Five planning steps in business communication?


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Matthew Porter answered
Regardless of technological advancement, effective communication remains a crucial part of interaction with both colleagues and customers. Effective communicators need to follow some simple common sense steps to make sure that they are able to convey their message effectively to ensure corporate success.

• Have a goal
Before you initiate contact with another individual or group, you should have in your mind what the goal is for your conversation. The goal may be to get a question answered, to request a future meeting or to obtain certain information.

• Formulate your message
Have your target audience in mind so that you can convey your message effectively. If you are having a conversation about an impending sale, the way in which you would talk to your manager should vary significantly from the way that you talk to the potential customer, for instance. Your manager will want analysis on progress, whereas the customer will want reasons and motivation to buy the product or service in question. The way in which you communicate also depends on the size of the group - you can craft your message to the body language and responses of an individual, but you need to speak in general terms when talking to a larger group.

• Choose an appropriate medium
When communicating sensitive information, it would be better to use a personal form of communication such as meeting face-to-face, talking over the telephone or video conferencing. For basic communications, particularly involving numeric data, written communication such as email, letters and memos will be more effective.

• Follow-up
Follow-up on all types of messages, issuing updates and clarifications if they are necessary.

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