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.

The berlo’s model follows the smcr model this model is not specific to any particular communication.

Berlo’s model lives a number of factors under each of the elements :

Source:  Where the message originates.

  • Communication skills – It is the individual’s 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, the students should have knowledge about it, so that they can communicate further regarding the subject taught by their teacher.
  • Social system – The Social system includes the various aspects in society like values, beliefs, culture, religion and general understanding of society. It is where the communication takes place. For e.g. In a class room students differs from one another with respect to language, caste, religion etc. but they communicate with each other.
  • Culture: Culture of the particular society also comes under social system.

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, expressions, voice modulations 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.
  • Structure– The structure of the message is, how it is arranged, the way you put the message into various parts.
  • 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.

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

  • Hearing
  • Seeing
  • Touching
  • Smelling
  • Tasting

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 happen.

Decoder : Who receives the message and decodes it is referred to as decoder.

Receiver: The receiver needs to have all the things 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 i.e for eg. a teacher is good then the receiver i.e a student should equally have good listening skills.

If a teacher teaches a subject with proper communication skill, good command over language, deep knowledge about the content, proper body language etc, then the students also remember the subject taught for their lifetime.

But of course, the receiver i.e the students should also have good listening skill. Until and unless the students listen the subject with concentration, they will not be able to recall it after long time.

Thus, a communication becomes effective only when the source and the receiver are at the same level.

Criticism of Berlo’s SMCR model of communication:

  1. The main criticism of this model is that both the source and receiver should be at same level, which practically is not possible.
  2. There is no concept of feedback.
  3. There is no two way communication.
  4. There is no concept of noise (as in rallies).


By- Jagruti Mahajani

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