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2.5 & 4.2: Communication Methods

Exam Board:



2016 - Unit 1 

Sections 2.5 and 4.2 are very similar so both are mixed within this page.

There are many ways that employees of a business can communicate between staff members or with their customers.

Text-based Communication


 Traditional - used for formal occasions such as resignations or job offers.

 Can be kept and stored for physical evidence - e.g. an applicant's CV. 

Requires postage costs to be sent in the mail.

Takes time to be received in the post.

Can't include certain formats like video.

Text Message (SMS)

 Reach a large audience at once with one batch message.

✓ Good for short messages - e.g. reminders for appointments.

Doesn't require an internet connection to receive messages.

Limited to short messages with no multimedia.

Text messages can cost to send per message.


 Send information to many people at once.

 Can include documents, multimedia attachments and links.

Important messages may be lost in the spam folder.

Phishing scams can spread malware via email attachments. 

Instant Messaging

 Works in real time - messages are sent and received instantly.

 Attachments and hyperlinks can be sent.

 Can be used by support staff to help customers in real time.

Quick speed means it's less suitable for formal conversations like interviews.

Internet access issues will disrupt any conversations.

Voice-based Communication


✓ Can hear how something is said, unlike text responses.

✓ Fastest method of communication - also allows reactive conversations that can quickly change based on previous responses.

Impacted by cellular reception - won't work in remote areas / underground.

Can't see the other person's body language, presentation or facial expressions.


 Allows for groups of people to communicate at once.

 Businesses can use teleconferencing to communicate between offices / individuals across the world.

X The quality of the call may be affected by a group's poor reception.

Because a group is communicating, people may speak over each other, especially if there is a time delay.


(Voice over Internet Protocol)

 Allows a user to make calls over the internet (such as using WhatsApp).

 Cheaper (can also be free) to make calls rather than using a cellular network.

Relies on a good quality internet connection.

Can potentially be less secure than cellular connections.

hi there

Personal Assistants

 Speeds up processes by making appointments, checking information etc.

 Voice-activated - can be used whilst otherwise busy, such typing or writing.

✓ The language can be changed to suit people's preferences.

Huge privacy concerns - companies store audio data for voice recognition and track all commands made to the device.

Recognition issues - sometimes doesn't understand a command.

Online Communication

Video Conferences

 Can be used for interviews as it allows the applicant and the interviewers to see each other and look for body language.

✓ Users can share information visually such as designs.

A high-bandwidth connection is required to send and receive video data. 

A poor connection will result in low quality video.

Social Media

 Businesses can quickly share information to a large audience, potentially millions.

 Posts can be in different formats such as text, images, videos or links to other websites.

Businesses must be cautious about what they post, to not accidentally offend others and damage their reputation

Posts and responses from customers must be carefully managed, a social media manager should be hired.

Blog / Vlog

 Share information with followers in the format of text, images and video.

Blogs and vlogs can unite people with similar interests, such as a cookery blog or travel vlog.

Takes a lot of effort and time to create posts, especially editing videos for vlogs. 

Bad behaviour or language in vlogs can bring punishment. Several YouTubers have lost their reputations following videos they have posted.

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Questo's Questions

2.5 & 4.2 - Communication Methods:

1. Describe three advantages and three disadvantages for each type of communication method. You will need to think of or research some more than the examples listed on this page.

  • a. Letter

  • b. SMS (Text Message)

  • c. Email

  • d. Instant Message

  • e. Cellular Call

  • f. Teleconference

  • g. VoIP Call

  • h. Personal Assistant

  • i. Video Conference

  • j. Social Media

  • k. Blog / Vlog       [6 each]

2. Explain what VoIP stands for and what it allows a user to do. [2]

3. Describe which communication method would be most appropriate for the following scenarios and why:

  • a. Informing your boss you are going to resign.

  • b. Communicating with management about raising your pay.

  • c. Chatting to team members about when the Christmas party is.

  • d. Sending promotions to thousands of customers.

  • e. Interviewing a potential new employee who is in a different country.

  • f. Talking with a group of investors about the company's latest data. [2 each]

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