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In 1960, David Berlo postulated Berlo's Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver (SMCR) Model of Communication

from Shannon Weaver's Model of Communication (1949). He described factors affecting the individual
components in the communication making the communication more efficient. This model also focuses on
encoding and decoding which happens before sender sends the message and before receiver receives the
message respectively.

Components of Berlo's Model of Communication

Berlo's Model has mainly, four components to describe the communication process. They are sender,
message, channel and receiver. Each of the component is affected by many factors.

S -Sender
Sender is the source of the message or the person who originates the message. The person or source sends
the message to the receiver. The following are the factor related to sender and is also the same in the case of
Communication Skills:
Communication skills of a person is a factor that affects the communication process. If the sender has good
communication skills, the message will be communicated better than if the sender's communication skills are
not good. Similarly, if the receiver can not grasp the message, then the communication will not be effective.
Communication skills include the skills to speak, present, read, write, listening, etc.
The attitude of the sender and the receiver creates the effect of the message. The person's attitude towards
self, the receiver and the environment changes the meaning and effect of the message.
Familiarity with the subject of the message makes the communicated message have its effect more.
Knowledge on the subject matter makes the communicator send the message effectively.
Social Systems:
Values, beliefs, laws, rules, religion and many other social factors affect the sender's way of communicating
the message. It creates difference in the generation of message. Place and situation also fall under social
Cultural differences make messages different. A person from one culture might find something offensive which
is very much accepted in another culture.


A message is the substance that is being sent by the sender to the receiver. It might be in the form of voice,
audio, text, video or other media. The key factors affecting the message are

Content is the thing that is in the message. The whole message from beginning to end is the content.
Elements are the non verbal things that tag along with the content like gestures, signs, language, etc.
Treatment is the way in which the message is conveyed to the receiver. Treatment also effects the feedback of
the receiver.
The structure of the message or the way it has been structured or arranged, affects the effectiveness of the
Code is the form in which the message is sent. It might be in the form of language, text, video, etc.

Channel is the medium used to send the message. In mass communication and other forms of communication,
technical machines might be used as a channel like telephone, internet, etc. But in general communication, the
five senses of a human being is the channel for the communication flow and it affects the effectiveness of the

Hearing- We receive the message through hearing.

Seeing- We perceive through seeing. We also get non-verbal messages by seeing.
Touching- Many of the non-verbal communication happens from touching like holding hands.
Smelling- We collect information from smelling.
Tasting- Taste also provides the information to be sent as a message.
R- Receiver
Receiver is the person who gets the message sent in the process. This model believes that the thinking pattern
and all other factors mentioned above must be in sync to that of the sender for the communication to be
effective. The message might not have the same effect as intended if the receiver and sender are not similar.
The receiver must also have a very good listening skill. Other factors are similar to that of the sender.

Communication skills
Social Systems

Criticisms of Berlo's SMCR Model:

There is no concept of feedback, so the effect is not considered.
There is no concept of noise or any kind of barriers in communication process.
It is a linear model of communication, there is no two way communication.
Both of the people must be similar according to all the factors mentioned above.
The berlos model follows the smcr model this model is not specific to any particular communication.

Berlos model lives a number of factors under each of the elements :

Source: The source is were the message originates.

Communication skills It is the individuals skill to communicate (ability to read, write, speak,
listen etc)

Attitudes The attitude towards the audience, subject and towards one self for e.g. for the student the
attitude is to learn more and for teachers wants to help teach.

Knowledge The knowledge about the subject one is going to communicate for e.g. whatever the
teacher communicates in the class about the subject so having knowledge in what you are

Note: It is not talking about the general knowledge it is all about the knowledge of the subject, so it is
the familiarity of what you are communicating.

Social system The Social system includes the various aspects in society like values, beliefs, culture,
religion and general understanding of society. It is were the communication takes place.

For e.g. class room differs from country to country like behaviors, how we communicate etc.

Note: We can communicate only to the extent that the social system allows, when we communicate
take social system into account.

Culture: Culture of the particular society also comes under social system.

