on the Shannon-Weaver Model, out­lining how mes­sages are lin­early encoded, trans­mit­ted, and decoded effectively.

Here we go:

Communication Definition

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The Communication Definition

Based on the Shannon-Weaver Model of Communication, this is the defin­i­tion of com­mu­nic­a­tion: 1Silfwer, J. (2022, February 18). The Shannon-Weaver Model of Communication. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​s​h​a​n​n​o​n​-​w​e​a​v​e​r​-​m​o​d​e​l​-​o​f​-​c​o​m​m​u​n​i​c​a​t​i​on/

Communication = the pro­cess of encod­ing a mes­sage by the inform­a­tion source, trans­mit­ting it through a selec­ted chan­nel, and ensur­ing it is decoded by the receiv­er to con­vey inform­a­tion or achieve understanding.

From a pub­lic rela­tions (PR) per­spect­ive, the inten­tion­al dis­sem­in­a­tion of inform­a­tion to influ­ence and per­suade is added to the con­text, provid­ing us with this defin­i­tion of stra­tegic communication:

Strategic Communication = the stra­tegic pro­cess of encod­ing a tailored mes­sage by the inform­a­tion source, trans­mit­ting it through an optim­al chan­nel to effect­ively over­come noise, and ensur­ing it is accur­ately decoded by the receiv­er to achieve the desired impact on the destination.

As a stark remind­er of the import­ance of con­text, and the fact that “no com­mu­nic­a­tion” also tells us some­thing, PR pro­fes­sion­als often repeat this pop­u­lar mantra:

  • Everything com­mu­nic­ates.

Learn more: Communication Definition

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Communications or Communication?

Communications vs Communication - Doctor Spin - The PR Blog
Communications vs communication.
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Communications or Communication?

The terms “com­mu­nic­a­tions” and “com­mu­nic­a­tion” are often used inter­change­ably, yet they embody sep­ar­ate con­cepts with­in the con­text of lan­guage, tech­no­logy, and the study of human inter­ac­tion. 2Rivera, K. (2017). Communication vs Communications. Csusm​.edu. https://​www​.csusm​.edu/​c​o​m​m​u​n​i​c​a​t​i​o​n​/​m​a​j​o​r​_​d​i​f​f​e​r​e​n​c​e​s​.​h​tml 3Communication vs. Communications – Differences Between Master’s Programs. (2024, January 2). MastersinCommunications​.com. https://​www​.mas​tersin​com​mu​nic​a​tions​.com/​f​a​q​s​/​c​o​m​m​u​n​i​c​a​t​i​o​n​-​v​s​-​c​o​m​m​u​n​i​c​a​t​i​ons

  • Communication. Refers to trans­mit­ting inform­a­tion and under­stand­ing from one entity to anoth­er. It is a broad term encom­passing all forms of inter­ac­tion that con­vey mean­ing, includ­ing verbal and non-verbal exchanges, writ­ten mes­sages, and visu­al com­mu­nic­a­tions. This concept is found­a­tion­al in the study of com­mu­nic­a­tion the­ory, high­light­ing the mech­an­isms of mes­sage trans­mis­sion, recep­tion, and inter­pret­a­tion between indi­vidu­als or groups. It focuses on the dynam­ics of the exchange, includ­ing the con­text, chan­nels, effect­ive­ness, and bar­ri­ers to understanding. 
  • Communications. Refers to the sys­tems, tech­no­lo­gies, and meth­ods for trans­mit­ting mes­sages over dis­tances. It includes the tools and infra­struc­ture that facil­it­ate the exchange of inform­a­tion, such as tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions net­works, the inter­net, and mass media plat­forms. Communications can also per­tain to the fields of study and pro­fes­sion­al prac­tice that deal with these sys­tems, includ­ing engin­eer­ing, tech­no­logy man­age­ment, and inform­a­tion the­ory. While com­mu­nic­a­tion is about the essence of mes­sage exchange and under­stand­ing, com­mu­nic­a­tions focus more on the tech­nic­al and pro­ced­ur­al aspects of how mes­sages are sent and received across dif­fer­ent mediums.

While com­mu­nic­a­tion cap­tures the human aspect of shar­ing and inter­pret­ing inform­a­tion, com­mu­nic­a­tions delves into the tech­nic­al realm of mes­sage trans­mis­sion sys­tems and technologies.

Understanding the nuances between com­mu­nic­a­tions vs com­mu­nic­a­tion two can provide deep­er insights into the nature of trans­mit­ting inform­a­tion and inter­per­son­al and mass com­mu­nic­a­tion dynamics.

Learn more: Communications or Communication

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Signature - Jerry Silfwer - Doctor Spin

Thanks for read­ing. Please con­sider shar­ing my pub­lic rela­tions blog with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tion and mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als. If you have ques­tions (or want to retain my PR ser­vices), please con­tact me at jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

PR Resource: Communication 101

Free Communication PR Course - Doctor Spin - Public Relations Blog
Free com­mu­nic­a­tion PR course.
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Doctor Spin’s PR School: Free Communication PR Course

Discover the power of effect­ive com­mu­nic­a­tion in this free Communication PR Course. Explore now to elev­ate your pub­lic rela­tions game — abso­lutely free!

Communication Skills

The single biggest prob­lem in com­mu­nic­a­tion is the illu­sion that it has taken place.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at Spin Factory and KIX Communication Index. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Cover Photo

The cover photo isn't related to public relations; it's just a photo of mine. Think of it as a 'decorative diversion', a subtle reminder that there is more to life than strategic communication.

The cover photo has


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