Communications: What is a Message?

Cite this article as:"Communications: What is a Message?," in The Business Professor, updated June 29, 2019, last accessed July 7, 2020,

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Information is communicated through messages that become an integral part of communication. Messages can be in the form of dialogue, language, gestures, or the context. There are three distinct forms of messages that are discussed below.

  • Primary messages – Primary messages are those where the information transmissions take place either verbally or non-verbally.
  • Secondary messages – These messages also carry verbal or non-verbal elements. However, they are mostly communicated unintentionally.
  • Auxiliary messages – When both intentional and unintentional thoughts are associated with messages, they are called auxiliary messages. Factors that affect intentional message may include loudness and tone of voice, in both verbal and non-verbal communications as well as other physical gestures that result in decoding of the messages. Any other environmental element or the context where the communication is set has the potential of impacting the message.
  • Residual message – Residual message is the message that continues to stay on with the audience even after the communication is finished. It is important to understand what you want your readers or viewers to remember and carry ahead with them. It is also important to know what kind of reactions are expected from the audience and what they are expected to do.

The different parts in a message consists of the following

  • Attention statement – The opening statement is also known as the Attention Statement and is drafted in such a way that it catches the thoughts of the audience at the first instance.
  • Introduction – Introduction is the collection of statement that gives an insight into the topic. It also helps in establishing a connection with the audience by drawing on their personal or shared experiences and developing a common space. In the beginning of the message, one can choose to mention why the topic is of interest to them and why they wish to convey it or share it with a wider audience group, highlighting their expertise in the area and their motivation to share such messages.
  • Body – The Body is the part where the message is drafted in detail. It can also give insight into the organizational perspectives, the structures, etc. The points should be clearly stated so that readers can make sense out of it. It is imperative to use transitions so that readers can get a clear idea of how things are unfolding.
  • Conclusion – The audiences need to be provided with a closing statement or closing remark that can give them a summarized overview of the content that they are presented with.


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