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Seven C’s of Effective Communication

Ensure your message is being heard

Key learning outcomes:

  • Adopt the seven C’s to increase your business and personal success.
  • Develop a checklist of key items before creating a message to ensure it is meaningful and complete.
  • Learn to create messages that convey confidence and certainty.
  • Recognise that some messages are more effective if delivered in person rather than in writing.


Both in business and in life generally, your ability to communicate will have a direct impact on your level of success. Think about how often you communicate every day, and the methods you use to communicate – over the phone, in person, via email or through social media are just a few examples. With people generally time poor these days, and with so many things vying for our attention, the ability to communicate effectively has become more important than ever. The “seven C’s” of communication have their origin in the 1950s when they were published by University of Wisconsin professors Scott Cutlip and Allen Center in their book, Effective Public Relations. The principles are just as relevant today as they were in the 1950s, and can improve the effectiveness of both your oral and written communication. We will outline each of the seven C’s and give you some tips on how to implement them to improve your own communication skills.


For a message to be complete it must contain all the information that the audience requires. You will save time and unnecessary hassle if you ensure all of the information is conveyed the first time around, eliminating the need for follow-up or clarification. A complete message allows the recipient to act or make a decision based on all the relevant facts and information. A complete message will also contain a call to action or an alert to the recipient to respond or act in some way.

Tip:      Before conveying your message, make a checklist of the information that you need to include such as times, locations, key details and any required response or action. Use this when drafting any written correspondence or use it when speaking to someone in person or over the phone to ensure you do not leave anything out.

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