This article throws light upon ten main factors to be considered while selecting the means of communication. The factors are: 1. Nature of Message 2. Cost 3. Record 4. Distance 5. Scale of Organisation 6. Supporting Technology 7. Urgency 8. Secrecy 9. Safety 10. Relationship.
The means of communication depends upon the nature of the message. Urgent, confidential, private and important messages should be distinguished from ordinary, routine, open and less important messages and the means of communication are to be chosen accordingly.
The cost of sending a message is also to be considered while selecting a mode of communication. The result obtained should justify the expenditure.
If the record of the communication is important it should be written, otherwise oral communication is sufficient.
Distance is another factor for consideration. The mode of communication to be chosen depends on whether the message is to be sent to a nearby place or somewhere at a long distance.
Means of communication in large-scale business is different from that in the small-scale. In small business most communication is oral while in large business it is written.
Both the sender and the receiver must have supporting technological communication tool to make communication through a particular medium. Suppose, A sends an e-mail to B. To get the e-mail B should have a personal computer.
Again, to get a fax message one should possess a fax machine. Therefore, while selecting a means of communication one has to consider whether supporting technological tool is available at the other end.
Selection of the means of communication is to be made keeping in view the urgency of the communication. Time available is the main factor here. Higher cost may be justified for sending the message in time.
If the message to be communicated is secret or confidential, such means are required to be adopted that can maintain secrecy. A telephone call can be overheard, an e-mail or fax may not be appropriate, and an office memo may be less confidential. In such cases, face-to-face talking may solve the problem.
The sender has to be careful about the safety of the message. He/She has to decide whether the message would be sent by ordinary post or by registered post; through courier or messenger, etc.
The relationship between the sender and recipient may be a decisive factor in the choice of the means of communication. Message of private nature may require personal contact whereas formal relationship demands official and conventional mode of communication.