The media of written communication - QS Study
QS Study

We divide the different types of communication medium into two different categories:

  1. Physical media
  2. Mechanical media (everything that is not No. 1)

This site focus on the internal communication. Our listings of types of communication medium, therefore, exclude external media.

Physical media

With physical media, we mean channels where the person who is talking can be seen and heard by the audience. The whole point here is to be able to not only hear the messages but also to see the body language and feel the climate in the room. This does not need to be two-way channels. In certain situations, the receiver expects physical communication. This is the case, especially when dealing with high concern messages, e.g. organizational change or downsizing. If a message is perceived as important to the receiver they expect to hear it live from their manager.

 Large meetings

Large meetings have got great symbolic value and should be used only at special occasions. This channel works very well when you need to get across strategic and important messages to a large group of people at the same time creating a wide attention, get engagement or communicate a sense of belonging. Large meetings are excellent when you want to present a new vision or strategy, inform about a reorganization or share new values. The opportunity for dialogue is limited at large meeting, of course, but you can create smaller groups where dialogue can be performed.

Weekly departmental meetings

In the weekly meetings, you and your group communicate daily operative issues, gives status reports and solves problems. Weekly meetings are also used to follow up on information from large meetings, management team meetings etc from a “what’s-in-it-for-us-perspective”. This type of smaller group meetings gives good opportunities for dialogue. This channel is often the most important channel you have as a manager because that’s where you have the opportunity to build the big picture, you can prepare for change, you can create ownership of important strategies and goals etc. This is a favorite among the types of communication medium.

Up close and personal

This is a form of meetings where, often, a senior manager meets with a “random” selection of employees to discuss and answer questions. Some managers use this as ongoing activities on a monthly basis. It can also be used in specific projects or campaigns e.g. launching new strategies.

Viral communication

Or viral marketing as it is also called works external as well as internal and refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in awareness or knowledge through self-replicating viral processes. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of social media.