Introduction to Business Communications

The Importance of Clarity in Professional Settings

Communication is essential for effective business operation, and clarity leads to effective communication.

Learning Objectives

Define business communications and the importance of clarity in business communications

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Business communication is used to promote a product, service, or organization; to relay information within the business; or to deal with legal and similar issues.
  • Failures of human communication can become amplified in professional settings. In business transactions, especially those involving large amounts of money, a small miscommunication can have devastating effects.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) is a widely implemented model for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients, and sales prospects. It is needed because there are often multiple business associates that come into contact with a client.
  • Barriers to clarity in communication include: complex messages, the withholding of information, ineffective communication throughout the chain of command, and lack of trust due to competition.

Key Terms

  • communication: an instance of information transfer; a conversation or discourse
  • miscommunication: an interaction between two parties in which information is not communicated as desired

Business Communication Defined

Business communication is used to promote a product, service, or organization; relay information within a business; or deal with legal and similar issues. It encompasses a variety of topics including: consumer behavior, advertising, public relations, corporate communication, research and measurement, reputation management, and event management. Business communication may also refer to internal communication: a communications director will typically manage internal communication and craft messages sent to employees. It is vital that internal communications are managed properly because a poorly crafted message could foster distrust or hostility among employees.

Failures of human communication can become amplified in professional settings. In business transactions, especially those involving large amounts of money, a small miscommunication can have devastating effects. For this reason, clarity is absolutely essential. Communication must be consistent, concise, and honest in order to ensure the intended message is received.

Barriers to Clarity in Business Communication

  • Complex messages: The use of complex technical terms can result in a lack of clarity. The solution is to stick to the point by using clear and concise messages that are easy to understand.
  • Withholding information: Within an organization, some information is kept confidential due to company policies. Make sure the information that is needed is readily available and easily accessible.
  • Chain of command: The maintenance of an organization’s hierarchy is essential, but its very presence can reduce the flow of the communication. It is therefore essential to reduce hierarchical levels and increase departmental interaction and communication.
  • Lack of trust: The most important cause of a lack of communication within an organization is competition, which leads to a lack of trust among employees. Therefore, employees should share information, communicate openly and honestly, and involve others in decisions.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a widely implemented model for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients, and sales prospects. It is needed because there are often multiple business associates that come into contact with a client. CRM involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical support. CRM helps everyone in a business stay on the same page and promotes clarity of communication with those outside the organization.

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Customer relationship management (CRM): Customer relationship management (CRM) is a widely implemented model for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients, and sales prospects.

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Developing Relationships: Developing relationships is essential for the effective operation of a business, and clarity of communication is essential in developing relationships.

Creating Effective Messages

The goal of public relations is to disseminate information about a business (that is, to create an effective message).

Learning Objectives

Explain how to create effective messaging via public relations

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • All communication with the media should be clear, concise, and contain all of the pertinent information about the event or product, such as date, time and location.
  • Remember to keep the communications free of typos and grammatical errors.
  • One way to get attention is to describe a problem, and then explain how the business or product solves that problem.
  • One goal of a public relations campaign is to generate editorial coverage for a business, because editorial coverage is perceived as more authentic than advertising.

Key Terms

  • disseminate: To sow and scatter principles, ideas, opinions, and errors for growth and propagation, such as seed
  • buzz: Major topic of conversation; widespread rumor; information spread behind the scenes.

Creating Effective Messages

The goal of public relations is to disseminate information about a business. This information can be in advance of upcoming events or product launches, or to quell rumors or stop the spread of incorrect information about a company. Public relations also involves proactively educating staff on responding to media so incorrect information is not released in the first place.

Many small businesses and start-ups lack large advertising budgets; they rely on public relations to build a “buzz” about an upcoming business or product launch. One goal of a public relations campaign is to generate editorial coverage for a business, because editorial coverage is perceived as more authentic than advertising.

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Effective Messages: A press release contains all the pertinent information about an event, product, or company.

The problem is getting attention from the media is not easy. The solution is to craft well-written, attention-getting press releases and submit them to the right media outlets. For example, a fashion press release should go to fashion-related media, not a sports journal.

Media Communication

All communication with the media should be clear, concise, and contain all of the pertinent information about the event (or product) such as date, time, and location. This information is often the most critical, so it should be at the top of the press release.

Many press releases also include some background information about the company and sometimes the team members for a particular project. This information is generally found at the bottom of the press release.

Remember to keep the communications free of typos and grammatical errors. For maximum effect, try to incorporate attention-grabbing language. One way to get attention is to describe a problem, and explain how the business or product solves that problem.