For those who make a living in communications, including public relations and advertising professionals, understanding the steps of communication is a priority. With detailed knowledge of the communication process, they do a better job crafting messages for their target audience. 

At its heart, communication involves a sender transmitting a message to a receiver. Doing so requires a medium – print, television, the internet, etc. – to transmit the message. The message can contain facts, opinions or ideas, but must do a good job identifying which form of communication it represents. 

Parts of the Communication Process 

Before learning the steps of communication, students typically first learn the parts of the communication process. According to job site, they are:  

  • Sender. The person delivering the message 
  • Receiver. The person getting the message 
  • Message: The information the sender is relaying to the receiver 
  • Communication channel: The method used to transmit a message 
  • Decoding: Interpreting the message, done by the receiver 
  • Feedback: When applicable, a response sent back to the sender 

For the sender, a detailed understanding of each of these areas is important. The identity of the receiver, for example, may determine the style of the information and the channel used. Understanding how messages get decoded is also key to creating smart messaging. 

Steps of the Communication Process 

All communication tends to follow this framework, which provides detail on every step of the process. 

Developing the Message 

The sender starts the steps of communication by creating a message they intend to send to an individual or group. They take time to craft the information they want to transmit. 

Encoding the Message 

With the information created, the sender translates it into a form that can be transmitted to someone else. This involves making the information fit a format, such as text or video. 

Selecting the Channel 

The send picks the channel communication. It should be a channel that is most appropriate for the intended audience. Examples include a social media post, video on YouTube or blog entry on a website. 

Message Transmission 

The sender then successfully transmits the message to the receiver.  

Decoding the Message 

The receiver decodes the information received. For the best messaging, the sender has attempted to place themselves in the shoes of the receiver and crafted a message that the receiver will understand as the sender intended. This is the key to effective communication, but senders do not know if they have achieved success until this step. 


Senders learn the effectiveness of their message when receiving feedback. However, in one-way communication, there’s no chance for the receiver to provide feedback. That’s a situation public relations and advertisers want to avoid. 

Learning Effective Communication 

The most effective communication has a simple message that is easy for the receiver to understand. Senders should also know their audience and ask questions beforehand to fill in gaps in their knowledge.  

Learning how to effectively navigate the steps of communication is something students learn in an online Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising degree program. With Point Park University’s online programs, students have the flexibility to earn a degree that will boost their career while scheduling coursework around their busy professional and personal schedules.