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3 Main Classifications of Communication Methods

This article throws light upon the three main classifications of communication methods. The classification are: Individual Methods 2. Group Methods 3. Mass Methods.

Classification # 1. Individual Methods:

1. Farm and Home Visit:

FARM and HOME VISIT is a direct, face-to-face contact by the extension agent with the farmer or homemaker at their farm or home for extension work.


1. To get acquainted with and gain confidence of farmers and homemakers.

2. To obtain and/or give firsthand information on matters relating to farm and home.

3. To advise and assist in solving specific problems, and teach skills.

4. To sustain interest.


Planning and preparation:

1. Decide on the audience and the objective-whom to meet and what for?

2. Get adequate information about the topic. Contact research, if needed.

3. Collect relevant publications and materials to be handed over.

4. Make a schedule of visits to save time and energy.

5. If possible, send advance information.


1. Visit on the scheduled date and time or according to convenience of the farmer and when the person is likely to listen.

2. Create interest of the farmer and allow the individual to talk first.

3. Present the message or points of view and explain up to the satisfaction of the farmer.

4. Answer to questions raised and clarify doubts. Hand over publications.

5. Try to get some assurance for action.


1. Keep appropriate record of visit

2. Send committed information or material.

3. Make subsequent visits as and when necessary.


1. Only limited number of contacts may be made.

2. Time consuming and costly method.

3. Attention may be concentrated on a few big and progressive persons; neglecting the large number of small, marginal, tribal farmers; landless labour and backward people; which may prejudice them.

2. Farmer’s Call:

FARMER’S CALL is a call made by a farmer or homemaker at the working place of the extension agent for obtaining information and assistance.


1. To get quick solution of problems relating to farm and home.

2. To enable the farmer and homemaker to bring specimens for proper identification of the problem.

3. To ensure timely supply of inputs and services.

4. To act as a reminder to the extension agent.


Planning and preparation:

1. Keep the office neat, orderly and attractive.

2. Remain present in the office on fixed days and hours, which have been communicated to the farmers and homemakers in advance.

3. Make alternative arrangements to provide information and assistance to the caller in case of absence.

4. Organize an information centre in the office or at least put up a few boards in the office room and display current leaflets, folders, photographs, charts etc. relating to important projects and extension activities in the area.


1. Allow the visitor to talk first and make the point.

2. Discuss about his/her problems and suggest solutions. If necessary, take the person to the subject matter specialist.

3. Let the visitor leave the office satisfied.


1. Make a note of the call, if necessary.

2. If required, refer the problem to research for solution.

3. Supply further information and materials if such commitment has been made.


1. Being away from the situation, it may be difficult for the extension agent to understand the problem in its proper perspective.

2. Extension agent may not be available all the time.

3. Personal Letter:

PERSONAL LETTER is written by the extension agent to particular farmer or homemaker in connection with extension work. This should not be regarded as a substitute for personal contact.


1. To answer to queries relating to problems of farm and home.

2. To send information or seek cooperation on important extension activities.


1. Send the letter in time, or if a letter has already been received, send a prompt reply.

2. The content should be clear, complete, to the point and applicable to farmer’s own situation.

3. Use simple and courteous language.

4. Adaptive or Mini-kit Trial:

ADAPTIVE or MINIKIT TRIAL is a method of determining the suitability or otherwise of a new practice in farmer’s situation. This may be regarded as an on-farm participatory technology development process in which farmer’s choice and farmer’s opinion about the practice are most important.

This is the first stage a new and improved practice passes through, before it is taken up for result or method demonstration, or recommended for large scale adoption. Mini-kits are, however, distributed in some States for assisting the poor farmers or in times of distress, to maintain farm productivity.


1. To test a new and promising practice under the resources, constraints and abilities of the farmer.

2. To find out the benefits of the new practice in comparison to the existing one.

3. To build up confidence of the extension agents, research workers and farmers.

4. To act as a precaution against insignificant, faulty or hasty recommendations.


Planning and preparation:

1. Select new and promising practices suitable for the area in consultation with research workers and farmers.

2. Select a small number of innovative farmers for conducting the trials.


1. Explain the objective to the farmers. Make it clear that it is a simple trial in a small portion of the plot and does not involve great risk.

2. Supply the critical inputs in time and supervise all important steps personally.

3. Assist the farmers to maintain accurate records.


4. Get the reactions of the farmers.

5. Discuss the results with research and farmers, and explore the suitability or otherwise of the practice for the area.

6. If required, repeat the trial for one or two years more.

7. On the basis of the performance, take a decision to recommend the practice for general adoption or not.


1. Being scattered, the trials may suffer from lack of adequate supervision of the extension agent.

2. Satisfactory results depend on the clarity of objective and careful selection of the practice and the farmers.

5. Farm Clinic:

FARM CLINIC is a facility developed and extended to the farmers for diagnosis and treatment of farm problems and to provide some specialist advice to individual farmers.

The extension agency may set up farm clinics in the village and/or in the organization’s headquarters and sub-centres, where the relevant subject matter specialists, in collaboration with the extension agents, discuss, diagnose and prescribe treatment to farmers’ problems, meeting those present individually, on fixed place, day and time.

The specialists may visit the local area if needed, for an on-the-spot diagnosis and guidance or follow- up. This method is suitable for treatment and prevention of health problems relating to plants, animals and soils.

Classification # 2. Group Methods:

1. Result Demonstration:

Result Demonstration is a method of motivating the people for adoption of a new practice by showing its distinctly superior result. The demonstrations are conducted in the farm or home of selected individuals and are utilized to educate and motivate groups of people in their neighbourhood. This is a very effective method for the transfer of technology in a community.

Demonstrations may stimulate farmers to try out innovations themselves, or may even replace a test of the innovation by the farmer. They can show the causes of problems and their possible solutions without complicated technical details. A great advantage of demonstration is seeing how an innovation works in practice.

Conducting demonstrations with own hands shall encourage the farmers to act on a scientific basis, rather than something which is magical. Demonstrations, to be effective, should be integrated with the total extension programme.


