Excess Noise Knowledge Base

Definitions for those who work in communications and perception

Knowledge Base


Combine all the signals you are currently receiving and you will have what Communications and Perception Analysis defines as cognizance.

Cognizance is not an act; it is not even a process. Cognizance is a specific point in time. It is the instantaneous sum of all that your senses are receiving right now: the feel of the paper (or the light of the screen if you are reading it on one), the reflection of the light (from the paper or the screen), the sounds of the room, the hardness of the surface you are sitting on and even the temperature which surrounds you — all put into one. That ‘whole’ at this ‘instant’ is what we term cognizance.

Because we do not perceive in freeze frame fashion, we tend to accept that cognizance is a moment in time, but not a singular moment. It is the time it takes to become aware of a situation. On average, this period lasts one to five seconds. In some rare instances it can take longer but generally, when it does, we transition from cognizance to awareness.

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Commercial Interest

Commercial interest is the opposite of public interest. We use this term to designate entities whose goal it is to sell goods and services for a profit motivated principally for personal or corporate gain not for the good of others. Not all commercial interest entities are for profit though. The pharmaceutical industry has a not… Continue Reading

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What a word! It means so many things, maybe too many things. It’s one of the those words that has evolved and continues to do so. It has artistic, anatomical, technical and even military connotations. For Excess Noise, communications is “the field of knowledge that encompasses all acts of purposeful transmission of information {a series… Continue Reading

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Communications Analysis

In its early days, Communications and Perception Analysis was known simply as communications analysis. However, this moniker had two problems. First, it was easily confused with analysis in the field of telecommunications or media analysis. Secondly, it lacked the receiving component. In other words, it was felt that communicating was the act of transmission, whereas… Continue Reading

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Communications and Perception Analysis

The field of study and work that focusses on how to evaluate how people perceive messages. Much of the original communications analysis work was developed by Professor M. Malik in his works Communication Analysis of Information Complexes and
Communication Analysis of Environment
. Professor Malik was fascinated by people’s perception of the physical world around us all… Continue Reading

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Communications and Perception Analysis for Impact and Resource Optimization

Communications and Perception Analysis for Impact and Resource Optimization — known internally as CAIRO — is the set of analytic tools and procedures adopted by professionals who need to inventory and measure signals affecting human perception and communications processes in order to evaluate the efficiency of creating messages and the impact of their delivery. How… Continue Reading

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Communications and Perception Analyst

An analyst, free of attachment or vested interests conducts an objective analysis of the message. The analyst ensures that the communicator’s creation has met the decision maker’s goals by verifying that the message satisfies the four human filters: hardwiring, imprinting, interference and effect. The analyst also ascertains if the message uses the medium effectively. Habitually, someone close to the decision maker… Continue Reading

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Communications Clean-Up Crew

This is what Excess Noise principals have become known as. It came from a client, admittedly, who was simply grateful for how we had turned around her organizations — she ran several, actually. Ever since, this is our preferred moniker. It makes us feel good to know that we can make communications messages and processes… Continue Reading

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Communications Impact Value: The CIV

While we have examined independent tools that allow a communications and perception analyst to analyze a message, the ultimate power of analysis lies in its ability to assemble separate ratings into a single cumulative value. The CIV®, for Communications Impact Value, is a Communications and Perception Analyst’s most comprehensive tool. The cumulative value, resulting from… Continue Reading

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Communications Supply Chain

Messages do not happen spontaneously, they are the result of multiple stages. This is true of any message, whether in advertising, product development, election or public interest campaigning. This is true for print, broadcast, new media or any other form of dissemination. The Communications Supply Chain, at its best, begins with a need, a stimulus… Continue Reading

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Communications Supply Chain Optimization

Fixing the Communications Supply Chain is known as Communications Supply Chain Optimization. This is a core Excess Noise offer. It is the process whereby a Communications Analyst audits the communications policies and processes of an organization. The goal is to streamline or improve said processes with the hope of improving impact while maintaining or reducing resources. Continue Reading


A communicator, often at the request of a decision maker, produces, creates, designs, writes or builds the message. Basically, the communicator manufactures the message. Art departments, advertising or PR agencies, urban planners, architects, writers, artists, teachers and film directors are communicators. Theirs is an act of passionate imagination and, to an even greater extent than… Continue Reading

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You have received a cluster of signals. You are cognizant or aware of them because they are within your sensory limits. Now what? What happens with all the signals your senses send to your brain? Those signals combine with what is already there to ultimately become a concept. Every time you walk into a room,… Continue Reading

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This glossary of definitions is not intended as an academic reference. It is an exercise in thinking on our part. We hope to grow it and welcome any suggestions you may have.