Business Communications Report

communications

communications

Business Communications Report

INTRODUCTION

The uninterrupted flow of information in an organization is possible only in the presence of an efficient communication system internally as well as externally. In this report we will be looking at the internal communication systems, procedures and methods in The Pakistan and Gulf Economist. As it is a publication company, the amount of data that is communicated within the organization is immense. All the articles and information we see in each issue of PAGE has first traveled within the offices of the company before it is edited and published. An introduction to the company is necessary before we discuss the communication system itself.

 

History of PAGE

The journal made its debut in the late 60’s and was an instantaneous success with Maj. (Retd) Ibnul Hassan as the editor. At that time it was called the Pakistan Economist. Later it was decided to give the magazine an international look by renaming it as the Pakistan and Gulf Economist in 1981.

 

An interesting feature of PAGE has been that the editorial policy of the magazine has always been against nationalization and considers it to be against economic values. This caused them some resistance during the Bhutto nationalization but it has turned out later that privatization was the only viable policy.

Since 1982, PAGE has been edited by three people- Mr. Akhtar Rizvi, Mr. Muzaffar Hassan and Mr. Khalique Zuberi. The PAGE claims to be the only journal with a perspective on economic issues concerning macro as well as micro economics. Traditionally, we see that economic journalism has concentrated more on macro economic issues and the overall policy framework and less on what is happening in the corporate sector.

 

With the passage of time PAGE has also come of age and has been adopting the changing technology in the field of journalism. Only recently, they have acquired computerized composing and we see a marked improvement in the presentability of the magazine.

 

 ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

There are seven basic departments in the organization. These are

  • Editorial
  • Production
  • Circulation
  • Accounts
  • Administration & Personnel
  • Advertising & Business Development

 

All of them are functional departments and the work flows in the order in which they have been listed.

 

The editorial department decides on the issues which are to be discussed in the next publication. Production department handles the physical production of the magazine and its responsibilities include activities such as purchases of paper, printing films etc. Circulation is responsible for keeping track of order and ensuring prompt delivery of the journal to the customers. The Accounts department deals with all the monetary aspects of the publication including both external and internal finances.

 

Another important role is played by the administration and personnel department which coordinates the workflow and human activity in the organization. The commercial and marketing interest of the magazine are looked after by the advertising and the business development department. It explores the possibilities of expanding the circulation of the magazine.

 

INTERNAL COMMUNICATION AT PAGE

The whole process starts off from the very top. The three people who decide the subject matter which is to be published are the Chief Editor, the Editor Productions and the Editor Special Projects. These three people meet every Sunday to decide the list of articles to be published the coming week.

 

The chief editor then hands over the articles to the two sub-editors whose responsibility is to go over these articles to certify the facts contained therein and also correct any language errors.

 

Mode of Communication

The bulk of the communication at PAGE is informal and on one to one basis. The reason cited for this by the chief editor, Mr. Akhtar Adil Rizvi was the need for urgency in the process. The cycle of publication has to be completed within a week which makes it impractical to follow the formal channels of communication at all times. Also the work demands creativity which is helped by informal and personal interaction between the management.

 

Another reason, not explicitly stated but quite obvious is the size of the organization. The management of PAGE comprises of around 30 people and they work in close proximity making informal communication very convenient. Of course, all matters that have to be brought on record are communicated formally.

 

Requests for Articles

The articles are obtained either from the magazine’s journalists or from outside sources. When the articles have to be obtained from outsiders, then formal requests are sent by the chief editor at least two weeks in advance. These requests are not standardized and are sent by the chief editor personally.

 

Communication through the Production Department

The production department is  headed by the Editor Production. His main job is to prepare the layout of the magazine and to communicate this to the printer

 

Apart from this the Editor also makes sure that the printing of the magazine is not interrupted for material reasons. The editor has to make purchase orders for any materials purchased. Bills and debit voucher are then made from this purchase order. This voucher is then submitted to the Accounts department which uses this information in the preparation of financial statements. ( A copy of a bill, vouchers and purchase order is provided in appendix-A)

 

Communication through Circulation department

This department maintains lists of  all the subscribers which are grouped into 3 types.

  • Individual paid subscribers
  • Institutional subscribers e.g. IBA
  • Complementary subscribers

 

For subscription purposes, the organization has standardized forms

 

which are regularly published in the magazine. ( A copy of this form is provided in the appendix-B )

 

Communication through Accounts Department

This departments mostly receives bills, vouchers, invoices and receipts from the other departments. This department also deals with payroll and other internal finances. The nature of the communication is totally formal as everything has to be kept on record. ( Copies of various receipts are given in appendix-A & B )

 

Communication from the Admin. & Personnel dept.

This department keeps personal data files of all the employees and also regulates the workflow. The Administration of everyday office activity is carried out by standardized procedures.

 

For example they have standardized application forms for leave, advance payment of salary and various circulars. ( Copy of a Leave application form is given in appendix-C )

 

Communication in Advertising and Business development

There are two types of publications of this magazine. An issue can either be paid supplement i.e. it is financed totally by PAGE, or it can be sponsored supplement.

 

In the second case, external communication is required. For this purpose, this department sends a standardized payment form to the sponsors which is known as a Release Order. This form contains the identity of the sponsor and the amount of the payment received. ( A copy of the release order is given in appendix-D )

 

CONCLUSIONS

After our investigations into the communication procedures going on at PAGE, we came to the result that the organization relies heavily on informal communication.

 

Formal communication practices are employed mostly where the information concerned has to be brought on record for planning and controlling purposes. We also observed that almost all of the external communication is formal.

 

Another important feature of the organization is that they have standardized documents for carrying out routine communication. This can also be attributed to the fact that urgency is their main concern and the standardization helps solve the organization’s  time problem.

 

We also concluded that the communication process at PAGE is efficient in terms of getting the messages across at the right time and time for a publication is perhaps the most important determinant of success. The system they have devised is very practical in the organization’s work environment.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Although we have found the communication procedures adopted at PAGE  well suited to the organizations needs and their working environment but no system is eternally perfect.

 

The management at PAGE admits that the methods used by them were devised a reasonably long time ago and since they are still giving results, they have never been revised. Some suggestions we have are:

 

  • Use of computers by the management, preferably connected in a Local Area Network, to save time and improve coordination.
  • Include more international economic news for a wider variety of readers and subscribers.
  • The organization seems to be run on a day to day basis, and apparently without perspective for the future. They should concentrate more on planning.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report focuses on the internal communication at the Pakistan and Gulf Economist (PAGE). We have concentrated on the inter-departmental communication in the organization.

 

There are seven functional departments-Editorial, Production, Circulation, Accounts, Administration & Personnel and Advertising & Business development. Each department has specialized functions which involves interaction both formally and informally.

 

The bulk of communication that goes on at PAGE is informal as the nature of the work and the size of the organization’s management make it impractical to follow formal communication procedures.

 

Most of the routine procedures and messages are highly standardized. However, where the management has to communicate with outsiders, personal messages and replies are used most of the time.

 

The system has worked well for PAGE up to now, there is still room for improvement. They can utilize the highly developed information technology available today for faster and more reliable links within the organization as well as the outside world.

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TOPICS                                                                                   PAGES

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

History of PAGE

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

INTERNAL COMMUNICATION AT PAGE

Mode of Communication

Requests for Articles

Communication through Production Department

Communication through Circulation Department

Communication through Accounts Department

Communication from Admin. & Personnel Dept.

Communication in Advertising & Business Development

CONCLUSIONS

RECOMMENDATIONS

APPENDIX

Appendix- A

Appendix- B

Appendix- C

Appendix- D

Appendix- E

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