1. To show the advantages and applicability of a newly recommended practice in farmer’s own situation.

2. To motivate groups of people in a community to adopt a new practice by showing its result.

3. To build up confidence of the farmers and extension agents.

4. To develop innovation leadership.


Planning and preparation:

1. Analyze farmers’ situations and select relevant profitable practices, in consultation with research workers and farmers.

2. Select a few responsible and cooperating farmers having adequate resources and facilities and having acceptance in the local community for conducting the demonstration. This, however, does not mean that big farmers are to be selected.

3. Select representative locations for conducting the demonstrations where it will be easily visible to a large number of people in the community.

4. Prepare a calendar of operations.


1. Explain the objectives and steps to the demonstrating farmers.

2. Organize materials and equipment’s necessary for conducting the demonstrations.

3. Give adequate publicity about the demonstrations.

4. Start the demonstration on the scheduled date and time, in front of those who may be present. Explain the objectives to those who are present.

5. Arrange method demonstration where a new skill is involved.

6. Put up suitable signboard for each demonstration in prominent places. The signboards should be colourful and visible from a distance. Local language should invariably be used on the signboard.

7. Ensure that all critical operations are done in time and try to supervise them personally.

8. Conduct field day or farmers’ day around successful demonstrations.

9. Take photographs. Help the demonstrating farmers to maintain records.

10. Motivate as many farmers as possible to remain present at the time of final assessment of the result.

11. Let the demonstrating farmers explain to the visitors as far as possible.

12. Analyze and interpret the results, and compare them with the farmers’ existing practice.

13. Emphasize applicability of the new practice in the farmers’ own situations.


1. Use the result of the demonstrations in future extension work and also pass on to the mass media for further dissemination.

2. Utilize demonstrating farmers in farmers’ meetings and training programmes.

3. Prepare visual aids, particularly photographs, coloured slides, charts etc. on the demonstrations for future extension programmes.

4. Avoid conducting subsequent demonstrations with the same farmers.


1. Need more time, energy and funds for extension work.

2. Unsuccessful demonstrations may cause some setback to extension work.

2. Method Demonstration:

A method demonstration is given before a group of people to show how to carry out an entirely new practice or an old practice in a better way. It is essentially a skill training, where the emphasis is on effectively carrying out a job, which shall improve upon the result. It involves seeing, hearing, participating and practising in a group which shall stimulate interest and action. Method demonstration is sometimes used as complementary to result demonstration.


1. To teach skills and stimulate people to action.

2. To get rid of inefficient or ineffective movements.

3. To improve upon the result by doing a job in a better way.

4. To build up learners’ confidence and satisfaction on the practice.


Planning and preparation:

1. Decide on the topic, target audience and venue of demonstration.

2. Select a topic which is important and needed by the group for immediate use.

3. Contact subject matter specialists and ensure their participation.

4. Collect relevant information, materials and equipment’s.

5. Identify the steps in conducting the demonstration. Practise the demonstration, to be sure about its correct presentation.

6. Decide on the date and time in consultation with the local leaders and give timely intimation to all concerned.

7. Complete all arrangements for the demonstration.

8. Display diagrams, charts, graphs etc. at the demonstration site.


1. Start the demonstration on the scheduled date and time.

2. Show each operation step-by-step, explaining clearly why and how it is being done.

3. Ensure that all the participants have seen the demonstration and have understood it. Repeat difficult steps, if required.

4. Invite the participants one by one or in small batches to practise the skill. Clarify doubts and answer to their questions.

5. When everybody has practiced the skill and has expressed confidence, emphasize on the key points again.

6. Hand over the relevant publications.


1. Keep a record of the participants and maintain contact with them.

2. Assist the participants in getting the required materials and equipment’s.


1. Suitable mainly for practices involving skills.

2. Needs good deal of preparation, equipment’s and skill of the extension agent.

3. Group Meeting:

Group meeting is a method of democratically arriving at certain decisions by a group of people, by taking into consideration the members’ points of view. Group meetings and discussions aim at collective decision making and at improving individual decision making by using the knowledge and experience of group members.

The group process enhances people’s participation and facilitates programme implementation. It also develops capability of the people to face challenge and adverse situations. The convenient size of group for conducting a meeting or discussion may be around 15 to 25, which may be extended up to about 50. Group discussions may be directive or non- directive, according to needs of the situation.


1. To prepare a favourable climate for discussion and help in better understanding of the problem by pooling the knowledge and experience of a number of persons.

2. To facilitate in-depth discussion by involving a small number of participants.

3. To generate new ideas and methods, and select the rational ones through group interaction. To help formation of opinion about a specific issue.

4. To develop a favourable attitude and commitment for action through group involvement.

5. To act as a safety valve for reducing tension.


Planning and preparation:

1. Decide on the topic to be discussed and the persons to be involved.

2. Collect relevant information. Contact research, if required.

3. May request resource persons and subject matter specialists to participate.


1. Start the meeting on the scheduled date and time.

2. Introduce the topic to the group and initiate discussion.

3. Allow the members to talk and interact.

4. Facilitate discussion by further explaining the points already made and giving new points, if required.

5. Encourage the less vocal members to participate in the discussion.

6. Assist the group to take decisions and make a record of important decisions.

(The extension agent shall act as a motivator and resource person and shall not dominate the scene).


1. Remind the members of the decisions, and encourage and assist them to take action.

2. Arrange inputs including credit, consistent with the decisions taken.

3. Sustain interest through personal contact.


1. Requires understanding of group dynamics and skill of the extension agent.

2. Village factions may hinder successful use of this method.

3. Group members must have some self-discipline.

4. A slow process and may not be suitable in crises and emergency situations.

4. Small Group Training:

Small group training is a technique of imparting specific skills to a group of people who need them by creating an appropriate learning situation. This is an effective method for transfer of technology.


1. To impart the needed skills to a small group of people.

2. To motivate people to adopt new practices through skill training.


Planning and preparation:

1. Identify a technology for which there is a need in the community.

2. Decide on the time and duration of the training programme.

3. Select trainers having both theoretical knowledge and practical experience about the technology. They should have the ability to speak well and at the level of the trainees.

