What is Correspondence? Meaning | Definition | Explanation

What is correspondence? correspondents, meaning of correspond

Any written or digital communication exchanged by two or more parties. Correspondences may come in the form of letters, emails, text messages, voicemails, notes, or postcards. Correspondences are important for most businesses because they serve as a paper trail of events from point A to point B.

In simple Correspondence is communication in writing between two personsCorrespondence is communication in writing of ideas/opinions/views between friends /relatives /between business houses/officesMatters relating to personal matters/welfare/trade &commerce/official mattersCommunication takes place between parties living at distant places

Different kind of correspondence are-

Business documents:-Reports/proposals/procedures/manuals/guidelines/business plans/memorandum/letters/emails/circular/notices/newsletters/websites.

Written communication has great significance in today’s business world. It is an innovative activity of the mind. Effective written communication is essential for preparing worthy promotional materials for business development. The speech came before writing. But writing is more unique and formal than speech. Effective writing involves the careful choice of words, their organization in the correct order in sentences formation as well as the cohesive composition of sentences. Also, writing is more valid and reliable than speech. But while speech is spontaneous, writing causes delay and takes time as feedback is not immediate.

Advantages of Written Communication

In order that it may be used as and when needed for references and providing permanency of record, written communication is preferred as it is the most effective method of communication.

Written communication is an excellent way of transmitting information across the organizational level. The documents that contain the rules and regulations and procedures or the policy manuals are the example of written communication. Besides, the written communication, through email or memos or in the form of letters, is used whenever the superiors need to advise or instruct their subordinates to carry out particular tasks.

Employees need to be well informed about the policies and the procedures of the organization, so that they may act accordingly. The written communication through policy manual and procedure are written on the related documents, such as loan application form, leave application form, etc., serve the purpose.

Written communication serves as evidence of the events or the actions that have been taken. Also, there are situations that call for the letters or memos on whose basis certain actions are to be taken. In this way, written communication is of great importance to clear the discrepancies. Aside from these, whenever there is a need to convey the important and urgent message to various persons in the organization, written communication may be of great help and assistance providing the required information, which can save the time and effort to be taken to conduct a meeting for that particular purpose. This way written communication provides permanency of records as well.

  • Written communication helps in laying down apparent principles, policies, and rules for running of an organization.

  • It is a permanent means of communication. Thus, it is useful where record maintenance is required.

  • It assists in the proper delegation of responsibilities. While in case of oral communication, it is impossible to fix and delegate responsibilities on the grounds of speech as it can be taken back by the speaker or he may refuse to acknowledge.

  • Written communication is more precise and explicit.

  • Effective written communication develops and enhances an organization’s image.

  • It provides ready records and references.

  • Legal defenses can depend upon written communication as it provides valid records.

Disadvantages of Written Communication

  • Written communication does not save upon the costs. It costs huge in terms of stationery and the manpower employed in writing/typing and delivering letters.

  • Also, if the receivers of the written message are separated by distance and if they need to clear their doubts, the response is not spontaneous.

  • Written communication is time-consuming as the feedback is not immediate. The encoding and sending of the message take time.

  • Effective written communication requires great skills and competencies in language and vocabulary use. Poor writing skills and quality have a negative impact on an organization’s reputation.

  • Too much paperwork and e-mails burden are involved.

What is better oral communication or written


Both are equally important. It depends on factors effecting communication.

There are three things you need to take into account:

1.    What is the communicator comfortable with?
2.    What is the recipient comfortable with?
3.    What is the outcome you want?

1. What the communicator is comfortable with
There are very few like Churchill who is both powerful writers and speakers.
The creator's natural bent of mind could lean either way. If he plays to his strengths, he is far more likely to communicate effectively. 

2. What the recipient is comfortable with
Effectiveness depends to a large extent on the recipients, and their learning styles. Speaking eloquently and persuasively can have little effect on someone who is a visual learner (either through images or the written word). Writing a nuanced, moving piece on what you want to convey would have no impact on someone who cannot, or doesn't want to, read.

3. The intended outcome
The most important question you have to ask yourself is, What do you want to be effective for? 

·         If you want to communicate facts or complex ideas, writing is usually better. The written word allows the reader to move at their own pace, or back and forth as the need arises, to clarify the topic.

·         If you want to rouse emotion or inspire action, then a good bit of oratory is what you need.

Effective Business Correspondence :Basic Principles

  Place the Reader First
  Keep to the point
  Set  the right tone
  Write a strong opening
  Write a strong close

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