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Category: Business and Money > Advertising and Marketing
Asked by: prpro-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 23 Jun 2004 09:16 PDT
Expires: 23 Jul 2004 09:16 PDT
Question ID: 365092
In internal and external communications, company presidents often have
to resort to sending out written communications to employees or having
managers present information to employees as their third-party

I am trying to determine the impact of information that is presented
to employees through written communications or third-parties, rather
than the actual authority or source of the info.  I am interested in
qualitative or quantitative data, as well as the sources of that info.


1.	Are written or third-party communications less effective than being
delivered in person by people of authority?  If so, what are the stats
re: their being less effective?
2.	Has delivering the information from the source/authority via video
or teleconferencing proven to be more effective? Is the response
positive or negative? If so, what are the stats re: this?
3.	Have employees (or customers, et al) expressed a preference for the
way they would like to have information delivered from their president
or person of authority?  Is video high on the list of preferences?
4.	Has video proven to provide ?added value? superior to written or
third-party communication, such as better comprehension of what was
said, greater acceptance/support of the message, etc.?
5.	Does video reinforce messages better than written communications?
Answered By: belindalevez-ga on 24 Jun 2004 11:07 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
<Superiority of video versus written/3rd party communications in business.

Third party sources of information have been shown to be more
effective than information from those in authority.

According to a study by Towers Perrin, 48% of employees believe they
receive more credible information about their company from their
supervisors than the CEO (28% disagree).
Just over half (51%) of the respondents view the information emanating
from senior leadership as the least reliable.

A poll by that asked ?Who?s your most reliable source for
information about your company?? had the following results:
Co-worker 48%
Immediate supervisor 25%
Media 12%
CEO 9%
HR 7%

A 1994 study by the Council of Communication Managers shows that 64%
of employees believe that management often lies.

A survey by Collinson Grant Consultant gives rankings for the
perception of the most and least effective communication methods.
Video presentation comes low on the list, rated at under 2% effective.
Team briefings and meetings are perceived to be more effective than
written or video communications.

Table 5 shows perception of the effectiveness of communication
methods. Some of the results are as follows:
Cascaded team briefings 18%
Team meeting 16%
Email 12%
Internal memoranda 6%
Personal letter 7%
Video taped presentations are rated at under 2%.

According to a study by RoperASW-Tandberg, the reasons that
face-to-face communication is the preferred form of communication is
that it:
Builds high trust 90%
Is more personal 87%
Reduces confusion/misunderstanding 81%
Is easier to understand 76%
Make negotiating easier 75%
Makes people more accountable 75%
Is better for detailed explanations 71%
Makes discussions more productive 65%
Enable quick decisions 62%
Makes it easier to transcend language/cultural barriers 53%
Is easier to remember 52%

According to a study by RoperASW-Tandberg, 81 percent consider video a
good alternative to audio or email communications.

A study of the preferred communication method for managers when
corresponding with employees found that aside from face to face
communication, 43% used email, 31% used the telephone and 20% used
video conferences.

An article on the Feedroom site says that Cisco launched a media
relations site to communicate with journalists and analysts. Due to
the high number of employees watching the site, the CEO added his own
channels to communicate with investors and employees. Viewership to
the media channel has increased 650 percent.

The Joan Lloyd at Work site says that three independent studies of
employees in Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia have
shown employees prefer face to face communication to video at a rate
of two to one. However the sources of these studies are not quoted.


A study by IMS found looked at preferred methods of downward and
upwards communication. Video scored higher as a preferred method
amongst those where it is used than internal memoranda and letters.
For those who used video as a means of downward communication, 28%
preferred it. For those who used memoranda/letters, 25% preferred that
method. Briefing groups/team briefings were most preferred by those
who used them (48%). For the full results see Figure 20.5

A study by Roper ASW which surveyed 2,862 people found that nine out
of ten employees prefer to learn about important changes at work in
group or individual face-to-face meetings. Five percent prefer email
and 1 percent voice mail.

A paper by Donald K. Wright Ph.D ?Examining Employee Perceptions of
Internal Communication Effectiveness?, quotes from a study by
Frohrenback and Goldfarb in 1990 that found that employees most prefer
to receive information from the following sources, listed in order of
Face-to-face from their immediate supervisor.
Small group meetings (with their immediate supervisor)
Top executives
An annual report to employees 
Employee handbook or other booklets.

The bottom five sources in decreasing order of importance were:
External mass media
Audiovisual programs
Mass meetings.

In this study video comes low on the list.


A feature on Voice & data Online gives the results of a
RoperASW-Tandberg survey. 625 respondents from the US, UK, Germany,
Norway and Hong Kong participated in the survey. Key findings are:
Business professionals estimate they waste over half-an-hour a day
using inefficient communication methods.
Just one in four respondents pay full attention in an audio conference.
Just one in four will completely read an email before deleting it.
95 percent of respondents like to see visual cues.
93 percent say they pay more attention when they see someone.
92 percent say seeing someone when they are communicating with them is best.
81 percent consider video a good alternative to audio or email communications.
78 % say video provides many of the same visual cues as in-person communications.
63% say video can be as interactive as in-person.
62 % say video can provide similar eye-contact perception as in-person.

An overview of the results with more detailed findings is available here.
Pdf version
Html version
A report from the Yankee Group summarises some of the findings from
studies about information being presented in visual versus audio
manner including:
Face-to face meetings results in retention rates 38 percent higher
than audio meetings.
 (Source: Harvard University & Columbia University).
200% more is learnt in face to face meetings than with audio alone
(Source: University of Wisconsin).
Information is absorbed 40% faster than with audio alone (Source:
Wharton School of Business).
55% of the impact of communications comes from facial expressions and
body language, versus 38% from vocal inflection (Source: UCLA).,,2826,00.pdf

A study of a streaming video campaign by Dynamic Logic found that
message association increased by 68 percent.>


<Additional links:>

<This report includes statistics about how streaming video is
currently being used by companies.>

<Bibliography ? preferred communication channels in the workplace.>

<Search strategy:>
<"business communication" "more effective" research video>

<"retain more" "in person" communications respondents>

<"than written" respondents survey video businesses>

<employees "prefer to hear information">

<Hope this helps.>
prpro-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Great work!  I am sorry for the lag time in response -- this
information was perfect for what we needed!

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