4. Prepare a written programme allocating topics to different trainers.

5. Collect relevant materials, publications and audio-visual aids.

6. Inform all concerned in time.

7. Make arrangements for food, accommodation and other facilities.

8. Allocate responsibilities to suitable persons.

9. Make arrangement for registration of the participants.


1. Start the training programme on the appointed date and time.

2. Distribute publications and materials for taking notes.

3. Keep the inaugural function and other formalities to a minimum.

4. Invite the trainers as per programme. Given enough time for discussion and the trainees to react.

5. Explain the relevant technology and state clearly why and how it should be done.

6. Use visual aids like chalk board, models, slide projector etc.

7. Arrange practical demonstration and give enough time to each trainee for practicing the skill.

8. Clarify doubts and answer to their queries.

9. Arrange a film show on the topic and/or take the group to a nearby place where they can see successful demonstration of the practice.


1. Maintain contact with the trainees.

2. Encourage and assist them to apply the new practice.

3. Remove hindrances, if any.


1. A small number of people may be trained at a time.

2. Follow-up requires more staff and time.

5. Field Day or Farmers’ Day:

Field day or Farmers’ day is a method of motivating the people to adopt a new practice by showing what has actually been achieved by applying the practice under field conditions. A field day or farmers’ day may be held in a research farm or in a farmer’s field or home. If the number of participants is large, they should be divided into small groups of about 20 to 25 persons each, who shall visit the spots in rotation.


1. To convince the participants about the applicability of the practice in their own situations.

2. To motivate them to adopt the practice by showing its performance and profitability under field conditions.

3. To remove doubts, superstitions and unfavourable attitude about the new practice.

4. To reinforce previous learning about the practice.


Planning and preparation:

1. Decide about the practice, location, date, time and the participants. Involve media persons.

2. Contact subject matter specialists and ensure their participation.

3. Make festoons and colourful labels for display.

4. Arrange a place of meeting close to the site where the practice has been applied.

5. Make arrangements for display of exhibits, including diagrams, charts etc. near the place of meeting.

6. Collect relevant publications and prepare a special handout for the occasion.

7. Inform participants, workers and media persons in time.

8. Make arrangement for registration of the participants.

9. Arrange for public address system, vehicles and other facilities.

10. Make a written programme and divide the responsibility to suitable persons.


1. Assemble the participants and welcome them on arrival. Give a short introduction about the purpose of field day and how the groups shall move.

2. Man each spot with specialists capable of explaining the practice and replying to the visitors’ queries.

3. Where the field day is held in the farmer’s field, the demonstrating farmer shall play this role, aided by the scientists.

4. On completion of the visit, make the specialists and participants seated at the meeting place. Distribute publications to the participants.

5. After a brief formality of addresses, emphasize again on the important points of the practice.

6. Invite a few visitors to give their reactions. Answer to the questions raised.

7. End the meeting by thanking the participants and those who have helped.

8. Distribute sample packets relating to the practice, if any.


1. Maintain contact with the participants.

2. Reinforce learning through mass media.


1. Field days cannot be held frequently.

2. Does not facilitate in-depth learning.

6. Study Tour:

In study tour, a group of interested persons accompanied and guided by one or more extension agents moves out of their neighbourhood to study and learn significant improvements in farm and home elsewhere. The main purpose is to motivate the visitors by showing what others have been able to achieve.

The programme may include visit to farmers’ place as well as research stations, and may be held within the district, outside the district or even outside the State. Study tours may be synchronized with programmes of national importance like National Fair, World Fair etc.

Visit to some places of interest may be included in the programme. A group of 30 to 50 persons may be convenient for study tour. However, a maximum number of 80 to 100 persons may be accommodated in one batch.


1. To expose the visitors to a new and different situation which shall help in changing their outlook and extend their mental horizon.

2. To understand the gap in technology adoption.

3. To explore the feasibility of adopting new practices in visitors’ own situations.

4. To induce a spirit of competition amongst the participants by showing what others have been able to achieve.


Planning and preparation:

1. Decide on the objective, number and type of participants, duration and places of visit.

2. Make correspondence well in advance and get confirmation of the programme, accommodation etc.

3. Discuss with the participants and finalize the travel plan.

4. Make a meaningful programme, which is compact, but not crowded. Allow some loose time to cope with unforeseen situations.

5. Arrange for conveyance, tickets etc.

6. Communicate the programme in writing to all concerned and ask them to report at the appointed place, date and time.


1. Keep the interest of the group uppermost in mind.

2. Let everyone see, hear, discuss, and if possible participate in the activities at the places of visit.

3. In case of language barrier act as an interpreter.

4. Allow time for questions and answers.

5. Collect publications for the participants and help them to take note of interesting and useful information.

6. Take photographs of study tour.

7. Avoid changes in the program unless otherwise necessary.

8. If possible, send one staff member in advance to the next place of visit to check up all arrangements.

9. Provide for recreation and sight-seeing. Look to the comfort and safety of the group.

10. Let the representatives of the group share the responsibility for food, finance, recreation and maintenance of accounts etc.


1. Keep contact with the participants.

2. Encourage adoption of practices by arranging necessary supply and service.

3. Buildup news stories.


1. Because of limitations of funds and time, study tours cannot be held frequently.

2. There may be some possibility of subordinating educational aspect to sight-seeing and recreation.

3. Unpleasant experience may cause a setback.

Classification # 3. Mass Methods:

1. Farm Publication:

Farm publication is a class of publications prepared by the extension agency in printed form, containing information relating to the improvement of farm and home. Farm publications are of various types such as leaflet, folder, bulletin, newsletter, journal and magazine. Farm publications may be used singly or in combination with other extension methods.


It is a single printed sheet of paper of small size, containing preliminary information relating to a topic. It is made as and when needed. Generally distributed free-of-cost.


It is a single printed sheet of paper of big size, folded once or twice, and gives essential information relating to a particular topic. It is printed as and when required. Generally distributed free-of-cost.


It is a printed, bound booklet with a number of pages, containing comprehensive information about a topic. It is made as and when necessary. A small price may be fixed on some important bulletins.


It is a miniature newspaper in good quality paper, containing information relating to the activities and achievements of the organization. It has a fixed periodicity of publication. Generally distributed free-of-cost.

