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Assessing your communication options
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pixel.gif (807 bytes) Assessing your communication options
by Clive Shepherd

WITH THE DAZZLING proliferation of electronic and networked communication solutions, a typical employee would be forgiven if they were confused as to what to use and when. Do I distribute a printed catalogue or do I put it on the new corporate intranet? Do I speak to this person face-to-face, send them an e-mail or perhaps a memo? Should I call someone up on the phone, fax them or drop them a line? Should I communicate my message on video, through a printed newsletter or on the intranet? Should we get everyone together for a meeting or use the video conferencing facility? How about this training that needs to be done – should we arrange a classroom session, create a CD-ROM or run it over the intranet? See what I mean?

Businesses are constantly adding new communication options, but they very rarely take any away. It’s also rare for them to provide any guidance to their employees to help them sort through the options.

This paper aims to explain the characteristics, features and benefits of the most popular communication methods and make recommendations on when and how each should be used. It does this in a series of steps:

  1. An introduction to the sixteen most popular communication methods
  2. An explanation of the various media elements (sound, images, etc.) that can be employed by each communication method and what these can add to the communication process
  3. A cross-reference table of communication methods and media elements
  4. An explanation of the various dimensions by which communication can be analysed – recorded v live, passive v interactive, local v remote, push v pull.
  5. A cross-reference table of communication methods and dimensions of communication
  6. A comparison of the communication methods, summarising the characteristics of each and recommending when each should be employed

With any luck this analysis will help you to narrow down your repertoire of communication options and make it clearer where each of these fits in to your working life.

This feature is also available as a single page for easier printing.

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                                                     Fastrak Consulting Ltd, 1998. All rights reserved.                                 Last revised 2/11/98.