A ‘Written Communication’ means the sending of messages, orders or instructions in writing through letters, circulars, manuals, reports, telegrams, office memos, bulletins, etc.
It is a formal method of communication and is less flexible. A written document preserved properly becomes a permanent record for future reference.
It can also be used as legal evidence. It is time-consuming, costly and unsuitable for confidential and emergent communication.
Written communication, to be effective, should be clear, complete, concise, correct, and courteous.
Advantages of Written Communication:
- It is suitable for long distance communication and repetitive standing orders.
- It creates permanent record of evidence. It can be used for future reference.
- It gives the receiver sufficient time to think, act and react.
- It can be used as legal document.
- It can be sent to many persons at a time.
- It is suitable for sending statistical data, chart, diagram, pictures, etc.
- Order, allocation of work, job distribution, etc. in written form reduce ambiguity and help in fixation of responsibility.
- Uniformity in work procedure can be maintained through written communication.
- It is easy to send unpleasant or bad news through written communication.
- A good written communication can create goodwill and promote business.
Limitations or Disadvantages of Written Communication:
- It is time-consuming. Composing a message in writing takes much time. Writing letters, typing orders, notices, etc. and sending to appropriate destination require time. Feedback process also is not instant.
- It is expensive not so much due to postal charges but in terms of so many people spending so much of their time.
- It cannot maintain strict secrecy which would have been possible in oral communication.
- Written communication has no scope for immediate clarification if not understood properly.
- Being written in nature it is less flexible and cannot be changed easily.
- It is not effective in the case of emergency.