Types of written business communication

Updated April 17, 2017

There are numerous types of written communication used in business. Companies use written communication to instruct employees on company policy, inform customers about products and services, and to apprise investors of corporate strategies. The key to writing effective business communication is tailoring the message to your target audience. Write in a clear, simple and concise manner so people can easily understand your message.


E-mails are the most common form of written business communication, according to Startupbizhub, an online reference site. Business professionals use e-mails to send documents, set up meetings, confirm appointments and contact job candidates. Despite their relative casualness, your e-mails should still come across as professional. Make sure you address your e-mails to all intended parties. Leaving just one person out can hinder your e-mail's effectiveness. Also, list the specific topic of your e-mail in the "Subject" area. Avoid writing long paragraphs in your e-mails. Instead, break your text up with shorter paragraphs and bullet points, according to Forbes online magazine.


Proposals are documents which outline upcoming projects. For example, business consultants and advertising agencies submit proposals to companies for projects or special assignments. A marketing manager may submit a proposal to the research and development department to conduct product research. Proposals are often just one or two pages long. Many companies use specific forms for their proposals. Make sure you clearly identify all the project steps and tasks in your proposal. Include the associated costs of each specific task as well. For example, list the printing, mailing and postage costs if you are writing up a proposal for a direct mail project.


Reports are another type of written business communication. Companies use reports to inform employees about various aspects of the business. For example, the finance department will write financial reports to summarise a company's profit and sales. Similarly, a marketing research manager may write a report which summarises results of a customer phone survey. Write your reports in a structured format. Provide a brief introduction to your report. For example, tell department managers how and when you conducted a customer phone survey. Include the key objectives you intended for the project. Summarise your findings in the body of your report. Add graphs and charts to clarify more complex concepts. Include an executive summary section in your report that highlights key findings or results. Moreover, always include a cover letter with your report to introduce it to managers or executives.


Brochures are literature that feature your products and services. Companies use brochures to sell products or assist sales reps with sales calls. Companies produce brochures in many shapes and sizes. Some brochures are letter size while others folded in half or thirds. Use colour and pictures in your brochures that feature your main products or services. Break up each page of your brochure with plenty of blank space, which makes the brochure more readable.

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