Communication is a process of passing information from the source to the receiver. This process faces barriers which can render it useless thus not achieving its goal. The source in the communication process having have seen a need to initiate the process and to reach the goal, must put into place measures to curb the barriers as well. Thus need to communicate is or must be motivated by the wishes one desires to accomplish.
With the goals to get or give information, to change behavior, to nurture, to inspire, to connect or to persuade, the source main basic wishes can fall in the following four categories:
I. Behavior change
II. Social change
IV. Strengthening an enabling media and communication environment
The desire to promote positive behavior within ones setting so as to achieve sustainable life change can be communicator’s motivating factor. This type of approach is known as Behaviour Change Communication (BBC). It aims to enhance the knowledge about a particular behavior which will bring about benefit to the target group. For example, in a community where HIV/AIDS prevalence is high as a result of lack of knowledge about its transmission can benefit from such communication. This group can be educated using various channels of communication about HIV/AIDS, its transmission, prevention and living positive with it. Through information and persuasions, the community will adopt new lifestyle behaviour. In the end, the society or individuals within the society will be enlightened about the disease and the impact in the long run as a result of effective BBC there would be reduced transmission or no spread of the disease totally.
The status of a group of people in terms of development can also be a motivating factor in trying to reach out to them. Communication being prime factor to development, one can start a conversation to bring about social change, that is Communication for Social Change (CFSC). This approach aims to empower people by making them involved in their own community development. The source will there use different mediums which are appropriate in helping target group to acquire knowledge and skills necessary for social change. A good example of such communication that aims to bring social change is the model of One Acre Fund (non-profit social enterprise operating in Sub-Sahara Africa). Through their activities involving small scale farmers to increase their crop yield, many of these farmers can now enjoy improved yield that not only meet their subsistence needs but also get surplus which they trade. The result is that hunger and poverty is being eradicated in these communities.
Communicators may also be motivated by the need to influence the policies, political climate or programmes within the community or the entire society. This kind of communication is referred to as Communication for Advocacy. The source seeing the need to advocate for a particular position or even sets of principles within his or her society will try to reach out to stake holders that can bring about change. For instance, in Kenya, lobby groups, both men and women seeing the inequality of representation of women in leadership position lobbied for affirmative action. This has ensured women get representation in parliament, for example, legislature has 47 women MPs from 47 counties in the country.
Communication can also be initiated with intent of strengthening an enabling media and communication environment within a society. This is a wish to serve public interest. In order to make a society free, the freedom of expression must be promote and protected. People feel free when they themselves engaged in decision making process, when they air their opinions and participate in development project. For instance, Kenya boasts of numerous media houses both at the national level and at the community level. This has given citizens platform to access information, participate in debates and thus contributing to the satisfaction of wishes of many.
In a nutshell, a person may be motived to communicate so as to bring about behavior and social changes, to influence policies (advocacy) and to see create an environment that give people voice (enabling media); all which contribute to the development of the society.