The term "business communication" is a generic term used to describe any medium through which a business communicates. Such communications may be aimed at a variety of audiences and can occur in a number of formats. Advertisements, websites, e-mails, letters, and press releases are all examples of business communications.
Common audiences for business communications include investors, internal constituencies, the media, existing customers, and prospective customers. Businesses often communicate with investors by means of annual or semi-annual reports that can be sent via regular or electronic mail and may, in the case of publicly-held companies, be posted on a website. Communications to internal constituencies can include policies and procedures; employee handbooks; and electronic, verbal, or written announcements. Employee newsletters are another sample of internal business communications.
Business communication directed at customers and prospective customers can include advertisements or sales fliers, particularly for companies selling physical goods. Such communications can also include sales presentations, bids, or proposals. They also include project status reports, notifications of new products, and other such announcements. All of these communications may occur in writing, electronically, or verbally.
Businesses often communicate directly with the media in order to announce new products, events, awards, or other newsworthy items. The most common form of business communication with the media is a press release. This is a document that tells the media about the newsworthy item so that they can decide whether or not to cover it. For example, if a retail business is opening a new location, it may send a press release to the newspapers, radio, and television news programs in the area offering details about the grand opening and providing a contact who can offer additional information or be available for interviews.
The importance of business communication is similar to the importance of other forms of communication. It allows the business to communicate information to a large number of people at the same time. While the primary goal is to inform, it is often also intended to create awareness of or increase interest in a business.
In some cases, the term "business communication" can also be used to refer to the specific communication methods used by a business. This would include the systems and hardware involved in telephone communications, teleconferencing, video conferencing, Internet or intranet communications, and cellular or satellite communications. It can also refer to the policies, business processes, and contracts set up to manage such communication systems or hardware.