Journal, Magazine:

These are periodicals, containing information related to various topics of interest not only for the farmers but also for the extension agents. It has a fixed periodicity of publication. Generally supplied against pre-payment of subscription for a particular period.

Farm publications are extremely useful to the literate farmers. Even illiterate farmers can make use of them with the help of literate members in their family. Farm publications are used by all types of extension functionaries, input dealers, bank personnel and media- persons. These may be used in most of the individual, group and mass methods.


1. To reach a large number of people quickly and simultaneously at a low cost.

2. To provide accurate, motivating, credible and distortion-free information

3. To provide support to other extension methods.

4. To facilitate use at convenience and to serve as a future reference.


Planning and preparation:

1. Select a topic of economic and practical importance, for which information is needed by the audience.

2. Estimate the time required to prepare the manuscript, print and despatch, and plan the publication in such a way that it reaches the audience in time.

3. Check-up availability of funds and decide on the number of copies to be printed. It may be useful to have more copies at less cost, than a few copies at high cost.


1. Collect relevant information on the topic from all available sources.

2. Contact specialists relating to relevant disciplines.

3. Prepare the draft in clear, simple, short and direct sentences, keeping the target audience in view.

4. A general introduction may preferably be avoided. It is better to go direct to the topic/problem.

5. Arrange in short paragraphs, in a logical sequence.

6. Give suitable title to the publication and sub-heads to the paragraphs.

7. Devote the first paragraph to highlight the economic and other benefits. This may be printed in bold letter

8. Present all weights and measures clearly and directly. For example, instead of writing percentage of a solution, write how much quantity of material is to be added to a unit quantity of water. Similarly, instead of writing amount of nutrients, write how much quantity of different fertilizers are to be applied in a unit area.

9. Revise the draft twice or thrice. Discuss the draft with the specialists also. Don’t write more than what is necessary.

10. A write-up for the farmers may be pre-tested with sample farmers which shall enhance its understandability.

11. Select suitable photographs and diagrams and indicate where these are to be placed. Photographs and diagrams should be simple, bold and contrasting. Their inclusion should not greatly enhance the cost of publication.

12. Below the press line put the name of the department and the organization under whose authority it is being published. Acknowledge assistance of departments and scientists who have made significant contribution. Give the name and address of the printing press, year of publication and number of copies printed.

13. Prepare the manuscript on one side of the paper and send it to the printing press with necessary instructions for layout, design, colour, size, quality of paper, date of delivery etc.

14. Correct the proof at least thrice and ensure that there is not a single mistake in the publication. This is very important.

15. Be in close personal contact with the press and get the publication printed as desired.


1. Arrange timely despatch of the publication to the target audience and for the extension programmes.

2. Despatch publications to the media persons and others according to mailing list.

3. Attend to requests for publications promptly.

4. Try to get feedback information from the users.

5. Store publications in convenient packets suitably labelled, in a dry and relatively dark place. Check periodically against damage and deterioration of stock.

6. Maintain appropriate records for free distribution and sale of publications.


1. Cannot be widely used in areas of low level of literacy.

2. May lose its significance if not carefully prepared and used.

3. Periodical revision is necessary to keep the publications up-to-date.

2. Mass Meeting:

Mass meeting is held to communicate interesting and useful information to a large audience at a time. The size of the audience for mass meeting may be a few hundreds, but at the time of fairs or festivals it may be few thousands.

The majority of the audience have a purpose in attending the meeting, though some outsiders may attend it out of curiosity. Mass meeting may be held in a covered or in an open place. Public address system is essential for conducting mass meeting. Slide or film show may enhance effectiveness of the meeting.


1. To focus attention of the people on some important topic.

2. To create general awareness about a programme or project and to announce its progress.

3. To enlist people’s participation in community work.

4. To appear personally before a large audience.


Planning and preparation:

1. Decide on the topic, occasion and the audience.

2. Select a limited number of speakers, including one or two local leaders.

3. Decide with the local leaders on the venue, date and time and communicate the same to all concerned well in advance.

4. Procure audio-visual aids, publications etc. and complete all arrangements at the site.

5. Prepare a written programme of the meeting and distribute work to suitable persons.


1. Select a suitable chairperson.

2. Start the meeting in time and cut down the formalities to a minimum.

3. Focus attention to the central theme and do not allow any digression.

4. Prevent speech-making and keep the meeting moving on schedule.

5. Use appropriate audio-visual aids where necessary.

6. Watch reaction of the audience. Encourage audience participation during discussion.

7. At appropriate time, take action on matters calling for decision.

8. Take advantage of group psychology and employ appeals that arouse interest, create desire and stimulate action.

9. Close the meeting in time with a brief summary by the chairperson.

10. Give recognition to those who have actively participated and helped.

11. Distribute relevant publications.

12. Take names of those interested in further information.


1. Keep contact with the interested persons.

2. Sustain wider interest through mass media.


1. In-depth discussion of the topic not possible.

2. Cannot be held frequently.

3. Difficult to get feedback information.

3. Campaign:

A campaign is an intense educational activity for motivating and mobilizing a community to action, to solve a problem or satisfy a need urgently felt by it. The duration of a campaign may be for a single day on a theme like ‘Water for Life’, for a few weeks as in rat control or family planning, for a few months as in Vanamahotsava (tree planting) and for a few years as in ‘Grow More Food’ campaign.

A campaign may be held by involving a small number of people in a few villages, or by involving an entire community or the entire nation over the whole country as in ‘Pulse Polio’ campaign. Campaign on certain themes (say, environment, disease control etc.) may be organized over the whole world. Campaign around a theme may be organized only once, or may be repeated year after year, till the goal is satisfactorily reached.


1. To create mass awareness about an important problem or felt need of the community and encourage them to solve it.

2. To induce emotional participation of the community at the local level and create a favourable psychological climate for adoption of new practices.


Planning and preparation:

1. Identify with the local leaders an important problem or need of the community.

2. List out specialists, local leaders and other persons who could be involved in solving it. Train the required personnel.

3. Decide with the local leaders about the time of holding the campaign and its duration.

4. Arrange necessary inputs, services and transport.

5. Prepare a written programme of the campaign.

6. Give wide publicity and put up posters at strategic points throughout the area. Use mass media to warm up the community. Make use of personal appeal.