All to this model, only if you have the above in the proper or adequate proportion v can communicate.

Encoder: The sender of the message (message originates) is referred as encoder, so the source is
encoding the message here.

Content The beginning to the end of a message comprises its content for e.g. From beginning to end
whatever the class teacher speaks in the class is the content of the message.

Elements It includes various things like language, gestures, body language etc, so these are all the
elements of the particular message. Content is accompanied by some elements.

Treatment It refers to the packing of the message. The way in which the message is conveyed or the
way in which the message is passed on or deliver it.

Note: When it is too much treatment also the communication will not happen properly.

Structure The structure of the message how it is arranged, the way you structure the message into
various parts.

Note: Message is the same but if the structure is not properly arranged then the message will not get to
the receiver.

Code The code of the message means how it is sent in what form it could be e.g. language, body
language, gestures, music and even culture is a code. Through this you get/give the message or through
which the communication takes place or being reached.

Note: Only when the code is proper, the message will be clear, improper use may lead to

Channel It is nothing but the five senses through this only we do. The following are the five senses
which we use






Whatever communication we do it is there either of these channels.

Hearing: The use of ears to get the message for e.g. oral messages, interpersonal etc.

Seeing: Visual channels for e.g. TV can be seen and the message is delivered.

Touching: The sense of touch can be used as a channel to communicate for e.g. we touch and buy food,
hugging etc.

Smelling: Smell also can be a channel to communicate for e.g. perfumes, food, charred smell
communicates something is burning, we can find out about which food is being cooked etc.

Tasting : The tongue also can be used to decipher e.g. Food can be tasted and communication can

Note: Despite not mentioning a medium we need to assume that as communication is taking place
channels can be any of the 5 senses or combination.
Decoder : Who receives the message and decodes it is referred to as decoder.

Receiver: The receiver needs to have all the thinks like the source.

This model believes that for an effective communication to take place the source and the receiver needs
to be in the same level, only if the source and receiver are on the same level communication will happen
or take place properly. So source and receiver should be similar

For e.g. Communication skills on source side is good then the receiver should equally have good
listening skills.

We cannot say the entire message passed doesnt reaches the receiver has it is because the receiver may
not good in listening, so only for the effective communication the source and the receiver to be in the
same level.

Note: Self image differs from person to person, for communicating the person should consider the
receiver. Keep the receiver in mind, speak accordingly and give them what they need.

Criticism of Berlos SMCR model of communication:

No feedback / dont know about the effect

Does not mention barriers to communication

No room for noise

Complex model

It is a linear model of communication

Needs people to be on same level for communication to occur but not true in real life

Main drawback of the model is that the model omits the usage of sixth sense as a channel which is actually a
gift to the human beings (thinking, understanding, analyzing etc).

Berlos Model of Communication

While the Aristotle model of communication puts the speaker in the central position and suggests that the
speaker is the one who drives the entire communication, the Berlos model of communication takes into
account the emotional aspect of the message. Berlos model of communication operates on the SMCR model.

In the SMCR model

S - Stands for Source

M - Message
C - Channel
R - Receiver
Let us now study the all the factors in detail:

S - Source
The source in other words also called the sender is the one from whom the thought originates. He is the one
who transfers the information to the receiver after carefully putting his thoughts into words.

How does the source or the sender transfer his information to the recipient ?

It is done with the help of communication skills, Attitude, Knowledge, Social System and Culture.

Communication Skills

o An individual must possess excellent communication skills to make his communication effective
and create an impact among the listeners. The speaker must know where to take pauses,
where to repeat the sentences, how to speak a particular sentence, how to pronounce a word
and so on. The speaker must not go on and on. He should also make a point to cross check
with the recipients and listen to their queries as well. An individual must take care of his accent
while communicating. A bad accent leads to a boring conversation.


o It is rightly said that if one has the right attitude, the whole world is at his feet. There is actually
no stopping for the person if he has the right attitude. A person might be a very good speaker
but if he doesnt have the right attitude, he would never emerge as a winner. The sender must
have the right attitude to create a long lasting impression on the listeners. An individual must be
an MBA from a reputed institute, but he would be lost in the crowd without the right attitude.


