In the business world, external communication is any form of message about a company to an individual, group or organization that isn’t a part of that company. In the book, “Business Communication” Mary Ellen Guffey writes that it is designed to inform, persuade or promote goodwill. This type of communication is used to win over customers, secure mergers or joint venture opportunities, or establish a brand image. The communication can happen in a meeting, an email, an advertisement or by some other method.
Electronic Communication Issues
Word choice in electronic communications is vital. Because there is no voice inflection or body language to accompany what the writer is saying, the wrong words can deliver the wrong connotation. A misunderstood word, particularly a negative one, such as “crash,” could make an investor think he is about to lose his money and cause him to pull out.
The print and broadcast media are resources organizations use for external communication to woo customers and create a brand image. Negative perception about the quality of the package and the words used to deliver the message, if not carefully chosen, can be barriers to communicating with the customer. In an Acta University report, Thavorn Thitthongkam writes that advertising billboards, brochures and pamphlets shape the perception of the business for customers when there isn’t a human spokesperson present to explain the benefits of the business's product.
Distractions in Meetings
Noise, interruptions and physical conditions can be barriers to effective communication in face-to-face meetings. These include things as simple as the temperature of the room, uncomfortable chairs, or ringing phones. In an Ohio State University report, Bernard Erven writes, “The interruptions may be due to something more pressing, rudeness, lack of privacy for discussion, a drop-in visitor, an emergency, or even the curiosity of someone else wanting to know what two other people are saying.”
Third Party Filters
When an organization hires a public relations and advertising firm or a media specialist, its message may be filtered several times before it actually reaches the consumer. This may alter the message from its original intent and result in the communication of something unintended. The communicators are often hired writers and advertisers who don't work for the organization and don't have the same understanding of the corporate culture and mission as someone who works for the company full-time.