Message in Business Communication
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Most forms of business communication involve an iterative cycle of listening and speaking, enabling two parties to negotiate their needs and wants on the way to a common middle ground. Companies also require routine messages intended as legal or financial documentation for transactions or resource requests. Managers must oversee the tone, content and delivery of routine messages in business communication.
Routine messages in business communication serve to document the “who, what, where, why, and how” of daily operations. Filmmaker Mike Judge mocked the process of delivering routine messages in the film “Office Space” with dialogue about the necessity of “TPS Reports” that none of the film’s characters ever actually read. Managers who reduce the frustration level of producing necessary documentation can help increase productivity and teamwork.
The most common routine messages in modern businesses include order confirmations, service updates, dispatch lists, bug reports and contract terms letters. Other routine communications may be intended for customers, including service notifications and follow-up letters, satisfaction surveys and goodwill messages to customers who have provided feedback about products or services.
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Most routine messages consist of templates that can be customized with pertinent details about a customer, an issue or the item requiring communication. Companies may choose to issue routine messages using databases and mail merge technology, enabling email or printed communication to be sent efficiently and inexpensively. Managers or communication directors should carefully test and review templates to ensure that they meet legal and financial requirements.
Authors Mary Ellen Guffey and Richard Almonte state that routine messages should “deliver the most important information first.” In their book, “Essentials of Business Communication, ” they caution business leaders to review routine message templates for desired brevity, for errors and for extraneous information that could get in the way of a core message. With most routine messages designed for quick scanning by readers’ eyes, communicators must quickly capture attention and convey crucial details.
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Operational business messages would be written to whomever can get that operation done - if it were a shipping problem then it would be directed to shipping and if it were a human resources problem then it would be directed to the HR department.