What Are the Types of Business Communication?


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In the dynamic business world, effective communication is the backbone of success. Without effective communication, a business cannot thrive, let alone survive. Organizations must understand and implement the various types of business communication to get the communication in business right. 


Organizations rely on several forms of business communication for successful interaction within or outside the organization. The strategy and chosen form depend on varying scenarios and stakeholders.

Why is Business Communication Important?

Business communication is a specialized type of communication that focuses on exchanging information, ideas, and messages within a business. It includes communication within the organization and between a company and its external stakeholders. Businesses follow different kinds of business communication depending on their unique needs. No matter the chosen business communication type, the primary aim is to ensure that all parties understand the company’s goals, strategies, and operations clearly.

Different Types of Business Communication

Understanding the different business communication types equips you with the tools to strategize your company’s communications more effectively. It sets your business up for increased clarity, better relationships, and greater success. Here are the various types of business communication to adapt depending on different circumstances.

1. Internal Communication

Internal communication is interaction within an organization. You can consider internal communication as the circulatory system within the framework of a business. It enables seamless workflows and effective teamwork. The key purpose of internal communication is to facilitate decision-making processes, distribute information among employees, and create a cohesive workplace culture. 


Due to its multi-purpose characteristics, internal communication in business is further classified into various types.

2. Downward Communication

In internal downward communication, the information flows from the higher hierarchy to the lower levels. It is typically useful when organizations need to announce decisions or instructions. For instance, your organization can utilize downward communications when you need to implement a new policy or inform the employees about changes in company strategy.

3. Upward Communication

Opposite to downward communication, we have upward communication. Here, the information flows from the below hierarchy towards the top levels in organizational charts. It is typically used when collecting suggestions or reports. For instance, you can use upward communication to get feedback from your employees regarding the newly implemented policies.

4. Lateral or Horizontal Communication

When information is exchanged between individuals or departments at the same organizational level, such communication is known as lateral or horizontal communication. It is commonly used for the purpose of problem-solving, coordination, or information sharing. For instance, your organization can utilize lateral communication when there is a need for collaboration within a department for a specific project.

5. External Business Communication

External business communication is the interaction between the organization and the outsiders. Business uses it to communicate with parties outside their immediate internal circle, like clients, suppliers, and regulators. The purpose is to build relationships, provide customer support, market products or services, and even manage crises. For instance, your organization can use external communication for marketing campaigns, public relations, or negotiations with suppliers and partners.

Difference Between Internal and External Communication

Internal and external communication are considered two sides of the same coin for effective business communication, though they typically serve distinct purposes. The table below showcases key differences between these two types of business communication.


Internal Communication

External Communication

Primary AudienceEmployees, Teams, and Departments within the organization.Clients, Suppliers, Customers.
PurposeInformation sharing, decision making.Marketing, Sales, Compliance, Public Relations.
Tone and FormalityTypically open dialogueUsually more formal.
Common channelsMemos, Staff Meetings, Internal emails.Websites, customer emails, Social Media.
Communication SpeedGenerally quicker.May be slower at times due to more layers of approval and external factors.
Common Types of MessagesPolicy changes, employee announcements, departmental updates.Advertising, Legal and Compliance notices, Investor Relations.

Examples of Business Communication

Both internal and external business communication includes exchanging different types of information in different circumstances. Organizations utilize distinct methods for varying purposes. Below are some common examples of business communication methods.

1. Advertisements

Advertisements fall under the umbrella of external business communication. Your business can use this medium to reach potential customers, raise brand awareness, and promote new products or services. The medium to use include TV commercials, print ads, or online banners.

2. Intranet

Businesses primarily use Intranet systems for internal communication in business. Your employees can use it as a secure online hub for accessing various resources, including HR forms, company news, and policies. Moreover, they are great options to facilitate document sharing.

3. Live Chat

Your business can employ live chats to serve internal and external business communication needs. Live chats can be handy tools for quick queries or team collaboration. Externally, live chats on company websites offer immediate customer support

4. Social Media Accounts

Social media platforms are typically beneficial for external business communication, but we cannot underestimate their internal uses. For external use, you can utilize social media accounts to engage with customers or manage public image. Meanwhile, it forms a private group for sharing information and facilitates internal communication.

5. Texting

Like social media accounts, your business can use texting for internal and external business communication. Externally, it could be used for marketing campaigns or customer service notifications. Internally, your business can employ it for quick messages or updates.

6. Websites

Websites can especially serve as informative tools for external business communication. They serve as the digital image of the organization. You can use it to inform current or potential customers about your products or services. Moreover, it can be a medium for you to update your mission and policies to the general public.

7. Personal Communication

Take personal communication as face-to-face communication. They are especially common for internal communication. It typically involves vis-à-vis interactions among the team members or direct conversations between subordinates and superiors. However, when you engage in one-on-one meetings with external stakeholders, it can extend to external communication.

Which business communication method is best for your business?

Employing a particular type of business communication depends on numerous factors, including your business size, work nature, and the needs of your stakeholders. For instance, you may want to employ internal communication methods like intranet or texting if your team requires frequent updates. Alternatively, you may utilize video conferencing or team collaboration platforms if your team requires collaborative discussions. 


The same notion goes for external communication as well. If your customer base craves real-time support, it is better to approach the live chat method. On the contrary, periodic newsletters or scheduled one-on-one meetings may be more effective in building long-term relationships with clients or stakeholders. 


Therefore, evaluating your business objectives and examining the available resources is vital to select the most beneficial business communication method.


Internal or external, both business communication types are paramount for any organization. They serve as the lifelines that ensure seamless operations and foster robust relationships with clients and stakeholders. Your business must choose the right platform to ensure efficiency in both types of business communication. While numerous platforms exist, VoIP stands out as an exceptional choice with its advanced communication features.


Calilio offers futuristic VoIP phone services tailored to diverse business needs. Our feature-rich business phone system is an exceptional choice for bridging internal and external communication gaps. Sign up and revolutionize your business communications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are communication systems in business?

Business communication systems refer to the structured methods and tools businesses use to exchange information internally among employees and externally to clients, the public, and other stakeholders.

What is the most reliable form of communication in business?

The most reliable form of communication often depends on your business’s specific needs and requirements. However, face-to-face communication is traditionally considered the most direct and reliable form of business communication.

What are 4 examples of external business communication?

Four examples of external business communication are advertisements, customer newsletters, social media announcements, and live chats with customers on websites.

What are the three main categories of business communication?

The three main categories are internal communication (within the organization), external communication (with clients, stakeholders, and dealers), and personal communication (informal, one-on-one interactions).

What are the two most common types of business communication?

The two most common types of business communication are internal communication and external communication. Both communication forms can include verbal communication as well as written communication.

What are the 4 types of communication styles?

The four types of communication styles are assertive, passive, aggressive, and passive-aggressive.

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