I saw this tweet last Friday from financial journalist James Andrews.
Inspires you to count your own channels, doesn’t it?
I have 11 altogether. I found it pretty shocking—and a little scary when you think about how connected we are nowadays.
Here are the communication channels I use daily.
Ah, good ol’ email, how I love thee. Simple to use, it lets you write as much or as little as you like, send attachments, group contacts, instantly file messages into separate client/personal folders. It remains my preferred method of communication, and it remains the most popular way people contact me in work and out of work for anything other than a friendly chat.
I have not one, not two, not three, but four phone numbers on which you can reach me. Sometimes, I think the phone call is a little neglected nowadays. The downside of virtual communication is that tone and humor are often misunderstood. One quick call can make things so much simpler.
It took me a while to “get it,” but I wouldn’t be without it now. I don’t really use it to chat with people at length, but it’s a nice way to connect outside my immediate circle and stay current with news and opinions.
Facebook for me is most definitely for friends only. It’s probably the main way that I sort out where and when I’m meeting friends for dinner, drinks, and so on. Plus, it’s a good way to connect with those you don’t see as often as you like. A quick “hello” on someone’s wall is the modern day equivalent of a postcard.
5. Text message
I hate texting. I find it laborious and boring, and I am much more inclined to simply pick up the phone to speak to someone. Still, it’s a necessity sometimes, and friends still seem to prefer texting over anything else.
Possibly not one on most people’s list (anymore), but I check my sports team’s forum every day. Not only do I play the sport (roller derby if you’re interested), but I’m also the league’s PR spokesperson, and there always seems to be plenty of news to catch up on and posts to reply to.
Along with these six ways to communicate, there are others I use occasionally:
I don’t use this as often as I did when I lived in America, but I still love to Skype to catch up with old friends in different countries—via calls and messages. I’m also trying to get it used more at work to speak with international clients.
8. Instant messaging
There was a day when Hotmail messenger was the hottest tool around, but it’s moved on now to Facebook chat and BlackBerry Messenger. I don’t use IM as much, but I have a feeling my new BlackBerry might change this.
Usually, I use LinkedIn for the initial connection. If I’m interested in speaking to anyone after that, it typically migrates to email, Twitter, or phone.
10. Snail mail
I love receiving post (or mail for the American audience), and writing a good old letter or postcard. I communicate by post regularly with my auntie in Canada and my close friend in New York. Nothing will ever quite beat the excitement you get when you receive a letter (that you know for sure isn’t a bill), or the feeling that someone cares about you enough to spend the time and money to contact you the “old-school” way.
And a bonus:
11. In person
Yes, that’s right. I am not just an avatar; I am, indeed, a real person. If you want to speak to me properly, I promise I am not a hologram, and I am fully capable of conversation without aid of technological tools or methods.
What about you? What channels do you use that I’ve missed?
Brooke Nolan is a PR professional in Bristol, U.K. A version of this story originally appeared on the blog PRtips.