Media Comparison

Media Comparison, which one do you need?


At this stage we are going to compare different media platforms. Each plaftorm has their own advantages and disadvantages. Carefully choosing which media to use can make your message much stronger and more effective. It can also save you cost and time.

Remember, how you choose to communicate your message can be just as important as what you communicate.

Before going into each media type, you should think about your communication environment. Will the communication be one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many?

  • One-to-One : conversations, emails, letters, instant messaging, phone calls
  • One-to-Many : public speech, presentations, mass email and letters
  • Many-to-Many : meetings, conference calls, forums, debates, discussions

Oral Media (conversation, interviews, public presentations) (pg 95)

  • Not always informal, Usually has hidden structure : Some oral communication means often seem very casual. But most business communication, even phone conversations, discussions and others have set objectives and a certain structure. Other conversations; like interviews or negotiations, can be very structured.


  • Immediate Feedback : When speaking directly with someone you can get immediate answers to your questions and quickly provide anything the other person might need. This makes oral communication the fastest way to get an answer.

  • Easy Interaction : Conversation allows the discussion to grow and include other ideas that may not be directly related to your topic, but important to maintain a good business relationship. Interaction also allows better discussions which leads to better problem solving.

  • Rich non-verbal messages : Human beings communicate by more than just using words. Our facial features, gestures, tone of voice, speed, pauses all say something. In face-to-face or phone conversations, there is a lot more information you get from someone.

  • Allow easy expression of emotion : It is much easier to show urgency, anger, happiness using oral communication (through non-verbal means) rather than through writing.



  • Only those there can participate (unless teleconference) : Conversations restrict the number of people who can be involved. If there are too many people, the discussion doesn't become effective. If you want to spread your message to many people, this may not be the way to do it.

  • No record of conversation : There is no way to prove or check what happened during an oral conversation. This is especially dangerous in a business context, when promises may be made orally. Hence usually most oral conversations are followed up by emails or letters, to reinforce and record what was discussed (and that's why the minutes of meetings are very important!)

  • Reduce Control over message : You can very carefully plan an oral conversation or presentation, but because there is a lot of non-verbal information, it is easy to confuse the audience. For example, a message about someting sad delivered in a happy tone. There are more elements that can affect the medium and presenter (you!) which can also result in unplanned things being said.

  • Cannot edit or revise message : You can very carefully plan an oral conversation or presentation, but you only get one chance to deliver it. During the conversation/presentation, many things can go wrong and you won't be able to stop and re-edit what you said.

The oral Best when you need to express emotions, encourage interaction or observe response of the person you are communicating with. It is not good when you need to keep record of interaction, when you need to get many people involved or when you are emotionally upset.