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Communication can be Internal, External, Upward, Downward, Formal, Informal, Lateral, Interactive, Mass or Grapevine. Internal communication takes place within the organization or group–among people within, among different groups of employees and between employers and employees.
Letters, notices, brochures, demonstrations, telephone calls, business meetings, press releases, press conferences, audio-visual presentations, publicity films product launch events and advertisements are all examples of external communication.  It is important to note that the external agency or person targeted through such communication, quite often forms an image or impression based on such communication and it is, therefore, very necessary that adequate care is taken in making it clear, intelligible and appealing. Any communication that moves from employees to supervisors, supervisors to managers, managers to executives, regional manager to general manager and so on, may be categorized as upward communication.
Formal communication generally follows a well-defined hierarchical pattern and periodicity. This type of communication takes place in an unstructured manner and outside the formal forums. While formal structure of communication is a must in large organizations, it is the informality that helps sustain goal orientation in small well knit units. Lateral communication generally takes place in an organization and is neither upward nor downward. Any communication that takes place, orally or in writing, from one branch head to the other, from one division head to the other, from one group head to the other, may be described as lateral communication.  An important point worth noting in any such lateral communication is that there is not much difference in terms of the hierarchical levels or positions of the sender and the receiver. At the government level too, there is often a separate ministry or department of mass communication to deal with this functional area. Grapevine is a kind of informal communication that prevails in organizations and businesses. The prevalence of this type of communication in an organization has to be recognized and accepted. It takes place among business entities, within markets, various groups of employees, buyers and sellers, service providers and clients, sales person and prospective buyers, and within the organization and with the press. It could be oral or written, visual or audio-visual, formal or informal, and upward or downward. Knowledge, skills, goal orientation, sharing of corporate concerns, review and monitoring, performance appraisal, counseling and training are among the issues that internal communication addresses.


It addresses people outside the organization, like the prospective customers, competitors, public, press, media and the government. Banks, finance companies, insurance businesses, railways and such other people-oriented organizations have typically a 3-tier or a 4-tier structure. Similarly, communication from branches to regional offices, regional offices to zonal offices, zonal offices to head office is referred to as upward communication.
Staff meetings, union-management meetings, branch managers’ conferences, periodical sales review meetings and customer meets are examples  of forums that facilitate formal communication. Memos, circulars, instructions, guidelines, clarifications, agreements and reports are some of  the channels that facilitate the flow of formal communication in business organizations. Informal communication takes place through chats, conversations, informal talks and the like. It takes place through meetings, conferences, teleconferencing, multimedia presentations, group discussions and other such active two-way exchanges. By its very nature, mass communication addresses a vast, well spread out and heterogeneous group of people and, as such, special efforts will have to be mode to sustain their interest and achieve the desired response. Main branches of study relating to mass communication are public relations, advertising and publicity, journalism and digital media.
Neither the service provider nor the domain owner maintain any relationship with the advertisers. Internal communication serves to inform, instruct, educate, develop, motivate, persuade, entertain, direct, control and caution people in the organization. The process of communication to be complete and effective, should encompass all these levels and tiers. Employee suggestions, market reports, performance reports, feedback on new products and requests for facilities or instructions are all examples of upward communication in the organizational context.
It travels through senior executives to junior level functionaries, from the controlling office to the branch, from the head of the division to the head of the unit.
It may not always be possible to control the grapevine, but, nevertheless, an able communicator knows how to influence it.


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When many speakers are involved, there may be a need for a moderator who will facilitate effective flow of communication from different speakers. It travels through informal networks and quite often travels faster than the formal messages.
The purpose of upward communication is to provide information to the managers form subordinates. Through this communication, subordinates convey their opinions, suggestions, complaints etc. The lower-level employees initiate up-ward communication and the message ultimately reaches to the upper-level management. Upward communication conveys information related to periodic updates, requests for data, clarification of directives and requests for additional financial support.Media or ways of upward communicationThe subordinates can communicate their problems, attitudes, complaints and suggestion to their superiors through various ways. A memo is a short piece of writings generally used to exchange information among the persons within the organization.
Grievance procedure provides the employees with a formal channel of appeal to their superiors. Open-door-policy: Open-door-policy of management inspires the employees to feel that the manger’s doors are always open to them. Whenever they want they can enter into the manager’s room and talk everything to the superiors without any fear or hesitation.These are the commonly used media of upward communication.




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upward communication definition



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