Official Communication Skills

This story covers the types of official communication

Afzal Badshah, PhD
3 min readJun 8, 2022


Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Communication skills refer to the ability to communicate effectively. Communication abilities are classified according to communication style and channel. The term “channel” refers to the use of verbs or any other non-verbal communication technique. In style, communication is divided into formal and informal communication. In this story, we will discuss formal communication which is usually also referred to as official communication.

Types of formal communication [Created by author]

In formal communication, strict rules and regulations are applied, whereas no rules or codes are observed in informal communication. Formal communications are most commonly used in offices and businesses. A pre-defined hierarchy is used to convey the message, and no one is allowed to cross it. Every message and communication must adhere to the same set of rules and conduct; as a result of these characteristics, formal communication takes time and usually costs money.

Formal communication [By Author]

Informal communication, on the other hand, has no rules or code. It’s made on the spot. For example, we communicate with our family, friends, and coworkers. As a result, informal communication does not necessitate additional time or expense.

Informal communication [Created by author]

In organizations, formal communication, also known as official communication is divided into four categories. These are;

  1. Downward communication
  2. Upward communication
  3. Horizontal communication
  4. Diagonal communication
Types of formal communication [Created by author]

As the name implies, the higher authorities communicate with the lower formation in the downward direction. These may be orders, notifications, instructions, or circulars. Downward communication may be written or oral. Usually, emails or letters are used for downward communication.

Downward communication [Created by author]

Employees in the lower formation communicate with higher authorities in upward direction. This is a subordinate level to higher authorities. These usually include reports, requests, complaints or suggestions etc.

Upward communication [Created by author]

The third type is horizontal communication, which occurs when officials communicate with people who hold the same position. For example, the police station’s in-charge communicates with the other police station in charge, or the school’s principal communicates with the principal of another school.

Horizontal communication [Created by author]

As the names indicate, diagonal communication is communication between two departments. The education department, for example, may write to the police department, or the police department may write to the revenue department.

Diagonal communication [Created by author]

Official letters, office memorandums, official orders, Demi official orders, unofficial letters, official indorsement, applications, and invitation letters are among the most common forms of formal communication used in offices.

Types of formal communication [Created by author]
Formal communication by Dr. Afzal Badshah

The following story covers the formal communication examples with templates in detail.



Afzal Badshah, PhD

Dr Afzal Badshah focuses on academic skills, pedagogy (teaching skills) and life skills.