Technology has radically changed business communications. Remote working is widespread. And even co-workers who sit next to each other as just as likely to communicate via email or IM as have a live conversation. And it seems like no one picks up the phone any more. Which is all great.
Except, is it?
Each communication option available to us has two dimensions worth considering. First is concurrence. Do both parties need to communicate at the same time (synchronously) or can the parties communicate at different times (asynchronously)? For example, a telephone conversation is synchronous—it can’t happen without both the caller and the called being on the line at the same time. Email, on the other hand, is asynchronous. One person sends and email, then recipient responds at a later time. The second dimension is the number of senses engaged in the communication. Many vehicles leverage just one sense; text-based communications fall into this category. Then there are multi-sensory communications, where the parties can both see and hear each other—and more effectively convey nuances of intent and meaning.
All of these are valuable. But something interesting comes to light when you map out commonly used communication vehicles across the dimensions. Let’s start with synchronous/single-sense. You’ve got the traditional telephone and the more modern instant message. When you move to asynchronous communications, there are lots of single-sense options: email, SMS text, fax, and snail mail (though we’ll admit fax is all but obsolete). For synchronous, multi-sensory communications, you can use video chat whenever good, old-fashioned face-to-face is impossible. But what about multi-sensory communication that’s asynchronous? Video is perfect for this. Nowadays, everyone can easily record a short video right from their laptop or mobile device. It can be faster to say, rather than write, what you want to communicate (a bonus for people who are never sure whether to use its or it’s, or who confuse their, there, and they’re). And using video personalizes the communication in a way that text-based formats simply can’t.
It’s extremely rare that video is used in this fashion in regular business communications. It’s easy to record a short video on the fly, but how do you get it to your recipients? It’s impractical to send it as an attachment—even very short videos can be larger than corporate email systems will allow—and you certainly don’t want to upload it to YouTube. At Retrieve, we believe in the power of video and want to make it easier for everyone to use it for asynchronous communications. That’s why Retrieve makes videos as easy to create, distribute, search/find, and view as text, emails, and other communication formats. And it’s all delivered via an easy-to-use app on any device. Try it for yourself—for free.