Factors to consider when choosing means of communication

Business studies study module
  • Speed: Speed is an important factor when the message is urgent. In such a case telex, fax, telephone, telegram or e-mail would be the most suitable means of communication. Otherwise ordinary mail would be used
  • Cost: The cost incurred in using a means of communication vary from one means to another e.g. it is cheaper to send messages ordinary mail than telegram or telex
  • Confidentiality: Some messages are quite confidential and are intended for certain person only. Where confidential messages are involved, appropriate means should be used e.g. registered mail or internal memo enclosed in an envelope
  • Distance: The geographical gap between the sender and recipient is very important in determining the means of communication to be used. Some means are suitable for long distances while others are not.

Paging and sirens are suitable for short distances. For long distances, fax letters, telephone,e-mail may be appropriate

  • Evidence: Some means of communication do not provide record of the message communicated while others do. All means of written communication provide evidence of messages communicated.
  • Reliability: This is the assurance (certainty) that the message will reach the intended person at the right time in the right form. Face-to-face communication is more reliable than other forms of communication because one can ask for clearly and get answers immediately. For some written information, courier service may be preferred
  • Accuracy: This refers to the exactness of the message communicated as intended the sender. Written messages are generally more accurate than other means of communication.
  • Desired impression: The impression created upon the recipient of a message is very important e.g. a telegram or speed post mail will carry some sence of urgency, registered mail will create an impression of confidentiality while use of colourful and attractive letterheads would convey a good image of the business.
  • Availability: One may want to telephone, for example, but the services are not there so the person would be forced to use alternative means e.g. letters or radio call.



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