The formats: Business communication takes many different formats. Not only there are both oral and written business communications, but also there are various types of correspondence and technology, suited for a distinct audience, purpose, and situation. To communicate successfully in business, one must adopt and adapt many different channels of communication. The common written communications used in a business environment include; Email, Memos, Letters, Reports, Proposals, Fliers, Brochures, Newsletters, Faxes, Websites, Instant Messaging, Blogging and Noticeboards.
The Writing Process: The recipe followed by successful business writers are a three pronged writing process .i.e. prewrite, write and rewrite. Prewrite is for gathering information for the intended business document, organizing the ideas into a meaningful whole, and determining the audience's requirements. After gathering the needed information, writing the draft is the process. In the rewriting process, the draft is to be reviewed, revised and edited for the final output. The rewriting process may be repeated till the writer feels confident and certain about the document.
The Criteria: Business communication differs from other types of written communication and there are certain criteria for effective business communication. Clarity, Brevity, Preciseness, Specific Audience and Ethics are the criteria for business communication. The business communication must say the same thing to every reader, hence the sentences must be unambiguous and should not use terms such as almost, near, soon, somewhat, etc. unnecessarily. For example, do not make the sentence ‘Place the file near the reception table’ instead say ‘Place the file in the reception table drawer 1’. Write your business documents concisely with short paragraphs, short sentences, and short words. Correctness is important in all business communications. Look for grammatical or mechanical errors, correct them and make the document look professional and appealing.
The Design: Business audience does not read documents at their leisure or for enjoyment. They read e-mail, memos, letters, and reports quickly and in the midst of doing their work. Due to these facts, the audience needs to be supplied with information that allows them to skip, skim, and scan for details--rapidly. A business writer’s success is dependent on how well the text is designed. Writers should not clutter the page with too many information and highlights. The readers should be able to skim the document quickly and get the essence of the message. Business readers do not live by word alone; they need tables and figures to enliven the text and clarify information. The use of tables, figures, graphs, bullet points, etc. must be used in your writings to help the reader catch the intent of your message. Business communication is an important skill for the success in one’s career. Developing and becoming proficient in it is an invaluable asset. All the best wishes in your career!
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