Communication Differences Between Public and Private Organizations

In the realms of public organizations and private organizations, there are numerous differences, some of the most disparate being those related to communications issues. Some of these examples include the issue of transparency, as well as legal constraints, and also the focal audience that is being communicated to.

One of these primary differences in organizations is the promotion of transparency. Public organizations are structured to operate in an atmosphere of transparency, open for all communications to be scrutinized, whether of an internal and external origin. The interest “of all” is considered and regulated.

Private organizations tend to be protective of their trade secrets and often will only provide the specific necessary information to those people directly involved. In my own experiences of working in the private sector, information is overly-protected and does not flow freely amongst channels and departments. It is my belief however, that sharing information must be consistent and copious.

Communications between these organizations is also affected by legal constraints. The public administration’s communications, especially those written, are under much greater restraint. Especially under consideration are verbiage which may affect ethnic or cultural tones, discrimination of any kind, and countless other interpretive areas. Public administration communications will often tend to simply follow the stability of “legalese.” Private organizations have the freedom to communicate ideas and philosophies more openly and freely without the fear of reprisal, excepting of course anything that is blatantly hateful or illegal.

Another difference in communications between the organizations which may be argued are the respective audiences. Private organizations tend to communicate in a market environment in order to gain maximum productivity or profit. Communications in public organizations tends to be directive and aimed toward implementing policy. The private sector may be goal-aligned with efficiency while the public sector communicates toward effectiveness.

Whether communicating from a public or a private organization, it is always imperative to clearly articulate the communications toward the appropriate audience, while understanding that your communications may also be forwarded to additional and “unknown” parties.

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