Understanding Communication Channels and Types: A Comprehensive Guide

Effective communication is essential for any successful business, but choosing the appropriate communication channels can be challenging.

For example, while email may seem like a suitable medium for conveying strategic decisions, it may not always be the best option for ensuring the information is easily understood.

It’s important to identify the channels that are most appropriate for your message.

In this article, we will help you understand the different types of communication channels and how to choose the right one for your needs, so you can ensure your message is communicated effectively.

Communication Channels

Communication channels are the means or medium through which a message is conveyed to its intended audience.

Examples of communication channels include phone calls, text messages, emails, video conferencing, radio, and social media.

In a company setting, effective communication channels are essential for ensuring information flows efficiently.

Without them, employees and customers may be misinformed or left in the dark. Effective communication channels also have the power to enhance productivity and promote better decision-making as a team.

Communication Channels Purposes

Communication channels can be used for various purposes such as sending and receiving important messages, answering questions in real-time, starting discussions, and sharing materials quickly.

hey are typically classified as oral or written communications and can be further subcategorized as formal, informal, or unofficial.

1. Formal Communication Channel

A formal communication channel is one that is officially sanctioned by the company, such as a slide deck shared during an all-hands meeting.

2. Informal Communication Channel

Informal communication channels are less structured, such as group chats addressing work-related issues.

3. Unofficial Communication Channel

Lastly, unofficial communication channels are those that team members use outside of work hours to discuss non-work related topics, like a chat group for discussing sports.

Choosing The Right Communication Channel

Choosing the right communication channels can depend on a variety of factors, including the message being conveyed, the audience, and the purpose of the communication.

Here are a few things to consider when selecting the right communication channels:

1. The Message

The type of message being conveyed will affect the choice of communication channel. For example, if the message is time-sensitive, then an instant messaging platform or phone call may be more appropriate than email.

The type of message is another thing you should take into consideration.

Ask yourself:

  • Is the information formal or informal?
  • Does it include visuals or text?
  • Is the message time-sensitive or trivial?
  • Does it need to be easy to find later?

2. The Audience

The audience also plays an important role in selecting the appropriate communication channel. For example, if the audience is dispersed geographically or working remotely, then a video conferencing platform might be more suitable than in-person meetings.

3. The Purpose

Consider what the purpose of the communication is. For example, if the goal is to share information and provide updates, then a company-wide email or newsletter might be the best option.

If the goal is to gather feedback or brainstorm ideas, then a face-to-face meeting or a virtual collaboration platform might be more appropriate.

4. The Format

Think about the format of the message and which channels will be best for conveying the information. For example, an email might be more effective for sending a written report, while a presentation shared over video conferencing might be more effective for delivering a verbal report.

5. The Company Culture

The Company Culture also play an important role on the selection of communication channels, as different company have different culture on communication, whether they are more email-based, more phone call-based, or more face-to-face-based.

Best Communication Tools for Small Business

Identifying the right channels is a good first step, but you also need the right communication tools to relay your message through different mediums. Here are three options to look at:

1. RingCentral

As previously mentioned, RingCentral offers a comprehensive communication solution that is cost-effective.

The app provides a range of features such as video conferencing, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calls, instant messaging, and text messaging, eliminating the need for a separate phone system or multiple software downloads.

One of the advantages of RingCentral is its ease of use, allowing you to seamlessly switch between different communication methods, such as a phone call to a video call, with just a tap of a button within the app.

As a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) provider, RingCentral offers a consistent and unified experience across multiple devices, regardless of the communication channel used.

By using RingCentral, you can have all of your communication channels in one app, eliminating the need to pay for multiple subscriptions each month.

RingCentral’s pricing ranges from $19.99/user/month to $49.99/user/month.

2. Slenke

Slenke is a tool that combines business communication and task and time management, it offers team and individual chat functionality, as well as the ability to create messaging boards.

It ensures the safety of your information by providing top-grade encryption for all messages and files shared.

It’s important to note that Slenke does not have a built-in video conferencing or screen sharing feature.

In order to have this functionality, you will have to invest in a separate video conferencing tool and integrate it with Slenke for a unified experience.

Pricing: $18/user/month

3. Contact Monkey Internal Communication

Despite the rise of other communication channels, email remains a popular and effective method of communication for many teams.

ContactMonkey is a tool designed to enhance internal email communications by integrating seamlessly with Outlook or Gmail.

It allows tracking of every email opened, and offers advanced analytics to track the performance of your emails, identify your most engaged employees, measure link clicks, email opens, devices and feedback.

ContactMonkey is a great tool for those looking to improve their internal email communications and gain deeper insights on the performance and effectiveness of their emails.

Pricing: ContactMonkey has custom pricing plans based on the specific needs of the company.


It’s important to understand what a communication channel is. It refers to the means or medium through which a message is conveyed.

Different types of communication channels include verbal, written, or nonverbal means, such as face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, text messages, email, and social media.

The choice of communication channel can affect the effectiveness of the message being conveyed, so it’s essential to choose the right one for the specific situation and audience.

When selecting the appropriate communication channel, there are a few key factors to consider.

The message being conveyed, the audience, and the purpose of the communication are some of the most important things to think about.

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