1. Carry out the campaign as per programme.

2. Hold group meeting with the people and discuss about the origin and nature of the problem. Suggest practical and effective solution.

3. Arrange method demonstration and training programme for the participants.

4. Maintain supply of critical inputs and services.

5. Keep close watch on the campaign and take corrective steps, if necessary.

6. Arrange mass media coverage.

7. Conclude the campaign in time.


1. Contact participants and find out their reactions.

2. Assess the extent of adoption of the practice.

3. Publicize successful campaigns.

4. Analyze deficiencies and failures.

5. Give due recognition to the local leaders.


1. Applicable only for topics of community interest.

2. Success depends on cooperation of the community and their leaders.

3. Requires adequate preparation, concerted efforts and propaganda techniques, and uninterrupted supply of critical inputs.

4. Exhibition:

An exhibition is a systematic display of models, specimens, charts, photographs, pictures, posters, information etc. in a sequence around a theme to create awareness and interest in the community. This method is suitable for reaching all types of people.

Exhibitions may be held at the village, block, sub- division, district, State, national and international levels. Though an exhibition is organized around a major theme, other related themes and some unrelated items like entertainment may also be included.

Farmers’ fairs and Krishi melas held by the agricultural universities, institutes and various other organizations in which field visit, training programmes etc. are combined with exhibition are effective and popular. Exhibitions may also be organized by taking advantage of local fairs and festivals. In fixing dates for exhibition, the weather condition and the schedule of farm operations may be kept in view.


1. To promote visual literacy.

2. To acquaint people with better standards.

3. To create interest in a wide range of people.

4. To motivate people to adopt better practices.


Planning and preparation:

1. Form a Steering Committee-and suitable Sub-committees with the specialists, local leaders and administrators.

2. Decide on the theme and the organizations to be involved.

3. Prepare a budget estimate and procure funds.

4. Decide on the venue, time and duration.

5. Prepare a written programme and communicate to all concerned in time. Keep some cultural and recreational programmes in the evening.

6. Get the site ready within the scheduled date. Make provision for essential facilities.

7. Earmark a stall for display of exhibits to be brought by the farmers.

8. Arrange a pandal for holding meeting, training and entertainment programmes.

9. Display posters at important places. Publicize about the exhibition through mass/media.

10. Decorate the stalls simply and tastefully. Make adequate arrangements for lighting. Use special-effect lights where necessary.

11. Prepare good quality and colourful exhibits which shall convey the desired message to the visitors. Use local materials as far as possible. Label the exhibits in local language with bold letters.

12. Display exhibits about 50 to 60 cm. above the floor of the stall, up to a height of about 2 metres. Maintain proper sequence. Avoid overcrowding of exhibits. Take precaution against display of insignificant and unrelated exhibits.

13. If possible, arrange action and live exhibits.

14. Train up interpreters and allot specific duties. For a long duration exhibition, arrange rotation and replacement of personnel.


1. Organize formal opening of the exhibition by a local leader or a prominent person.

2. Arrange smooth flow of visitors.

3. Let the interpreters briefly explain the exhibits to the visitors so that the intended message is clearly communicated. Distribute publications during visit.

4. Organize a panel of experts to be present nearby, so that the visitors who would like to know more or discuss some problems could get the desired information.

5. Conduct meetings, training programmes etc. as per schedule during the day time. Use the pandal at night for entertainment programmes.

6. Arrange judging of exhibits brought by the farmers and give away prizes and certificates.

7. Keep the exhibits and the premises clean. Replace exhibits as and when necessary.

8. If desired, judge the stalls on the basis of their quality of display, ability to draw visitors and effectiveness in communicating message, and award certificates.

9. Conclude the exhibition as scheduled by thanking the participants and those who have helped.


1. Meet some visitors personally and maintain a visitors’ book for comments during the exhibition to get feedback information.

2. Talk to the local leaders and assess success of the exhibition.

3. Ensure availability of critical inputs and facilities emphasized during the exhibition.

4. Look for changes in practice in the community in the coming years.


1. Requires lots of funds and preparation.

2. Cannot be held frequently.

5. Newspaper:

Newspaper is a bunch of loose printed papers properly folded, which contains news, views, advertisements etc. and is offered for sale at regular intervals, particularly daily or weekly. Newspapers are usually printed on a special type paper, known as newsprint. There has been considerable progress in printing technology and with modern methods it has been possible to achieve high speed and excellence in printing.

Daily newspapers are resource-strong and are published from national/State capitals or big cities. Their approach is cosmopolite and the circulation may range from about a lakh to several lakhs. Some of the daily newspapers are quite big and are published simultaneously from several cities. The Internet edition of some daily newspapers are also available.

Small newspapers, on the other hand, are resource-weak and are published at weekly or fortnightly intervals, generally from the district or sub-divisional headquarters. Their approach is Iocalite and the circulation is limited to a few thousands. Small newspapers, also known as rural newspapers, however, fill-up some gap in communication which remains uncovered by the daily newspapers in the rural areas.

With the passing of time, rural newspapers have shown considerable improvement in their content, printing, presentation and readership. National and international issues and latest research findings in agriculture and rural development also find place in these newspapers. Behrens and Evans (1984) mentioned six ingredients which determine the news- worthiness of an information.

Following them, these are:

1. Timeliness-the more timely the information, the greater is the news value.

2. Nearness-the closer the information seems to the reader, geographically and psychologically, the greater is its news value.

3. Consequence-the more the readers are affected by the information, the greater is its news value.

4. Human interest miormaxion concerning human interest elements such as new programmes, personal involvement, profitability, progress etc. have more news value.

5. Prominence-prominent people, places, things, events carry more news value.

6. Editorial policy-the editorial policy of a newspaper broadly determines the kinds and amounts of information it publishes.

Role of newspapers in extension:

Extension agent cannot exercise any control over the newspaper, big or small. However, by establishing a good rapport with the editor, reporter etc. a reasonable support for extension work may be obtained. Newspapers may support extension work by publishing, news of extension activities and achievements, extension recommendations and package of practices, success stories, market news, focusing farmers’ problems, advertisements issued by extension organizations, input dealers etc.

