What is Written Communication?
Written communication is when the message is delivered in blank and white. It is the typical form of formal communication and the sender of the message is the one who writes it. It is binding in nature. Thus in most cases, it can act as proof. It can be in the form of a report, fax, email, handbook, manuals, diaries, minutes, pamphlets, etc.
Noting that this type of communication is not as easy as oral communication, as it needs a lot of effort. And writing requires long practice and patience in learning.
In an organization, the manager of the company is responsible for different types of communication like replies to clients, inquiries, proposals for contracts, reports to initiate action, and so forth. The manager needs to communicate the ideas, instructions, and decisions in written format. Therefore it is pertinent that the manager should be able to pen down his ideas and thoughts clearly, simply, and concisely.
Having said that effective writing is not an inborn skill, it is learned through practice, effective listening, and reading. Business writing must be:
Its salient features or characteristics are:
- Creative Activity: Written Communication requires imagination and conscious effort, to reach the final outcome and that is why it is a creative activity. For Example: Suppose we have to submit a report to the company’s management, so, first of all, we need to collect all the required and relevant information and arrange the same in a rational manner, next we need to analyze the information before writing and presenting it to the management.
- Time-Consuming activity: It consumes a lot of time, as the feedback is not immediate. So, the sender of the message needs to plan out the communication carefully. For this, the sender encodes a message then sends it to the receiver. After that, the reader decodes it and then gives any reaction to that message in the form of feedback.
- Fewer Cycles: Unlike Oral communication, written communication involves fewer cycles. This is because oral communication attracts immediate response from the receiver, which results in a further exchange of words which is missing in written communication.
- Authentic and Reliable: As written information acts as proof or as a reference in case of any dispute in the future, at different points in time. And so we can say that written communication is more authentic as compared to oral communication:
- Expression: In written communication, the purpose is not to impress with extensive knowledge, powerful vocabulary, or graceful use of sentences, but the aim is to express the ideas in a very clear sense which the reader can get easily.
Components of Written Communication
- Content of Message
- Language used
- Purpose of communication
- Writing style (formal or informal)
Forms or Channels of Written Communication
There are two forms of communication:
Group Written Communication
This communication is meant for a group of people who work in an organization. The communication of the message is through:
- Employees Handbook and Manual: In large organizations, supervisors or managers give directions to the employees by way of standing orders or handbooks published. It clearly explains the rules and regulations to the employees with regard to their employment.
- Administrative Circulars: All the employees get the administrative circulars either in soft copy or hard copy. It informs them about the latest changes in policies or new decisions and future planning of the organization.
- Bulletins and House Organs: These manifest the current status of the company regarding policies and all other information that concerns the employees. It informs employees about the new policies and multi prolonged achievements of the company. Bulletins are one-way communication as the company publishes them. But domestic organs are two-way as the employee’s representatives and departmental heads also participate in publication and production.
- Reports: Reports play a major role in communication. Reporting and analysis of every segment of the business is a very common practice to streamline the business functionality. These are prepared on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
- Notice Board: In all the organizations, installation of the notice board at a common area takes place. Everyone can see and read the information which the board contains when they pass by. They give fresh directions or instructions to the employees and also inform them about the meeting. It may also contain information about the holiday, transfer, promotion, change of shift, etc.
Personal Written Communication
The exchange of information for the betterment of the company is personal written communication. It may be in the form of suggestions, complaints, grievances, requests. For this purpose, a complaint and suggestion box is present in a certain area of the company.
- Ready Reference: As the document is present in writing, the company can save it as a record or reference at the time of need. It may remove confusion or disputes and the work of the organization does not hamper due to this.
- Legal Defence: When the organization keeps a proper record of every business document it may act as a legal defense in many cases. If there is any dispute, and the company sues or it is being sued, these documents are very useful to the company, to give a clean chit to the organization.
- Promotes uniformity: Written communication helps in promoting uniformity with regard to policies, procedures, and decisions of the organization. This also ensures drawing clear guidelines for the working of the organization.
- Mass access: It allows wider reach by way of mass mailing. Many organizations often practice this, to get through a large number of people at the same time and get their attention by way of mails or circulars.
- Appropriate for distance communication: It is best when the receiver is spread across a wide geographical area. Hence, it is difficult to call and inform everyone at the same time. Hence, in such scenarios, written communication works best.
- Accurate and clear: In written communication, there is clear and accurate drafting of the message. This is very important for effective delivery and interpretation.
- Easily verified: As written communication is present on paper or online, one can read it multiple times or whenever they want. It helps in the verification of facts and no one can twist the message for their own advantage.
- Permanence: Written communication is permanent in nature as organizations can save or preserve it for years. The growth of the company is possible only when it refers old orders and decisions. This is possible through the maintenance of records and minutes of meetings.
- Best for the lengthy and complicated message: If the message is lengthy and complex, then it is always better to pen because it will remove all the confusion and one can go through it multiple times so that the reader can understand it well.
- Image Building: Written communication helps in building the image of the organization. Indeed, the outgoing letters, emails, and messages of reputed companies serve as examples to which others can refer.
- Slow Communication: Written communication is a time-consuming process, as it might take 2-3 days for the preparation of a message and sending it, which is not in the case of oral communication.
- Delay if clarifications are needed: In the case of written communication, further delay takes place if there is a need for clarification after the reader receives the message. That is to say, the receiver of the message may write back to get clarifications of various points.
- Limited to the literate world: One greatest drawback of written communication is that only literate people can participate in this. That is to say, those who can read and write can be a party to the communication. In fact, if the sender writes the message in such a language that the receiver is not able to understand then also it will hamper the entire communication process.
The written mode of communication is used for specific purposes only. It showcases the writer’s ability to think and use the right set of words and language to deliver the message in an intended manner. This is one of the best ways for any business to get through the people, i.e. customers, clients, media, and prospects. It has a larger reach.