Informative Business Messages
Most business communications are in fact "informative" messages. This article will help you Identify the appropriate use of informative business messages.
Informative messages are the backbone of business communication. In this section, we will cover short informative messages using a variety of techniques. We will also explore how to write long informative messages and use appropriate communication channels.
Most business communications are in fact "informative" messages. An informative message in the workplace is simply the sharing of meaningful information between people in an unbiased and professional manner.
Informative messages can be short or long, formal or casual in tone, internal or external in focus, and direct or indirect in structure, depending on the situation. Like all forms of communication, the purpose of informative messages is to promote understanding, encourage action, stimulate thinking, or promote ideas.
Since informative messages are so prevalent in business communication, there are too many examples and use cases to mention in this brief module. Simple, informative messages can be used to let employees know of an upcoming IT system maintenance, a new break room cleanliness policy, or a new all-hands meeting time. They can be used to announce a significant company win over a competitor, a new product launch delay, or the creation of a new division within the company. As the subject becomes more important and complex, informative messages can enlighten employees about quarterly financial results, acquisitions, and plans to take the company public.
Informative messages can take on almost any form of electronic communication: IMs, chats, emails, presentations, memos, blogs, podcasts, press releases, and reports. As was stated earlier in this module, the situation at hand will dictate how the message is crafted and how it is sent. Despite the variety of informative messages and how they can be sent, there are some guidelines that pertain to all effective business communication.
- Get to the main idea as quickly as possible.
- Use a greeting to identify the audience.
- Be clear and concise with the presentation of information.
- Check your message for grammatical errors.
- Include a call to action.
Short Informative Messages
Short informative messages can take a variety of forms. For example, a quick communication to a teammate can utilize IM technology and provide a vehicle for a quick response. These messages tend to be more conversational in structure and resemble a chat more than an email or other document. Another form of a short informative message could be a Twitter message, or tweet. Tweets are better for communicating with larger audiences, possibly external as well; in fact, one of the primary uses of Twitter (by companies) is advertising and promoting their brands. (We discussed Twitter in more depth in Module 10: Social Media.). If the situation requires a more formal approach for your message, sending an email is usually more appropriate.
Long Informative Messages
While long informative messages can be delivered through a variety of mediums, they will typically hit the same beats regardless of the delivery method. As with all business messages, it's important to keep concision in mind. While there certainly are more complex messages that require longer communications, remember to stay focused and only provide the information your audience needs.
The situational context of a message is key to its success. Some messages will be targeted for internal employees with a specific call to action to use the text provided to expand a marketing effort. Others work as a means of communicating with customers and would-be customers to rebut apparent negative comments from competitors. Others may bring an array of products and services together conceptually for greater understanding for the targeted audience. Still others will deliver lengthy product feature details in a casual, friendly, and unassuming manner.
Long informative messages can utilize multiple communication vehicles. The primary delivery methods you'll run across are email, blog, presentation, and podcast.
- Emails can be considered the "default" delivery method for business messages. While they can be effective if written well (after all, they're delivered directly to the person you hope will receive the message), they can also appear bland if not executed correctly.
- A blog can be used to inform about, promote, and build a brand. It can also serve to personalize a brand by showcasing the perspectives of those who work at the company or it can serve to build a community by promoting the work of outside authors.
- Presentations are a great way to communicate large amounts of detailed information or utilize graphics to convey complex ideas to a defined audience. Graphics can be utilized to inform the audience of several connected ideas.
- Podcasts can be quite effective as informative messages. They give businesses an opportunity to engage in more casual conversation, but they can still be packed with very detailed functionality information about how the products or applications work and serve customers.
Source: Lumen Learning, https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wmopen-businesscommunicationmgrs/chapter/informative-business-messages/
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
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