Newspaper is a good medium of communication in times of crises and urgent situations. Most of the Indian language daily newspapers devote a page or a part of it on agriculture and rural development on a fixed day of the week.

Writing for the newspapers:

1. Prepare a draft write-up on the topic in simple language, furnishing current and important information. The ‘lead’ i.e. the opening sentence or paragraph is important, and should be comprehensive. Give a suitable caption.

2. The draft should contain information on what, who, when, where and why.

3. Revise the draft and produce a brief, lucid, interesting and informative write-up.

4. If required, enclose photographs on glossy paper, with the write-up.

(For an extension programme to be attended by the press and media persons, prepare a suitable handout and make sufficient number of copies in advance.)


1. Literate people generally can take advantage of this medium.

2. Increase in the price of newspapers may restrict their circulation.

6. Radio:

Radio is an electronic audio-medium for broadcasting programmes to the audience. This medium is cosmopolite in approach and is suitable for communication to millions of people widely dispersed and situated in remote areas. Availability of low cost transistor sets has helped radio to penetrate deep into the rural life.

Radio is suitable for creating general awareness amongst the people, help change their attitude and reinforce learning. The medium is extremely convenient for communication in times of crises and urgent situations.

People with no education or very little education and those who are not in a position to attend extension programmes personally, can take advantage of this medium and build up adequate knowledge and skill. It reaches a large number of people at a very low cost. The programmes may be listened to while one is engaged in farming or household work.

The accessibility to farm radio depends on the extent of radio ownership, the reception of radio signals, understandability of the message and convenience of listening time.

Rural and farm broadcasting:

According to Baruah (1983) the vast changes that have taken place in the countryside, particularly the ‘green revolution’ could not have come about so quickly without the use of radio. The educational and developmental role of radio has been nowhere more evident than in its programmes for the rural listeners.

The All India Radio (Akasvani) has played a significant role in bringing the new technology in agriculture to the door of the farmers. The Farm and Home Units of Akasvani were started in 1966 to support the Intensive Agricultural District Programme and the coming of the new ‘wonder’ seeds-the high yielding varieties.

The objectives of Farm and Home broadcasts were two-fold:

(a) To broadcast technical information on a continuing basis in alignment with the package of practices in respect of important crops of a particular area along with the information about services, and

(b) To inform and educate the rural women on their efficient partnership in this process of change from traditional to modern farming and modern home making in line with the overall objectives of the Intensive Agricultural District Programme. With the coming of scientific agriculture, continued reliance on radio for quick guidance and solution of problems became inevitable.

The scope and structure of Farm and Home broadcasts have since changed and enlarged to meet the diversified needs and interests of the rural audience which grew in size over the years.

The broad objectives of Farm and Home broadcasts are:

1. To inform the farming community about the latest scientific techniques of increasing production in all important farm enterprises.

2. To inform the non-agricultural rural population about the subsidiary and agro- based enterprises for improving their earnings.

3. To help the rural people participate in constructive agricultural and social programmes for betterment of rural life.

4. To inform the rural women on improved home making, on supporting their male counterparts on improved farming and to encourage them to participate in decision-making for progress of scientific farming.

The involvement of the extension agent with the radio may be of two types-when a programme is made for field recording, and when the extension agent is invited to deliver a talk or participate in a discussion at the radio station.

Field recording for radio broadcast:

A decision on field recording may be made in two ways:

(a) Extension agent approaches the Farm Radio Officer and requests for field recording, or

(b) The Farm Radio Officer makes a request for field recording.

The recording is done by the Farm Radio Officer or the staff of the unit and the extension agent has to attain the objectives by facilitating the process. The duration for broadcast of field recording may be for about 10 to 20 minutes. Recording should be done in such a way that it ensures clarity and vividness in broadcasting.

In presenting the message, familiar words, phrases, settings and characters should be used. Rural dialects and attractive formats are essential in addressing the rural audience.


1. To disseminate information on agriculture and rural technology.

2. To motivate farmers and homemakers by highlighting achievements of other farmers and homemakers or research stations.

3. To provide information on extension activities like training programme, farmers’ day, exhibition, Krishi mela etc.

4. To provide information on the functioning of institutions and organizations in rural development.

5. To provide people with information on improvement of rural life.


Planning and preparation:

1. Decide with the Farm Radio Officer on the topic, location and persons to be involved. For recording on technology transfer programme, involve one or two relevant scientists.

2. Also decide on the date, time, itinerary, conveyance etc.

3. Inform the participants well in advance. Spot out some persons who have good voice and can clearly present the facts.

4. Depending on the distance to be covered, keep not more than two or three spots to be covered in a single day’s recording.

5. Select suitable places, away from undesirable sound and distractions, for recording.

6. Decide on the major thrust to be made for each topic in each location. Prepare a note of the main points to be covered. If necessary, rehearse with the participants in advance.

7. Make simple but adequate arrangements for seating.


1. Take the Farm Radio Officer or the staff to the spot of recording in time.

2. Make the participants seated as needed for recording.

3. Make a quick discussion with the Farm Radio Officer and the participants about the message to be highlighted. Make all people feel at ease.

4. Take precaution against outside interference at the time of recording.

5. See that the main theme is brought out and recorded in an understandable and interesting way.

6. Use standard weights and measures so that they convey the same meaning to all the listeners.

7. If needed or requested by the Farm Radio Officer, the extension agent may give his or her own voice for a short but pertinent information.


1. Obtain date of broadcast from the radio station and communicate the same to the participants.

2. Display the date, time and topic of broadcast in the information centre or office of the extension agent.

3. Inform and encourage as many persons as possible to listen to the programmes.

4. Reply to the queries of the farmers as a result of the broadcast.


1. Lack of radio receiving sets may hinder communication.

2. No control of the extension agent over radio broadcast.

3. Generalized recommendations limit their applicability.

Delivering a talk or discussing a topic over the radio:

The Farm Radio Officer may invite the extension agent or the specialist to deliver a straight talk or discuss a topic with other participants over the radio. The other participants may be some other extension personnel, specialists, farmers, media persons etc. The total number of participants may be around 3 to 5. The duration for broadcast of straight talks may be about 5 to 10 minutes, while for discussion it may be around 10 to 20 minutes.


