A communication channel is simply the method used to send a message from a source to a receiver. Communication channels can be either personal or non-personal. Personal channels involves direct person-to-person interaction either face-to-face, by phone, or by email or instant message. Personal channels are geared toward particular individuals or groups of people.
Non-personal channels are not directly targeted to a specific person and do not involve one-on-one interaction. Rather, communication occurs via print sources (like newspapers or mail or billboards) or broadcast sources (like television or radio).
Personal channels of communication are far more flexible. The sender of the message can receive instant feedback and adjust his or her presentation immediately according to the receiver's response. Non-personal channels, however, reach a much broader audience and disseminate a message much more rapidly, even though they cannot receive or respond to feedback immediately (if at all).
Both types of channels can be used to promote a political candidate. Personal channels are used when a candidate's supporters go door-to-door to present the candidate's message and talk to potential voters. Sometimes campaigns also use phone calls or emails to spread their message. Non-personal channels may include campaign advertisements on television or in the newspaper, as well as mass mailings of campaign fliers. Both channels can be effective, and most political candidates use every communication method they can think of to promote their campaigns.