Seeing You Loud and Clear: Will Visual Technology Ever Make a Real Impact on Business Communication?

By Flower, Julie | Communication World, December 2002 | Go to article overview

Seeing You Loud and Clear: Will Visual Technology Ever Make a Real Impact on Business Communication?


Flower, Julie, Communication World


The rapid development and accessibility of e-mail, intranets and the Internet have revolutionised business communication. Now a new communication revolution is underfoot as visual capabilities humanise such technologies. Thanks to greater bandwidth, more reliable networks and wider accessibility, visual interaction can now take place via a multitude of devices in different locations. Many organisations already are using videoconferencing to hold internal meetings and business television to communicate with employees, and the use of webcasting and video streaming is increasing. The future holds the potential for 3-D images of colleagues and compression technologies enabling visual communication using mobile devices.

Technological advancements are the second most important element affecting professional communication, as cited by IABC members in Profile 2002. Boston Consulting Group, in its report "Company Communication Trends," published in early 2002, projected that in 2001 and 2002 companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia would increase their use of technology to aid business communication by 15 percent. The group, which surveyed 123 large corporations in the U.S., Europe and Asia, also found that European and Asian organisations are catching up with their U.S. counterparts in their rate of adoption.

Although visual technology is already demonstrating real benefit for many organisations, the uncoordinated and piecemeal use of existing technologies, coupled with the perceived reduction in value as communication volume increases, has led many business communicators to approach new forms of technology with some caution. But challenging economic conditions call for changes, and organisations must embrace the time-and cost-saving opportunities presented by new technologies while ensuring that they understand the business benefit of their investments.

UNDERSTANDING THE POTENTIAL

To examine the developing role of visual technology within business communication, Sony Business Europe in 2002 conducted a study with a think tank made up of directors of multinational organisations such as American Express, UPS and Frito-Lay. The company released a synopsis of the think tank's findings in its recently published report "The Emerging Trends, Uses and Benefits of Visual Communications." Given a global environment of mergers and acquisitions and dispersed and increasingly mobile workforces, effective internal and external communications are more crucial now than ever before, and the think tank recommended that visual technology could improve the effectiveness of such communications.

The humanising potential of visual technology offers some obvious attractions when compared to the travel time and cost associated with face-to-face meetings or to the faceless nature of mass electronic communication. But participants also identified significant, largely unexploited potential for visual communication to make a positive impact in a number of important business areas, including leadership building, internal communication, customer relationship management and knowledge sharing.

Enabling better internal communication. Usage of visual technology for internal communication varies widely, from fairly simple webcasts to carefully orchestrated multimedia live events where people using a range of technologies collaborate and share ideas. For example, Safeway Stores, a worldwide grocery chain, holds a "Meeting for Everyone" every fortnight in the U.K., where directors discuss company performance and direction. Simon Finn, the company's internal communications controller, explained the program at a session held during the 2002 Multichannel Internal Communication Conference in London. According to Finn, Safeway staff from offices and depots across the U.K. can actively participate via videoconferencing link.

Building the profile of leaders. In a challenging global economy, building the profile of leaders and communicating company direction in a clear, open and consistent way is crucial. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Seeing You Loud and Clear: Will Visual Technology Ever Make a Real Impact on Business Communication?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.