1. To convey an important message.

2. To emphasize a particular point.


Planning and preparation:

1. Develop a clear thinking on the topic.

2. Assemble relevant facts and data. Consult research, if required.

3. Decide on the particular orientation and how it will be concluded.

Implementation (for straight talks):

1. Prepare the script with a brief introduction, followed by the body of the talk, unfolding logically and step by step, and ending with a clear-cut conclusion. The script should be in a form as if one is talking to the audience and not reading out from a text.

2. Revise the draft twice or thrice until you are satisfied that nothing is to be added or deleted.

3. Arrange the write-up in short paragraphs, which shall facilitate giving pause at appropriate place at the time of recording.

4. Contact the Farm Radio Officer and get the script approved in advance. Revise the write-up, if required.

5. A good script is based on the needs of the people, presented in an interesting way, educative and has clarity.

6. Rehearse and find out whether the talk can be completed within the time allotted. There should be no fumbling.

7. Reach the Radio Station on the appointed date and time. Remain seated there calmly. Avoid any type of excitement.

8. At the time of recording, deliver the talk calmly and quietly in a good voice, with appropriate modulation and pause. The whole thing should appear as if you are talking to the audience and not reading out from a text. A hurried delivery of voice must be avoided.

9. Write down the important points to be discussed on the topic and arrange them logically. Prepare brief notes explaining each of the points.

10. On the appointed date and time at the Radio Station, sit down with other participants and exchange views.

11. Decide which points shall be covered by whom and who shall speak after whom. Rehearse the whole discussion once or twice. Guard against dominant role of one or two persons.

12. Check whether the intended message has been clearly brought out and the discussion is completed within the allotted time.

13. Do not bring any controversial issue at the discussion.

14. When invited at the mike, be seated in a sequence so that there is no confusion at the time of recording.

15. At the time of recording only one person shall speak at a time. Nobody should make an attempt to talk when the other person is speaking.

16. Bring out a lively discussion which the audience would like to listen.


Same as field recording.


Same as field recording.

The time devoted by the radio stations on rural, farm and home broadcasts vary according to the capacity of the station and die need for tie area. Each of the important programme chunks has an appropriate title in the local language by which it is identified.

Fixed signature tune (a particular music for a particular programme), usually based on folk tone is used. In addition to identification of the programme, the signature tune serves as a factor for psychological conditioning of the audience for the particular programme. A few commercial advertisements relating to farm and home are broadcast before or after some programmes.

Radio rural forum:

A combination of mass media and inter-personal communication is more effective in reaching people with new ideas and persuade them to adopt innovations than mass media alone. Such combinations are known as media forums, where small organized groups of individuals meet regularly to receive a mass media programme and discuss its contents. Media forums developed originally in Canada among farm families and later spread to India, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawai, Costa Rica and Brazil.

In India, an experiment called Radio Rural Forums was sponsored jointly by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the UNESCO in 1956. The forum members listened to bi-weekly broadcasts of the All India Radio for a duration of about 30-45 minutes each day, on agriculture and related subjects, held post-broadcast discussions and ‘forwarded their queries to be answered by the original broadcaster or the expert.

The forum has a chairperson, a convenor, and is composed of 12-20 members. The convenor who acts as Secretary, keeps record of attendance and writes the report in the prescribed form seeking answers to queries and follow-up action proposed to be taken on the message.

Mathur and Neurath (1959) made comparisons of increase in knowledge among peasants in three types of Indian villages-those in which radio forums were established, those in which radio were present but no forums were organized and those with neither a radio nor a forum. It was found that villages in which radio forums were organized, farmers had greater gain in knowledge of innovations than in control villages.

In fact, the non-forum villages with radio showed only very slight gain in knowledge. The results suggested that the effects of mass media channels, especially among peasants in less developed countries, are greater when these media are coupled with interpersonal communication channels in media forums.

The reasons for the media having greater effects on individuals when they are members of media forums are as follows:

1. Interest in attendance and participation is encouraged by group pressure and social expectations.

2. Attitude change is readily achieved when individuals are in groups.

3. Group decisions are more likely to be accepted by the individual if one participates in making decisions, as usually occurs in media forums.

4. High credibility of the medium (in this case the All India Radio) may account for some of the success of the media forums.

Farm school on the air:

Farm school on the air is a method of providing systematic education on farming to the farmers through the process of distance learning.

The following are the steps involved in the broadcast of Farm School through radio:

1. Planning of a comprehensive syllabus through selection of topics by a Subject Committee.

2. Selection of the trainer to prepare the lessons, usually 15-20, on the selected topic,

3. Registration of names by the trainee listeners with the radio station.

4. Broadcast of lessons by the trainer on pre-announced fixed days, once every week, with provision for repeat broadcasts.

5. Lecture-cum-discussion and question-answer format is used. Training session in the studio is participated by the trainer, an extension agent and a few farmers.

6. Broadcast of the summary and relevant questions with answers from the trainer at the end of each lesson.

7. Trainee listeners mail answer sheets containing answers to the questions broadcast on each lesson.

8. Trainer evaluates the answer sheets and assigns marks.

9. Announcement of results over radio and issue of certificates of participation by the radio station to the trainee farmers.

In order to reach the education to illiterate and farmers not owning radio sets, Farm School trainees are utilized to spread the farm education they obtain from the Farm School.

7. Television:

Television is an electronic audio-visual medium which provides pictures with synchronized sound. This medium is cosmopolite in approach and can be used to create instant mass awareness. Television combines the immediacy of radio with the mobility of cinema and can carry messages over long distances at a relatively low unit cost.

Television is a multi-media equipment as it can include motion picture, recording, slide, photograph, drawing, poster, etc. Television can show recorded as well as live programmes. Both recording and playback equipment’s are transportable, allowing flexibility of use. A new television atmosphere has been created by satellite and cable technology.

Television programmes may be broadly classified as commercial and non-commercial. Commercial or general telecasts are revenue earning and include music, dance, drama, serials, cinema and also news, current affairs etc. Non-commercial or educative programmes are aimed at education and development rather than entertainment.

