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Official Communication

Last updated date: 17th Apr 2024
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Explanation of Official Communication

Only learning the language does not make you good at communicating your thoughts and ideas, you need to learn communication, you need to learn how to communicate with others so that your ideas get clear to others as well. There are types of communication, such as everyday communication and official communication. In our day-to-day life, we communicate simple things all the time with others, and this communication is, for the most part, formal, and it can be regarded as everyday communication. But then there is one other important type of communication, which is formal, and official, and hence, regarded as the official communication.

So, for the students of commerce, learning the official communication is very important, because good and effective communication is at the core of every good corporation. And hence, Vedantu provides a complete explanation on the topic of Official Communication, its types, and examples as well.

What is Communication?

In the simplest terms communication means the exchange of thought and ideas between two or more people. And almost all living beings do it in one way or the other. While the communication of animals and birds is limited to very few things, the communication of human beings is kind of endless. That is to say, a human can literally think about anything, and also, they can communicate the same with others. And all this communication is possible because humans have language, it is one of the most powerful tools.

What is Official Communication?

Official communication or formal communication is the name given to the type of exchange of information. It takes place within a formal or official place between colleagues or with higher-ranked officials. Official Communication helps to maintain a professional, healthy workplace environment, as required and directed by the organization. Official communication follows definite communication rules. It is controlled by the chain of command that follows all the rules of the organization. There are various ways in which the information and orders are passed on based on the hierarchy of the company. It is essential to maintain the hierarchy in official communication without being disrespectful to anyone.


As said earlier, communication, in general, means the process of exchange of thoughts and ideas between two or more people, and when the same thing happens at the official level then it becomes official communication. That is to say, the communication which takes place in the official or the corporate or the business sphere is regarded as the official communication. In an even simpler manner, we can say that the exchange of thoughts and ideas between the officials and its subordinate, between the business partners is regarded as the official communication.

While having this type of communication, that is to say, while having official communication, there is a set of rules which you have to follow. Like how to address your superior or your subordinate etc. Also, many organizations prepare their own set of communication rules which one has to always follow. And also, official communication takes a different form according to the hierarchy of the organization, and it is necessary for everyone to maintain this hierarchy.

Types of Official Communication

According to the direction of the flow of information within the workplace or organization, official communication can be categorized into different types. 

  1. Downward Communication

Downward Communication is a type of official communication where information is passed down from the management level or the highest level of hierarchy to the subordinate levels or the lower levels of the official system. 

The information that flows down through downward communication includes mostly orders, instructions, and circulars. This type of information may either be verbal or may be transferred through reports, emails, letters, manuals, or directives.

  1. Upward Communication

Upward Communication, as the name suggests, is the opposite of downward communication which is used when information has to be sent from the lower levels or the subordinate level to the higher or the management level of an organization. The information transferred through this method mostly includes reports, requests, grievances, complaints, suggestions, etc.

  1. Horizontal or Lateral Communication 

Horizontal or lateral communication methods are the types of official communication techniques used when the flow of information is within or between co-workers or colleagues. The information remains within the same level of the official hierarchy.

  1. Diagonal or Crosswise Communication

This type of communication takes place when the employees of different levels of the official hierarchy communicate with different departments of the same office or organization. This type of communication is not limited to any department. It is inclusive of all levels.

Solved Examples

  1. What is the Official Communication Network?

Ans: To understand the process or pattern in which official or formal communication takes place, we must understand what the official communication network is. The official communication network is the pattern of how people of a formal community interact with each other.

There Are Several Types of Official Communication Networks. They Can Be Classified Into the Following Categories.

  • Wheel Network

This is a centralized form of official communication where all the information flows from one central person like the leader to the subordinate members. The other members, except the leader, have little to no input in the flow of information.

  • Chain Network

In this type of official communication, the information either flow up or down the official hierarchy. Here, a person gets information and passes it on to the immediate superior or junior, and the chain follows.

  • Circle Network

It is a decentralized form of communication where the information is shared equally among the members present. Here, each person receives and gives information equally, and all have an equal chance to participate.

  • Free Flow Network

In this type of official communication, everyone is connected and information can flow freely without any order. It is the most decentralized form of official communication. Everyone is connected and can freely communicate without any inhibition.

  • Inverted V Communication

The Inverted V Communication or Y communication is a pattern of official communication where the subordinate is allowed to speak to their immediate superior and the superior of their superior, simultaneously. 

Hence, there are several types and patterns of ‘Official Communication’ existing in the official hierarchy. It is essential to learn about them to strive in the official community.

Did You Know?

It is suggested not to use Whatsapp or any such social media to transfer official information. It is best to send official documents over mail unless specifically asked not to.


Whatsapp is not considered as an official application over which you can send important official documents and data. You should send only relevant information over the mail. Be polite and respectful of whoever you are sending it to. It is also preferable not to share bad news over email. Always do it in person or over the phone. 

FAQs on Official Communication

1. What is the Actual Difference Between Formal Communication and Informal Communication?

Formal Communication is the type of communication present in a work environment or organization where information is passed through pre-existing channels of hierarchy throughout the organization. This type of communication follows specific rules and regulations. It is considered to be disrespectful to break the chain of hierarchy or communication to spread data or information. It is crucial to follow these rules to maintain a healthy work environment.

Informal Communication refers to the type of communication which exists in an organization. This flow of information in this type of communication does not require following any predetermined set of channels. There is a random spread of information among all. It has no relation or dependence on the official hierarchy.

2. How Should I Write Formal or Official Emails?

An average person working in the office receives around a hundred emails daily. Due to a huge amount of workload, some emails get overlooked easily. It is advised to follow a few basic outlines which will help to make your email noticeable and easy to follow.

  • It is crucial to keep the email brief and to the point. No one has time to spare in a stressful work environment. It is best if you think of the most critical points that you want to communicate and write those in the order of their importance. 

  • The subject lines are a great way of showing the importance of your email. Write a subject line that briefly outlines the information you want to share.

3. Is it necessary for me to learn official communication?

Yes, it is absolutely necessary for you to learn official communication. As a matter of fact, learning official communication is not only important for commerce students but for everyone. Because in the modern world, official or formal communication is just as important as informal communication. In the business or corporate world, everything is run on the idea and the proper organisation. Hence, you need to communicate your ideas with others, so that they can easily understand and comprehend them, and also, they can see your visions and can work effectively towards the achievement of the same.

4. Where can I find a good explanation of the official communication, that also explains the type of it as well?

If you are looking for a good explanation of the official communication, along with its types, then you have already arrived at the right place. Because Vedantu provides the meaning of official communication in such a manner that you can easily understand and comprehend it. Along with its definition and types, Vedantu also provides the students with examples of the same, and hence students can easily understand the implementations of the theory of the official communication in a practical way, by analysing the examples, and hence Vedantu helps the students in mastering the official communication in practical manner as well

5. Why should I refer to the explanation that Vedantu provides for the topic of official communication and its types?

The explanation that Vedantu provides for the topic of Official communication and its types is prepared by the expert educators and hence there is a guarantee of quality in this explanation. Furthermore, our teachers are themselves the master when it comes to communication, and the same is reflected in this explanation, which is completely easy to understand, precise, concise, and to the point. Also, the complete explanation for the topic of the Official communication and its types is free to download for all the students, and hence a maximum number of commerce students can take advantage of this explanation of official communication.