1.1.3 Channels of business communication

When you work in an organisation there will be a number of different channels of communication that are in use.

Form of business communication Description
Face-to-face Includes one-to-one conversations between you and someone else or it may take the form of a meeting with a group of other people.
Presentations This includes internal and external business presentations or seminars which are used to communicate information to an audience.  These can be live, live-streamed or recorded.
Reports Used to communicate information, where a situation is analysed and summarises the findings.  A business report may be sent to people inside or outside the business or published.
Documents (e.g. Excel, Powerpoint, Word etc.) Files which contain written information to capture of share business related information and data.
Memorandum (also known as Memo’s) A short, usually informal, written document, used to provide or request factual information relating to business announcements, procedures, share employee information or to report on organisational activity.
Meeting minutes A written record of what was said and done in a meeting.  Minutes provide information about what happened in the meeting to people who weren’t in the meeting, but also provides a way to track progress of what was agreed at the meeting.
Business Letter Written communication from one organisation to another.  The business letter, is a formal paper document delivered to another person or business entity.
Video conferencing (e.g. Zoom, Google Meet, GoToMeeting, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Webex etc.) A live, visual connection using information technology to communication with two or more people who work in separate locations.
Telephone A telecommunication system which transmits and receives voice audio over a distance allowing two or more people to have a conversation when they are in separate locations.  Landline or main line telephones operate from a fixed location.  Mobile telephone devices are portable.
Email A method of sending and receiving electronic messages and information stored on an electronic device.  Messages are exchanged over communications networks and can be exchanged between individuals or groups people.
External Website A way to share useful information about the organisation, to communicate about a business, it’s products or services and announce changes.  Website content is hosted on a public communications network and is developed for the purposes of external communication.
Intranet (e.g. Moodle, Google Classroom, Blackboard Learn, TalentLMS, Edmodo, Brightspace, Canvas, etc.) A way to share information about the organisation to communicate about the organisation, it’s products or services and announce changes.  Intranet content is hosted on a local or restricted communications network and is developed for the purposes of internal communication.
Shared drives (e.g. Sharepoint, Google drive, OneDrive etc.) A shared directory or folder accessible to people on a local area network to allow one or more people to access and share relevant files.  Shared drives allow files to belong to a group instead of an individual.  They are often used by project teams to coordinate activity.
Online discussion forums (e.g. Reddit, Quora, Stack Overflow) An online community where people post written messages to discuss a particular topic and hold conversations.  Messages are usually archived for a particular period of time.  Although external discussion forums may be used, often, organisations will host their own internal discussion forum to support the sharing of knowledge within the business.
Social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Academia.edu etc.) A way of increasing collaboration and social interaction by expanding business and social contacts through connection with other people using social media platforms.  Different platforms have different rules about who you can contact and connect with and how the social network operates.
Blogs/Vlogs An online journal in written or video formats to share, store and create an ongoing chronological display of information.
Chatbot Artificial Intelligence (AI) software that uses natural language messaging used to deliver a service focus to websites, mobile apps or through the telephone.
Public relations and press releases Used to send messages and public statements to the public or media to communicate something newsworthy, increase awareness and transmit information to a target audience.
Newsletters and circulars A way to communicate and share information regularly with a group of people who have subscribed to your service and wish to receive regular updates regarding an organisation’s products or services, events or campaigns.
Brochures A way to provide information to prospective customers about an organisation’s products or services, usually in the form of a small book or magazine.  Often used for advertising, brochures utilise pictures and text to communicate key messages.


Working in pairs choose five channels of communication from the table and discussion what forms of communication the channel uses. Is the channel written, verbal, non-verbal or visual?

The form and channel of communication used will be different depending on the type of business. It will also depend on the type of information being shared.  It is important that when you are thinking about what channel and form of communication to use to consider:

  • what information is needed
  • who needs that information
  • how soon the information is required
  • the right way to communicate with the intended receiver of our communication message.

Thinking about how to select your communication channel

As you can see there is a wide range of media we can use to communicate. But what is the right channel given our message and our audience? Watch this video to find out:

Let’s recap…

Communication is the process of transmitting and receiving of information in order to create shared understanding. There are four main forms of communication that are used to interact and connect with other people: Written, Verbal, Non-verbal and Visual. The communication process is not complete unless you get a response from the person receiving your communication message.

Business communication can be internal or external. There are wide variety of communication channels which are used for business communication.  It is important that you use the right form and channel of communication.

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