According to Aram (1993), the satellite-based interactive system is useful for education/training in remote rural areas. The development of low cost talk-back terminal, enabling a return voice-link from the classroom to the teaching-end, is of considerable importance in view of the vast potential of such interactive applications.

Farm telecasts:

According to the Research and Reference Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (1984), the television era in India began modestly on September 15, 1959 by a UNESCO grant to study the use of TV as a medium of education, rural uplift and community development. The service was started by the All India Radio, Delhi and programmes were telecast twice a week for a duration of one hour each day.

In 1967 came the pilot project of agricultural communication initiated by Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. The programme titled Krishi Darshan was primarily aimed at demonstrating the effectiveness of TV as a medium for propagating improved farming practices. With the introduction of agricultural programmes, a number of teleclubs were organized in the rural areas.

The Government recognized the imperative role of television in bringing about the desired social change and established a separate organization named Doordarshan in April 1, 1976. August 15, 1982 was a landmark in the history of television in India.

The national networking became a reality by the establishment of satellite links through Indian National Satellite, INSAT-1A. This day also marked the introduction of colour television in India. With increased capability of satellite communication and TV transmission in India, agricultural and rural development programmes are being organized in a big way.


1. To create a general awareness amongst the people about agricultural and rural development programmes.

2. To provide need based programmes to the rural audience.

3. To show the rural people in general, and the farmers in particular, what to do, how to do and with what result.

The television programmes with which the extension agent is concerned may be of .three types-publicising extension programmes, field recording of specific extension activities and achievements, and recording of research based and ‘how to do’ type programmes. For any type of programme, an appointment is to be made well in advance with the Producer, Agricultural Programmes.

For publicising extension programmes, elaborate preparation is not needed, except making arrangements for transport where required. Training programmes, farmers’ day, exhibition, campaign, seminar, symposium, workshop etc. which have got some news value, are generally covered under this programme. These are generally telecast along with the news and not in the slot provided for agricultural and rural programmes.

For field recording of specific extension activities and achievements, and recording research based and ‘how to do’ type programmes, the extension agent may proceed as follows.


Planning and preparation:

1. Decide with the Producer, Agricultural Programmes on the topic, location and persons to be involved.

2. Also decide on the date, time, itinerary, conveyance etc.

3. Visit the locations in advance and select shooting materials and spots having significance for extension.

4. For recording action and ‘how to do’ sequences, prepare a script to the minutest details.

5. Prepare colourful labels with bold lettering.

6. Inform the participants and others well in advance.

7. Limit a single day’s shooting to two or three locations.


1. Take the Producer, the staff and equipments to the location in time.

2. For outdoor shooting, take advantage of sunlight and see that no time is wasted.

3. Remind the Producer, the staff and participants about the message to be highlighted.

4. Cooperate and assist the TV personnel at work. Take precaution against outside interference.

5. See that the main theme is brought out and recorded in an understandable and interesting way.


1. Check up with the Producer whether some studio-based recording is to be incorporated with the outdoor shooting already made. If so, arrange accordingly.

2. Obtain date of telecast from the TV station and communicate the same to the participants.

3. Display the date, time and topic of telecast in the information centre and the office of the extension agent.

4. Inform and encourage as many persons as possible to see the telecast.

5. Reply to the queries as a result of the telecast.


1. Requires lots of planning, preparation, trained personnel and availability of equipment’s.

2. Audience participation depends on costly receiving sets and availability of electricity.

3. Seldom goes beyond creating general awareness of the audience.


It is the process of purposively designing and implementing media messages to both entertain and educate, in order to increase audiences’ knowledge about educational issues, create favourable attitudes, and change overt behaviour.

In India and in many other countries, radio and television broadcast entertainment-education programmes. These provide unique opportunity to balance the mass media’s commercial interests with their public service mission.

Role of Interpersonal Communication in Selection- Attention-Perception-Retention of Mass Media Message:

Interpersonal communication plays an important role in the selection, attention, perception and retention of mass media message.

These are presented following Dey (1993):

1. Selection of media message. Receivers of mass communication belong to one or many social groups. They are in a state of constant interaction with group members and work for maintaining group norms and value system. A message challenging the group norms and going against the value system is not likely to be selected for receipt.

2. Influence of opinion leaders on attention to media message. Opinion leaders often focus attention of the group members on important and relevant ideas being highlighted by the media system at any given time. The role of opinion leaders should be duly recognized while planning the total communication strategy.

3. Influence of group on perception of media message. Receivers usually seek the help of group members and opinion leaders in interpreting, comprehending and evaluating the media message. Media should, therefore, propagate to satisfy group interest through attending to individual interest. Message should also be comprehensible to group members.

4. Sanction for acceptance of media message. Receivers have to obtain sanction of group members and opinion leaders (legitimizers) on their acceptance of the media message. The acceptance of media message should not adversely affect the group interest.

5. Influence on adoption. Quite often media message influence the receivers to adopt innovations. The actual adoption, however, needs personal influence of group members and sanction of opinion leaders.

Selection and Combination of Extension Methods:

There can be no thumb-rule for selection and combination of extension methods. It will depend on the situation as well as on the knowledge and experience of the extension agent. However, some suggestions are made, which may serve as a guideline for the extension agent for selection and combination of extension methods.

Extension Methods

Extension Methods

From the broad categories suggested, the extension agent has to choose a particular method or combination of methods according to specific requirements of the situation. For instance, people with little or no education and low income may respond to personal visits and result demonstrations. The more educated and progressive section of the population may respond well to mass media like farm publications, exhibition, radio and television.

Further, in the initial stages of technology transfer programme, result demonstration will be necessary to assist the farmer in all important stages, prevent making mistakes and gain confidence. When the technology has spread to some extent, mass media shall speed up the process of diffusion.

The post 3 Main Classifications of Communication Methods appeared first on YourArticleLibrary.com: The Next Generation Library.

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Salman Qureshi

Salman Qureshi is an Accountant by profession & he loves to write on Commerce & Management Sciences Subject to assist Students. Hope you guys will like his effort.