• Teresa Bennett

What is Technical Communication?

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

Technical communication is for, and about, business and industry information that focuses on products and services. These communications can be in both oral and written formats. When technical communication is involved for products and services it is generally around creating, marketing, managing, delivering, and using those products.

For the sake of this blog post, we are not restricting the topic to only “technical products”. The product could be a broom your company manufactures. This post is about the format in which you communicate about the broom (or any other product).

In a corporate environment, you will find yourself communicating via writing and orally. You’ll also find that you will use many different tools and technology (a phone can be a tool), based on your audience, the purpose, and the situation.

Some methods of communication can work with all audience types, but not all communication methods will work for all situations.

For example, you can use email to communicate with every type of audience in the above table, but only for specific situations.

As an example, you might use mass communication email to employees to announce that the company has tickets available to a baseball game if anyone is interested. However, you would not use a mass email communication to announce that one of your locations were closing or that layoffs were happening.

As a rule of thumb, don’t use mass email to announce bad news! Bad news is best delivered in-person when possible or if you must communicate electronically, a conference call is more appropriate than a mass email.

To be successful in the workplace, you’ll want to be comfortable communicating through many different channels – and at selecting the correct channel of communication for any given situation.

The table below shows some examples of communication channels, audience and purpose of communication to get you started thinking about various situations and the types of communication that would be correct for that situation.

Some channels almost always used in workplace communications are:

· E-mail

· Microsoft Office tools (or the equivalent) such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

· Reports

· Letters

· Gaining in popularity – especially in global organizations is the use of video-conferencing tools such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc.

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