New technology has greatly increased the choices for communicators. The personal computer, in both desktop and portable form, is a superb message centre for managers receiving and relaying information quickly all around the world.
Using The Fax
Despite the advent of electronic mail (e-mail), facsimile (fax) is a useful form of communication that can help you manage your time. For example, if you want to pass information to someone who wastes time on the phone, using e-mail and fax will help bypass this problem. The fax is extremely valuable for documents that need delivery and response faster than is possible by post.
E-mail is fast, user-friendly and versatile. It is a prime medium of communication within a business and accounts for more and more external messages. Keeping staff informed by e-mail also saves paper. However, e-mail can be abused, so follow these rules of “netiquette”:
-Use a meaningful subject title;
-Be as brief as possible;
-Distinguish business mail from non-business;
-Be selective in recipients of your e-mails;
-Avoid attaching extra files to your e-mail if you are mailing a lot of people at once;
-Never use obscene language and insults, and shun any racist or sexist mail.
Using The Internet
The Internet is transforming communication, as are internal networks, groupware, intranets (in-company internets) and the Extranet (which connects suppliers with customers). Use basic Web sites on the Internet to carry up-to-date information about your own organization for both customers and employees. Similarly, look at the web sites of other companies for information on your competitors. The Internet is a valuable tool for all kinds of research, and for interactive dialogues. You can also use the Internet for buying and selling products.
The most effective way to improve the speed and quality of communication and information flow is to control the quantity. Whenever you send a message, ask yourself if you really need to – if not, do not send it. Keep messages brief, because the shorter they are, the faster they can be processed. Check regular reports to see if anything can be shortened or eliminated – will anyone really notice if some regular communications are no longer made? Finally, do not procrastinate over responses: it is better, faster and more efficient to answer immediately and keep your desk clear.
Points to remember:
- Faxes can be either free-standing and paper-fed or linked to a personal computer
- Managers without laptops or notebook computers can consider themselves under-equipped.
- The World Wide Web is the future of communications for most purposes.
- The Internet is a powerful communications tool mainly because of its ability to mix media in real-time.
- Cutting out communication waste helps everybody.
- Get expert advice on the best use of your information technology (IT).
- Experiment with new ways of exploiting the Internet.
- Use e-mail’s “reply” feature to respond swiftly.