Advantages And Disadvantages of Written Communication With Examples

The article examines the benefits of written communication, such as its clarity and permanence, as well as the potential drawbacks, including misinterpretation and the lack of immediate feedback. By discussing the advantages and disadvantages of written communication, our blog post provides readers with a better understanding of when and how to use it effectively.

What is Written Communication?

Written communication is the form of communication that takes place by writing, typing, or printing pieces of information. Besides the written word, images and different forms of data can also be used in such communication to deliver a message clearly.

Letters, notes, bulletins, notices, and memos are many modes of written communication in an organization. 

13 Advantages & Disadvantages of Written Communication

Written communication is a crucial part of our daily lives, Understanding the merits and demerits of written communication can help individuals make informed decisions on when and how to use written communication channels.

Advantages of Written Communication

1. Accuracy: The foremost advantage of the written communication method is that written information is easy to verify, and the message tends to be more accurate and precise than verbal communication in an organization. 

2. Permanent Record: Written communication helps track and record any type of information for future reference or as proof. It could be assigned responsibilities, orders, or different types of reports used in business. 

3. Easy to Understand: Written information is often clear and easy to understand. It allows the receiver to refer to the written word multiple times to understand it better. 

4. Wide Range: One of the benefits of written communication is that it allows a piece of information to reach a wide number of people at different places, at a time. This ultimately saves time in the organization. 

5. Legal Validity:  A written form of communication is legally accepted and works as evidence in many matters of an organization. 

6. Eases Complicated Messages: Written communication makes it easy to send complicated or lengthy pieces of information within an organization.  

7. Fixing of Responsibility: It is quicker to fix the responsibilities of individuals in an organization on the basis of written reports and documents rather than communicating verbally. 

8. Authenticity: Communicating in written form develops a sense of authenticity and genuineness in the messages, ultimately enhancing the goodwill of an organization. 

9. Easy Verification: One of the pros of written communication is that it helps easily verify messages and information. There are lesser chances of a message being tweaked for one’s personal advantage.

10. Enough Time Allowance: When communicating in written modes, the sender gets enough time to frame the message and the receiver also gets enough time to draft the feedback. 

11. Sense of Security: Any message, when delivered in written mode, gives a sense of security to the receiver, especially when the receiver is a subordinate in an organization. 

12. Efficiency in Upward Communication: Written communication makes it easier for subordinates to reach out to their superiors through the upward channel of communication with any complaints or suggestions. Such communication also facilitates the support of images, facts, or figures.

13. Maintenance of Formal Relations: Written communication helps maintain a formal relationship between employees and chief-level executives in an organization, which may otherwise vanish when using verbal communication. 

Related Reading: Advantages and disadvantages of verbal communication

Disadvantages of Written Communication

1. Time-Consuming: Longer time in execution, sending messages, and receiving feedback on the same is one of the biggest limitations of written communication

2. No Confidentiality: Information loses confidentiality when communicated through written modes in an organization. The name, position, or department of the sender are the common aspects that become known.

3. Difficulty in Framing: Some messages or information such as emotional, sensitive, and urgent messages may be difficult to frame the right way when writing, which is a big disadvantage of written communication as compared to oral communication which is considered better for such messages.  

4. Risk of Early Disclosure: One of the drawbacks of written communication is that it has the risk of information getting leaked out in an organization before time.

5. Uncertainty of Comprehension: Another disadvantage of written information is that it has no verbal cues, therefore there is always a risk for the reader not understanding or misinterpreting the message as per his/her individual understanding- even if it is clearly written.  

Related Reading: Check out detailed article on  Pros and cons of non-verbal communication

6. Rigidity: Communication in written form is often very rigid. Hence, the messages need to be drafted very carefully because it may not be efficient to reframe them repeatedly.  

7. Costly Means: One of the cons of written communication is that it costs more in monetary terms as compared to other modes of communication. 

8. Too much Paper Work: Since written communication is executed on paper, it may lead to too much paperwork and create chaos in an organization.

9. Storage Issues: Whether printed or digital, all written forms of communication need to be stored and this arises the problem of storage. 

10. Lack of Friendliness: Since written communication mostly follows a formal tone in organizations, words lack friendly warmth. This may sometimes corrupt informal relations. 

11. Lack of Writers: One weakness of written communication in business is that it often requires professional writers to execute chief-level formal writing. It may be difficult to execute such communication without a writer.

12. Affected by Literacy Rate: The ability to read and write are prerequisites of written communication. Hence, written communication might not work for an illiterate individual or a group of people. 

13. Easily Destroyable: The record of written communication needs to be handled carefully. If not handled properly, it could be destroyed or erased in no time. 

