The medium is the message” is a phrase coined by the late Marshall McLuhan, former professor of Literature at the University of Toronto and a communications-media theorist during the 1960-1980 period. In business communication, we often find that the media channel supersedes the content in importance – or it’s not what is written or said but how it’s conveyed. Certain medium can provide a richness that makes a difference in delivering information.Likewise, certain medium can obstruct and obscure information. The business world provides countless examples of this concept. For instance, a marketing team has completed an important project for management which requires members to report on their findings and recommendations. Typically, members would prepare a written report as required but, due to the delicate and complex nature of the information, they opt to make an oral presentation to the executive staff as well. The oral presentation gives the team feedback on management’s reaction; it allows the group to answer questions not possible with a written report; ultimately, it fulfills the mission.

Each of us has had a “medium is the message” experience. Describe a situation [business or personal] you recall which required the communicator to strategize and select the right medium for the message.