Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In today’s digital world, we use many ways to talk to others every single day, whether it comes to work or personal matters. We send emails, chat on messaging apps and use social media. But sometimes, all these messages can get confusing. Learn how to make your communication easier by using different messaging channels for different business purposes.
Are emails old-school?
No, in fact, email remains the cornerstone of professional communication. Period. Its formal and structured nature makes it ideal for external correspondence, official documentation, and client interactions. Additionally, important emails offer a written record of communication, making it easy to reference past conversations, agreements and decisions. My company keeps all professional communication with partners and portfolio companies within emails. This documentation is crucial for legal, auditing and accountability purposes.
We’ve all been in situations where we’ve asked someone to “send something via email to ensure it doesn’t get lost.” So, yes, you can easily flag, pin and highlight threads or single conversations and retrieve any information when you need it – email threads allow users to track the history of a conversation, making it easier to follow the evolution of discussions and decisions over time. In terms of security, many email platforms offer robust security features, including encryption, to protect sensitive information. For a company, this is also a crucial aspect.
We all value professional and personal privacy. I love email, and if I see an important email and don’t have an opportunity to read it carefully, here is what I do: I open it, read it quickly, then close it and mark it as unread. Sometimes, it is easy to get lost in open emails; in this case, I know I will get back to it when I have dedicated time for it.
LinkedIn: professional networking and personal brand
I personally love LinkedIn. It is a premier platform for building and expanding professional networks and connecting with colleagues, peers, clients, industry experts and potential business partners.
I have one habit when it comes to this social media – I try to read and respond/react to every message I get, except for obvious scams. I receive many messages on LinkedIn every single day – some of them are work-related (e.g., messages from founders, potential partners, and other players in the innovation ecosystem), while others are more personal and not within the scope of our fund.
It’s a great place to share best practices, keep up with the latest innovation and venture trends, and stay updated on industry matters.
However, when I spot an opportunity or an important issue to discuss, I always transition the communication to email, where I include relevant colleagues in the conversation. It is entirely acceptable to request that your counterpart switch communication to email instead of continuing the conversation via LinkedIn.
Telegram: Stay up-to-date with groups and channels
Telegram is the 10th most popular mobile messaging app in the US. It’s no wonder its popularity has soared in recent years. In fact, many WhatsApp users switched to Telegram to take advantage of its robust privacy features.
Telegram is my personal favorite. We use this platform for all our work-related communication regarding urgent matters and to communicate with our portfolio companies. I have more than 20 chats, each dedicated to a specific subject, with certain people from the company.
When we launched our Softlanding program last year, we were deciding how to keep in touch with participants, sending schedules, relevant info and more. We figured out that Telegram is the perfect tool for that because it supports group chats and channels with many participants. On top of everything, Telegram offers cloud-based storage, allowing users to access their messages and files from multiple devices. This feature enhances accessibility and data backup. In our case, it was the most convenient messenger for file sharing and communication.
We also have our open Telegram channel to share news and key insights about venture capital in the USA. Telegram supports various message types, including text, multimedia files, voice messages, and documents. This versatility allows for effective communication and file sharing (e.g.reports, analytics), which is very convenient when you need to transfer something that email storage doesn’t support.
While Telegram has numerous advantages for business communication, organizations need to assess their specific needs, consider security and privacy requirements, and choose communication tools that align with their objectives and industry regulations.
Each platform serves specific purposes, whether it’s the formality and professionalism of email, the networking power of LinkedIn, or the real-time communication of Telegram and WhatsApp. The key lies in strategically separating and using these channels to tailor your communication to the right audience and context. This approach will help businesses maintain professionalism and streamline internal discussions.