Key takeaways from advantages and disadvantages of writing: 

Written communication may not be as personal as face-to-face communication, but it offers many benefits such as providing a permanent record and the ability to communicate with people who are not present. However, it is important to use written communication judiciously and consider its limitations especially while discussing sensitive or complex topics.

Example of written communication

Written communication can be shared in many forms, below is an example of a written email shared for brand collaboration.  

Written email communication sent for brand collaboration among two SaaS companies.

Replied received on the next day for the email sent

Aditya – Sure. That would be great.
However, we do not engage in link exchange activity right now.
Please let me know the proposal here.

Below is the breakdown of the example with writing principles:

1. Composition: While writing the mail Aditya correctly framed his sentences without any grammatical or spelling errors.

2. Clarity: The written message was made clear with the subject line used “Brand Mention collaboration”. The receiver on the other end can easily understand the goal of the message by reading the subject line.

3. Completeness: Aditya has completed the message by including all the required information such as his designation in the company, and what he can offer in this collaboration that would result in mutual benefit.

4. Accuracy: The written email was fact-checked by Aditya’s team before sending it for collaboration proposal.

5. Appropriateness: The written message was formally drafted, and there was a mutual collaboration tone within the message.

Importance of written communication

Written communication is a critical component of modern business and personal interactions. It allows for clear and precise conveyance of information without the limitations of time and distance that oral communication may have. 

One of the key merits of written communication is its ability to provide a permanent record of information that can be referred to in the future. This makes it an essential tool for important transactions such as contracts, legal agreements, and financial statements. 

Additionally, written communication can be easily disseminated to large groups of people, making it a valuable way to communicate important messages to a wide audience. When communicating orally, it is easy to miss or forget important details. However, with written communication, one can take the time to carefully craft a message that includes all necessary information.

 All in all written communication is a vital form of a communication channel as It allows for the permanent record of information, provides a means of disseminating important messages, and enables the conveyance of detailed and precise information. The ability to effectively communicate in writing is a valuable skill that can greatly enhance one’s ability to succeed in a wide range of situations.

Types of written communication

Written communication can have many forms, below we have listed 5 common types of written communication. 

1. Business Reports: When specific information is presented in an organized manner with a decided objective, it is called a business report. It is often created for a specific audience of an organization. 

Related Reading:

Informal Business Report: How To Write One With Examples

8 Elements of Business Report Structure With Process of Report Writing

Characteristics And Features of a Good Business Report

20 Importance of Business Report In Business Communication

2. Notices: A notice in formal communication is used to announce various kinds of information. It could be a warning, notification, reminder, or invitation.

3. Memos/Memoranda: A business memo or memoranda is often used to communicate information instantly within an organization. Summaries, reports, corrections, etc, are the types of information a memo could communicate. 

4. Circulars: A circular is written in a simple manner for a large audience in an organization. It could be used for making announcements or updating employees about something. 

5. Newsletters: A newsletter is simply a newspaper meant for the employees of an organization. It provides news and updates to employees from every department and section of the organization.

What is written communication used for?

Written communication helps an organization document the stages and development of various ongoing projects. This track helps in analyzing and making decisions for the future.

Communication, when done in written form, promotes uniformity in various business procedures. This uniformity and discipline usually vanish in other forms of communication. 

Advantages & Disadvantages of Oral Communication

Advantages of oral communication:

1. Quick Feedback: Feedback in communication is spontaneous and not delayed when oral communication is taking place. This ultimately fastens the decision-making process. 

2. Time-saving: When business communication happens orally, it saves time for the people involved. It also saves money and allows flexibility.

Disadvantages of oral communication: 

1. Lack of Authenticity: Oral communication often lacks authenticity and discipline as it doesn’t have a record. 

2. Risk of Less Receptivity: One or more elements of the communication process  (decoding, feedback, etc) might be absent in the process of oral communication as it requires a high level of attention and active listening from the receiver. 

Check out our detailed article on advantages and disadvantages of oral communication

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Q1) What are the main advantages of written communication? 

Ans: There are numerous written communication pros and cons. However, the main advantage of this type of communication is that it offers a permanent record for future reference, it is legally valid, and it helps frame lengthy or complicated information efficiently. 

Q2) What are the 4 types of written communication? 

Ans: Among the various types of written communication- Business reports, notices, newsletters, and memos are the four most used forms. 

Q3) What are the 7C of written communication? 

Ans: The 7Cs when it comes to written communication are Clarity, Correctness, Conciseness, Courtesy, Concreteness, Consideration, and Completeness. Implementing these 7C’s in written communication help draft a message that is easy to understand and offers everything that a reader might need.

Aditya Soni

Aditya is the head of content at clearinfo and is responsible for improving the site's organic visibility. He is a certified SEO trainer and has worked with SaaS companies and startups to enhance their digital marketing presence. He is also an ahref fanboy. Click to connect with him on Twitter, and LinkedIn.  

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