Written Communication: Purpose and Clarity
Written communication aims to inform someone of something in a way that they are able to read and understand the message, with an intention of responding to it. In some cases the only way you can communicate certain information is via written communication. This could be the case in certain aspects of a job, such as a statement of an incident and so on. You could also consider that story telling in novels is a way of written communication because even though the words are fictitious they are still communicating a particular narrative.
- What makes it coherent?
If a form of written communication cannot be understood by the recipient then the message may well as not exist. In order to write a piece of information that can be understood clearly you need to have the correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. In addition, depending on the form of written communication you need to make sure you use the right format. For example, if you are writing a letter you need to ensure you are using the appropriate format.
Written communication is prevalent in everyday life because it is not simply the case of writing down a message on a piece of paper. Nowadays we use written communication constantly in the form of email, text messages, online chats, social networking and so on. It has become an integral part of communicating with people around us.
Clarity is critical in business communication, where messages are continuously conveyed over different media to many audiences. Technology and globalization makes business communication more complex, even for a small business that might be challenged to control internal and external messaging. A small business might view communication as a problem only for large corporations with many employees, but effective communication is vital for success in businesses of every size and scope. Clarity in business communication requires an intentional approach to communication in its many forms.
Business communication includes the usual letters, memos and email, but also includes informative brochures, marketing and advertising materials, websites, logos, and any type of expression that represents or defines the company. College courses break down business communications into factors such as audience assessment, communication objectives, tone and language, negotiation, crisis management, and nonverbal behaviors. Depending on the message and the medium, the elements of communication affect clarity.
Importance of Clarity
Lack of clarity in business communication causes misinformation, mistakes, unhappy customers, frustrated employees, and information lags that make companies look bad and affect profits. If a supervisor assumes that workers know the proper way to ship products, the company might discover that it pays more than it should for shipping. A customer letter that is full of jargon and long, convoluted sentences will probably not be read completely, and might put the customer off. An occasional warning to be mindful of safety is not as effective as providing workers with a detailed manual for achieving zero-tolerance requirements concerning accidents in the workplace.
Business communication that is written with clarity makes the content easy to read and understand. Readers get what you are trying to say with little work. Sentences are short, engaging and grammatically correct. Documents display information in formats that help readers follow along and make sense of the content. Writers vary the words and phrases in communication that is sent frequently to the same recipients. Clear statements of intent, along with questions and requests, help readers zero in on the appropriate response or action.
Best Foot Forward
Clarity in business communication can’t be left to chance. Poorly written documents that include misspellings and bad grammar send the wrong message about your business. Company literature such as brochures and website content also create impressions about your business, so it’s important to pay close attention to what your documents are saying about your company. Determine the message you wish to send, and structure any business communication — from an internal memo to marketing materials to a business proposal — so it clearly and accurately conveys that message. Control the content and appearance of your business communication by implementing policies and protocols that ensure the best standards, including clarity.