In today's business environment there are many methods of communication. We can basically divide business communication into two parts as internal and external communication. The primary tools for communicating information in business include e-mail messages, memos, letters, reports, phone calls, meetings, and conversations. The use of the above mentioned methods depend on several factors. They are.
How much information do I have to pass along?
How many people will receive the message?
How quickly does it need to reach them?
How much time do the recipients need to respond to it?
How formal should the presentation be?
Is the message confidential?
How are people likely to respond to it?
Because of its speed and informality, e-mail is ideal for routine communication between co-workers. For instance, an e-mail message is usually the best means of announcing a new policy, informing colleagues of a meeting time, and reminding an employee of an approaching deadline. E-mail messages are also useful for day-to-day or extremely timely exchanges with people outside the company. Because of their low cost, they often are preferred for communicating with overseas contacts.
Although e-mail messages are now used instead of memos for most inter-company communication, memos are still suitable for notes sent to people higher in the company hierarchy, especially in conservative companies. The memo is also appropriate for lengthy, formal communications to co-workers that may eventually be circulated to your supervisors or to contacts in other companies.
The letter is now used primarily for formal correspondence with clients, customers, and others outside the company, particularly people you have not met. Imagine, for instance, that you need to ask for advice or information from someone you do not know personally. The person is likely give a letter more attention than an e-mail message because a letter conveys an added element of formality and courtesy.
A complex document of more than ten pages, especially one that will be shown to outside contacts, is best presented as a report. A routine report can be easily produced using a word processor and a laser printer. Important reports for potential clients, stockholders, or others you might want to impress usually should be professionally designed and printed, often in full color on heavy or glossy paper.
The main advantage of a phone conversation is that it allows both parties to respond to each other immediately. If you and a co-worker have several questions for each other, asking them in a single phone call is usually less time-consuming than exchanging a long series of e-mail messages. Personal matters or topics that might elicit a highly emotional response are best discussed in person. As common sense will tell you, sending an e-mail or memo reading "You're fired!" is not the most delicate or responsible way of dealing with a difficult situation. Face-to-face meetings are usually the safest way of communicating confidential information. Meetings are also useful when a quick group decision is needed on a particular problem or issue. Important side benefits of meetings are that they allow employees in different departments or divisions to become acquainted and can often foster a sense of shared mission among co-workers.
These are some of the internal and external communication methods used in businesses. Proper communication is vital in a business or company. The slightest miscommunication might cause catastrophic outcomes. So knowing what type of communicating method to use at what time and how to use it will give you and your company the extra edge required in today's fast moving corporate world.