Monday, 24 May 2010

Communications - 102

What is NOISE?


This is the second part on my series on Corporate Communications



THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS - (discussed in earlier entry - Communications 101)


There is a 5th component of communication, that though not directly, but indirectly has a HUGE EFFECT on Communication - it is referred to as NOISE (N).

However, unlike the other elements of communication, this one hinders rather than helps the communication process. 

It causes the Message to be distorted and misunderstood by the Receiver.

Let is use the example given earlier in Communications 101,
You (the Sender) needs a report from your accountant(the Receiver),  so you walk up to him and ask him "Can you give me the XYZ report?" (the Message).

But there is a carpenter in the room, whose trying to fix a windowpane, banging away loudly in the room. 

The accountant replies " the ABC Report? Sure!" (the Feedback)

The Feedback received by you (the Sender), indicates that your accountant(the Receiver), did not receive the message correctly, due to the NOISE, so you raise your voice (modify your media) and resend the Message - " NO, NOT THE ABC REPORT, I NEED THE XYZ REPORT"

The accountant replies " Oh! The XYZ Report! Sure!" (Feedback)

The Feedback received by you (the Sender), indicates that your accountant(the Receiver), received the message correctly.


The above example uses a very literal translation of "noise" meaning unwanted sound.
NOISE exists and is INHERENT to all Media

Let us see some more examples of noise under the three broad classifications of media - 

1) Direct Media - One to One Communication using Verbal, gestures, Writing, direct mailers, email, etc.- 
HAS NOISE - like accent differences ( Indian accent, southern US drawl, cockney, etc.), bad handwriting, typos, incorrect language,etc. 

2) Broadcast Media - One to Many Communication using such as Print (newspapers, magazines, brochures, palmphlets, etc), TV Radio, Websites,Seminars, Conferences, Classrooms, etc.
HAS NOISE - like poor TV Reception, to much "bling" on a web page- flash animations, blinking banners, pop-ups, shoshkeles, etc.

3) Collaborative Media Many to Many Communication using social & business networking, blogs, wikis, message boards, etc.
HAS NOISE - like having to many applications on facebook, derogatory or abusive comments on blogs, etc.


Sometimes "Noise" can appear in the feedback loop from the receiver, who has understood the message, but the sender, feels that the receiver has not -


This leads to a very irritating situation for both the sender and receiver of the message, as the sender continues to relay the message, again and again till the feedback he receives is without noise.

For example, you keep repeating yourself loudly on a telephone call, because you have bad reception (and therefore assume the other guy has the same problem, even if your voice is crystal clear)

Feedback may be obtained via different complementary media, such as a verbal okay, followed by a confirmatory "thank you" email, third party research (Market Research, TRPs, surveys, etc)

We will delve deeper into the subject of 
Corporate Communications - the art and science of how an organisation interacts with its stakeholders. It is the method of communicating and aligning perceptions of stakeholders with the actuality of the organisation's activities and views.

Which I discuss in my Next Entry "Corporate Communications 103".

Keep Smiling :)


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