Differences between Internal and External Communication - QS Study
QS Study

Differences between Internal and External Communication

Depending on involvement of parties, communication can be classified into two forms: internal communication and external communication. Both are essential in attaining organizational goals. There exist some basic differences between them as they are different in nature. These differences are shortly discussed below:

Internal communication

  • Definition: Internal communication is the exchange of information between internal members of an organization.
  • Coverage: Its coverage is limited within the organization.
  • Types: Internal communication may take place in vertical and horizontal direction.
  • Distance: Since it occurs within the people of an organization, there may not exist any significant distance between the sender and the receiver of the message.
  • Purpose: The purpose of internal communication is to exchange information that facilitates performance of internal organizational activities.
  • Frequency: It occurs frequently in performing organizational activities.


External communication

  • Definition: External communication occurs when organization exchanges information with the external parties.
  • Coverage: External communication links the organization with the external people.
  • Types: No such classification is seen here.
  • Distance: Significant distance exists between the sender and receiver of external communication.
  • Purpose: It is done mainly for maintaining relationships with external parties.
  • Frequency: It occurs less frequently than internal communication.


In spite of the above stated difference between internal and external communication both of them are vital to business operations and success.