There are many communication channels, for example face-to-face conversation, telephone call and others. However, to choose the most appropriate communication channel is not a simple task. Different channel is suitable to convey different kind of message. The following paragraphs will explain further the important factors you should consider before you send your messages.
The first factor is the elements of the message. You need to know what the elements of the message are. Is it a personal message? Is it a telling a good news or a bad news? If the message is very personal, then you need to choose one-to-one communication channel such as telephone call or personal conversation. If you’re conveying a bad news, it’s also better to do it personally instead of convey it via Messenger MSN or e-mail.
The second factor is the speed of feedback. How fast do you want others to reply you? How fast you want to learn about some important information from others? If speed is crucial, then perhaps you should use telephone call, or telegram. If you need no immediate feedback, then perhaps you can use other e-mail or voice message.
The third factor is the necessity to leave a permanent record. If permanent record is important, usually for business purpose, then you should convey your message via memo, letters, reports or proposal. E-mail is another way to leave a record but it’s not considered as formal as memo and letters. Remember, e-mails helps to keep record for what you have said, so do not sent an email without double-check.
The fourth factor is the cost. You need to consider the cost and benefit of using a particular communication channel. The cost should be calculated in both monetary value and time. If group consensus is important to make a decision then perhaps you should use video conferencing for group meeting instead of reaching them via telephone calls.. If the number of audience is large and geographically dispersed, you can also choose to use e-mail or fax to lower the communication cost.
Each of the communication channels plays a different role. Learn and compare them before sending your message can aid you to convey you message more effectively and more efficiently.