What is Mass Communication?

Mass communication, or mass media, is the transmitting of information to large-scale audiences. Mass communication involves the process of sending a message, which may contain unique attitudes and thoughts, through various media outlets and platforms. This technique may be employed by an individual, a group or an organization.

The Academic Concept

From an academic perspective, there are many types of mass media.

First, advertising is corporate or organizational media for various purposes. These include audio, visual, written and multimedia materials used for sales, instruction, public relations and external communications.

Sales teams may use mass media to develop sales pipelines, increase customer engagement and meet revenue goals.

Journalism and telecommunications include the publishing fields of print, radio, magazine, newspaper, electronic, television and broadcast media.

Public relations is used by organizations to maintain a positive organizational image.

Visual communications include the technical fields of graphic, video and photography design and production.

Mass media comes with inherit problems like censorship and freedom of the press. Other issues include media objectivity, such as political bias, and the control of mass media, which means that media power is controlled by a few global conglomerates.

Mass Media Functions

Mass media plays specific roles and functions in a society. First, it provides news and information to the public that can be analyzed for surveillance, intelligence or data collection purposes. Second, it creates official explanations and introductions to new ideas, events and information. This helps to create meaning, context and significance. Third, it provides acculturation and socialization functionality by sharing values and collective feelings within a society. This helps to set models for attitude and behavior. Fourth, it provides public entertainment through film, radio, television, books, magazines, podcasts, social media and websites. This is the most familiar function for members of the public because it helps them to understand and interact with their community and culture. It’s important for businesses because these media platforms are the basis for sales, marketing, advertising and public relations.

Mass Media in Action

Businesses use mass media to prospect, qualify and generate new sales leads and customer relationships. Sales personnel rely on advertising and marketing support for new business prospects from multiple sources. Mass media may be used to generate prospect lists, individual research, marketing leads and trade show contacts. Sales personnel may develop new business opportunities via mass media tools like email, text and social media. All of these telecommunications tools help sales personnel to identify appropriate clients within target markets, follow up on sales leads and conduct research on potential prospects. Mass media is strategically used to qualify leads prior to sending quotes and identify key decision makers to increase message individualization. Sales personnel use mass media to build and cultivate relationships by initiating communication in order to move opportunities through the sales funnel. Mass media analytical tools allow sales managers to evaluate data and understand trends.

From a marketing perspective, social media is the primary platform for consumer research, engagement and customer service. Mass communication allows marketing professionals to coordinate large-scale campaigns through various media platforms, such as Facebook blogs and YouTube vlogs, and event opportunities, such as trade show exhibits and seminars.

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