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La communication de masse (document en anglais)

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This subject is quite interesting: mass communication emerged in The XXth century, in the context of a new society, the Postindustrial one. Over the years it became a really important field of research. Mass communications appeared thanks to the society changes and the emergence of mass media such as TV, radio, and cine. Then it

Not so long ago, with the emergence of Internet, a new kind of media started to appear: Now a day’s we talk about digital media.

It is said that using digital media is a mean to use narrowcasting and one-to-one communication.

In this paper, I will first try to differentiate properly the 2 communication models: The mass communication model, and the one-to-one communication model.

Then we will see how it appears that, in fact today, mass communication seems to decrease in favor of narrowcasting and one-to-one communication. These changes have been happening over the years, thanks to society changes and the emergence of new technologies.

Yet I will try to explain how this new communication model, extremely used through digital media could not be only assimilated to one-to-one communication. It is a whole new model which share characteristics from mass communication and one to one communication.

Brodcasting VS Narrowcasting


Communication, from Latin "communis", meaning to share, is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior.

In the marketing area, communication is made to change the level of knowledge, attitudes and perceptions that a receiver will have towards a particular good or service. The communication effects sought in Marketing are the following:

➢ The perception effect: the message must create awareness among consumers

➢ The affective effect: the message must find a way to touch emotionally consumers in order to create attraction

➢ The Cognitive effect: The message must be clear and bring knowledge to the consumers

➢ The association effect: By associating itself to certain values, the message must create preferences among consumers

➢ The conviction effect: After creating awareness, attraction, knowledge, and preference, the consumer must believe the message in order to provoke purchase.

➢ The Behavioral effect: The message must now bring consumers to purchase. Also it should create customer loyalty

Communication involves several components:

➢ The transmitter who, as its name suggests sends a message.

➢ The receiver, who receives the message

➢ The message information: This is what is sent from the transmitter to the receiver.

➢ Code or language in which the message is formulated

➢ The channel or path through which the message travels from the transmitter to the receiver.

In practice, for example in a conversation, each party is alternately transmitter and receiver; the meaning of communication is alternately reversed.

As we said communication is made to establish a relationship with another person or another group of people bye sending a message to them.

➢ The emitter can communicate to a single receiver: it is interpersonal communication.

➢ Or to multiple receivers: it is called group communication or mass communication.

Regarding multiple receivers, there is a distinction to highlight: Although in both cases there are multiple receptors, it is essential to distinguish the group communication and mass communication: We could then talk about broadcasting, and narrowcasting.

The first difference that should jump to mind is the size of the set of receivers. A group seems more sizeable than a mass. But above all, let us remember that mass communication (broadcasting) is intended for all available receivers. Instead, narrowcasting is aimed at targeted groups receptor, defined by their experiences, their culture, their expectations, their needs...

In fact, group communication is a refinement of mass communication!



n 1948, H.Lasswell proposed a formula to describe an act of communication. His sociological model to understand the act of communication is: based on 5 Frequently asked questions: Who said what to whom, how and with what effect? This means to analyze the sender, message, channel, receiver and meaning.

To simplify, we say that mass communication is the set of techniques to convey to the widest possible audience any variety of messages. It is therefore a communication in which a transmitter (or a group of emitter) broadcasts messages to all receivers available, in all possible directions.

Mass communication therefore includes a set of media (called mass media) capable of reaching (and sometimes influence) large audiences. The press, television and radio are the very mass communication media. The American sociologist Marshall McLuhan, one of the most influential theorists of communication, defines mass communications as answering to two basic criteria:

➢ Mass communication answer to the one to many communication model

➢ The receiver does not respond to the message transmitted (neither retroaction nor feedback).

This view dates from the '60s and is not entirely true anymore in the sense that it is now possible to react to certain mass media (interactive television, radio games...). The concept of mass communication has emerged at the dawn of the 20th century with the birth of mass organization (Fordism, Taylorism, standardization), which was aimed to unite people around a production strategy and optimize their performance.

Mass communication is defined as :

➢ One-way communication model

➢ Unique selling proposition (unique


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