o Here knowledge is not related to the educational qualification of the speaker or the number of
degrees he has in his portfolio. Knowledge is actually the clarity of the information which the
speaker wants to convey to the second party. One must be thorough in what he is speaking with
complete in-depth knowledge of the subject. Remember questions can pop up anytime and you
have to be ready with your answers. You need to be totally familiar with what you are speaking.
Before delivering any speech, read as much you can and prepare the subject completely
without ignoring even the smallest detail.
Social System

o Imagine a politician delivering a speech where he proposes to construct a temple in a Muslim

dominated area. What would be the reaction of the listeners ? They would obviously be not
interested. Was there any problem in the communication skills of the leader or he didnt have
the right attitude ? The displeasure of the listeners was simply because the speaker ignored the
social set up of the place where he was communicating. He forgot the sentiments, cultural
beliefs, religious feelings of the second party. Had it been a Hindu dominated society, his
speech would have been very impressive.


o Culture refers to the cultural background of the community or the listeners where the speaker is
communicating or delivering his speech.

M - Message
When an individual converts his thoughts into words, a message is created. The process is also
called as Encoding.

Any message further comprises of the following elements:


o One cannot show his grey matter to others to let him know what he is thinking. A thought has to
be put into words and content has to be prepared. Content is actually the matter or the script of
the conversation. It is in simpler words, the backbone of any communication.

o Ted to Jenny -I am really exhausted today, lets plan for the movie tomorrow evening.

o Whatever Ted has communicated with Jenny is actually the content of the message. It is very
important for the speaker to carefully choose the words and take good care of the content of the
speech. The content has to be sensible, accurate, crisp, related to the thought to hit the
listeners bang on and create an immediate impact.


o It has been observed that speech alone cannot bring a difference in the communication. Keep
on constantly speaking and the listeners will definitely lose interest after some time. The speech
must be coupled with lots of hand movements, gestures, postures, facial expressions, body
movements to capture the attention of the listeners and make the speech impressive. Hand
movements, gestures, postures, facial expressions, body movements, gestures all come under
the elements of the message.


o Treatment is actually the way one treats his message and is conveys to the listeners. One must
understand the importance of the message and must know how to handle it. If a boss wants to
fire any of his employees, he has to be authoritative and cant express his message in a casual
way. This is referred to as the treatment of the message. One must understand how to present
his message so that the message is conveyed in the most accurate form.

o A message cannot be expressed in one go. It has to be properly structured in order to convey
the message in the most desired form.


o Enter a wrong code and the locks will never open. Enter a wrong password, you will not be able
to open your email account. In the same way the code has to be correct in the communication.
Your body movements, your language, your expressions, your gestures are actually the codes
of the message and have to be accurate otherwise the message gets distorted and the recipient
will never be able to decode the correct information.

C - Channel
Channel - Channel actually refers to the medium how the information flows from the sender to the

How does one know what the other person is speaking ? - Through Hearing.

How does one know whether the pasta he has ordered is made in white sauce or not ? -
Through Tasting.

How does one know that there is a diversion ahead or its a no parking zone? - Through Seeing.

How will an individual come to know that the food is fresh or stale ? How do we find out the
fragrance of a perfume ? - Through Smelling.

How will you find out whether the milk is hot or not ? - Through Touching.

All the five senses are the channels which help human beings to communicate with each other.

R - Receiver
When the message reaches the receiver, he tries to understand what the listener actually wants to
convey and then responds accordingly. This is also called as decoding.

The receiver should be on the same platform as the speaker for smooth flow of information and better
understanding of the message. He should possess good communication skills to understand what the speaker
is trying to convey. He should have the right attitude to understand the message in a positive way. His
knowledge should also be at par with the listener and must know about the subject. He should also be from the
same social and cultural background just like the speaker.

There are several loopholes in the Berlos model of communication. According to the berlos model of
communication, the speaker and the listener must be on a common ground for smooth conversion which is
sometimes not practical in the real scenario.