Meaning of Communication – The word communication comes from the Latin word Communis, which means common. The basic ingredient of communication is commonness. Communication is exchange of facts, ideas, opinions, emotions, etc. In communication, the receiver should receive the message in the same sense in which it is being communicated to him. Communication is a two-way process. In communication, message is first sent by sender to receiver, then receiver responds and gives feedback to the sender. Communication is an art of transferring ideas, facts, feelings, etc. from one person to another and making them understandable. It means if we tell something to a person, but cannot make him understand the message, the process of communication will be incomplete.
Characteristics Of Communication
(1) Two or More Persons – The first important characteristic of communication is that there must be at least two persons because no single individual can have an exchange of ideas with himself. A listener is necessary to receive one’s ideas. So, there must be at least two persons- one is the sender of information and the other is the receiver.
(2) Exchange of Ideas and Information – Communication cannot be thought of in the absence of exchange of ideas. In order to complete the process of communication, there must be exchange of ideas, message, feelings etc. between two or more persons.
(3) Use of Words as well as Symbols – Communication is done not only through words, but also through signs, symbols, colours and gestures, etc. Different companies use different words and symbols in their communication with audience.
(4) Mutual Understanding – Mutual understanding means the receiver should receive the information in the same sense in which it is being given. It means understanding the message in the way it is communicated.
(5) Personal and Non-Personal Communication – It is not always necessary in communication that the receiver and sender of information should be face to face with each other. Communication can be both personal and non-personal. Personal communication means face to face conversation, while non-personal communication is through other means like advertisement, publicity, etc.
(6) Continuous Process – Communication is a continuous process. It is a regular activity like other activities in the business. Marketer communicates with the audience regularly to be in touch with the present and potential customers.
(7) Circular Process – Communication is a circular process. There is some reaction to every message which gives rise again to another message and this process goes on. Communicator (marketer) regularly passes information to the target audience and gets feedback from the audience through salesmen’s reports and market research. After getting feedback from audience, communicator again sends message after making necessary adjustments on the basis of feedback.
(8) Universal – Communication always exists. It is universal phenomenon. All living creatures communicate through their own symbols and signs.