In this module, we have discussed the evolution of business communication from traditional, paper-based media to today’s electronic methods. We have reviewed traditional vehicles and explored where they can be the most effectively utilized. Advances in technology have provided a myriad of new ways to communicate both privately and professionally, such as through email, SMS text, IM, LISTSERVs, collaborative team platforms, and of course social media.
Despite all of the new tools in the toolbox, the elements of effective communication remain largely the same. We have explored the concepts of direct versus indirect message structure and the differences between various categories of messages. We have seen internal and external message styles—and even touched on internal versus external social media. We have reviewed multiple examples of simple, casual communication content versus more formal structure. And with each category of content, we have explored how to determine the best electronic means to get the job done.
Most importantly, we have studied how to write effective business messages depending on their purpose and context. We have highlighted the features and structure of well-written professional electronic communication. It is important to remember that each of us are continually measured on based on our written communication skills. This is true whether our audience happens to be colleagues, managers, customers, or business partners. Regardless of the platform, we must strive for the highest standards in our professional communication.