The 7Cs of Communication and Email

7Cs of Communication
 

In this post, we will learn about the 7Cs of communication and how it can greatly help our Email communications.

Communication is central to business and personal interactions – it is how we exchange information, understand one another's viewpoints, and plan and execute our activities.

An important principal in communication theory is the 7Cs of communication, which was developed in a 1952 book, Effective Public Relations, by University of Wisconsin professor's Scott Cutlip and Allen Center.

The 7Cs of Communication is a useful way to help ensure that you create high-quality communications, both for written as well as verbal communications. It is a highly quoted and referenced concept in business communication and several different variations of the 7Cs lists have been developed and modified over the years. However, the original 7Cs of communication is considered by many to be one of the fundamental commandments of good business communication.

So, what are the 7Cs?

Here is the original list from Cutlip and Center's works:

Completeness

  • The primary message must include all the necessary facts and information.
  • The message should also take into consideration the intended recipient and their perception of the world.
  • You must ensure that the message contains everything the audience needs to understand what is being communicated.

Conciseness

  • Communicating what you need to express in the least possible words.
  • Message does not contain excessive or unnecessary words or information.
  • Briefly worded information that emphasizes the key points of the message.
  • Reduces both the time and the cost of communications.

Clearness (Clarity)

  • Emphasize one specific message at a time, rather than try to communicate too much information at once.
  • Helps improve the understanding of the entire message and enhances its meaning.
  • Makes use of specific, concrete, and appropriate words to fit the goal being discussed.

Consideration

  • Takes into account the viewpoint of the audience and gears the message towards their thinking and beliefs.
  • This includes their background, education, experience, and attitudes.
  • Ensures that what is communicated does not create negative emotions or a bad reception.

Concreteness

  • The message is specific and clear, rather than vague or general.
  • Ensure the message is not misinterpreted.
  • Increases the confidence of the message and builds on the reputation of the message.
  • Support your message with relevant facts, figures, and examples.

Correctness

  • Message is syntactically and grammatically correct with the appropriate use of language.
  • Makes use of precise and accurate facts and figures.
  • Message is exact and well-timed, which can increase the confidence level of the audience.

Courtesy

  • The message shows respect for the recipient and is considered by them to be polite, friendly, and enthusiastic.
  • Message is positive, unbiased, focused at the audience, and uses language that shows respect.
  • Takes into account not only the viewpoints, but also the feelings of the audience.

The 7Cs of communication is a very useful tool to help write high-quality Email messages.  It helps ensure your messages are clear, targeted, and well-structured - all elements which are especially important in Email communications. And although the 7Cs can be used as a checklist for all types of communication, it is especially important for written and verbal communications.

So, before you send out your next Email message and risk Email communication issues, think about the 7Cs of Communication.

Have you incorporated all of the 7Cs elements into your Email message?

Is your message: Complete? Concise? Clear? Considerate? Concrete? Correct? Courteous?

If not, go back and update your Email message to incorporate the 7Cs of communication – your communications will be more successful, and the recipients will be more likely to understand and respond to your messages in the way you originally intended.

 

Here are some books to help you learn to communicate more effectively: