Abstract ♦ The article deals with the issue of communication impact, which is understood as a change in public opinion and human behaviour brought about through the influence of mass media. The process of communication impact is presented as a socio-semantic model built using the formula: trust — image power — power of information flow. Accordingly, the effectiveness of communication impact is viewed as a combination of the following factors: trust of the target audience in the source of information; the power of the image that carries the general idea which influences the audience; and the power of the information flow that focuses the trust and the power of the image, as well as a value match between the source of information, the communications channels and the general communicative image.
Trust in a source of information as a measure of its reputation boosts the effect of the messages it transmits. The impact of information depends on the assessment of the source in terms of trust or mistrust. This assessment is historically variable and depends on culture, civilisation and particular audience.
The ability of mass communications to create generalised images and myths that define the media mainstream can be used to influence and modify the audience. The power of an image can be measured by its energy manifested through the expressiveness of its slogan that formulates the image’s generalised idea.
The power of the information flow is defined as the extent to which communications channels are integrated around the generalised image through constant production of new evidence to support the generalised image, as well as by the ratio of specific publications in total content. The media mainstream of sufficient power to change the audience is created today primarily via integrated public mass media and the Internet. However, as the ability of the audience to understand the message (about 86% of the typical target audience often don’t fully understand the published content), media companies have to simplify images and information presented in the media, bringing them down to the level of social media networks on the Internet.
An information flow built on top of integrated communications channels, trust in the source of information, and powerful images — all of these factors significantly boost the impact on the audience. However, mass media outlets are offering less and less critical information and are more and more frequently being inundated with applied knowledge that can’t affect the way complex social problems are solved.
Keywords: mass communications, manipulation, communication impact, trust, public opinion, communication channels, mass media, the Internet.
Makarevich Eduard Fyodorovich, Doctor of Social Science, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Culturology and Politology, Moscow University for the Humanities. Postal address: 5 Yunosti St., Moscow, Russian Federation, 111395. Tel.: +7 (499) 374-55-11. E-mail:
Citation: Makarevich E. F. (2015) Ob effektivnosti kommunikatsionnogo vozdeistviia [On the efficiency of communication impact]. Znanie. Ponimanie. Umenie, no. 1, pp. 106–127. (In Russ.). DOI: 10.17805/zpu.2015.1.10
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