Business communication plans transfer information from one individual or group to another. Though the definition sounds simplistic, each type of plan has a specific purpose in a business and may not receive frequent use. Different types of business communication plans are internal, external, and crisis, with the latter possibly a mix of the first two. Companies put these plans into place so there is a constant flow of information among all parties in or related to the company. Many users are involved with sending and receiving communication, making these plans very important.
Internal business communication plans represent messages intended only for those stakeholders inside a business. These are often owners, managers, and employees. Different types of communication methods may be present with this plan, such as telephone, e-mail, conferences, or face-to-face meetings and reviews. The communication plan receives frequent use as the stakeholders pass messages back and forth through the system. Outside users are rarely active in this communication plan as message content may be highly secretive and contain sensitive business information.
External business communication plans are simply the opposite of the above plan; external stakeholders needing information use it. Though it may sound that internal and external business communication plans carry the same information at times, this is not always so. For example, publicly held companies often have a specific individual or office that handles all external communication or messages. This allows for a united front as companies go through difficult business periods or need to send messages to external groups. Owners and executives are often highly involved with these plans to ensure no negative messages or tones are sent to outside stakeholders.
A crisis communication plan is a special form that works only during a crisis experienced by the business. All business communication plans have some form of a crisis element. A business may go through many different crises during its lifetime, though not all situations are crises for all companies. One internal crisis, for example, may be a sudden lack of natural resources. The company then needs to communicate to internal stakeholders how the company and its elements will respond to this crisis and maintain normal business operations.
Having crisis business communication plans in place allows a company to create a mixed communication channel. This ensures that a company can communicate its responses to crises to both internal and external stakeholders effectively. Again, this allows a united communications front and creates stability during a difficult time.