Stand out by differentiating communication v. communications

While both singular nouns (in this context), Communication v. Communications have several differences. But you don’t have to take our word for it. California State University San Marcos explained why it matters and compiled definitions from various scholars to help understand the distinction:

Why does it matter?

Each and every day we are communicating. Simply put, communication is about the humans you want to reach, while communications is more about your brand. Understanding the difference can help organizations fine-tune their communication needs through hired talent or professional development, and also help you to become a better communicator. To showcase your prowess as a communicator, keeping both in mind will make you stand out above the rest.

  • “…Communication is the strategy and creativity. It is the planning and managing that takes place first, and then communications are employed (through various media, whether the medium is print or Web or whatever) to get those formulated messages across.” Joshua De Lung, Executive Editor, Relatively Journalizing

Communication is

  • “How messages are received and interpreted…Communication is about forming relationships with others. A human element. Communication is something that we do on a daily basis.” Dr. Wagner, Xavier University
  • “The communicating of information. The exchange of information between individual[s], for example, by means of speaking, writing, or using a common system of signs of behavior.” Dr. Larson, University of Utah
  • “Communication is a systemic process in which individuals interact with and through symbols to create and interpret messages” Dr. Julia Wood, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Communications is

  • “The distribution of messages…Communications is a technical term that defines the act of mass communications. It is things such as radio transmissions and technology.” Dr. Wagner, Xavier University
  • “The technology and systems used for sending and receiving messages, for example, postal, telephone, radio, TV and the Internet. The tactics used to execute a marketing strategy, for example, advertising, PR, Sales promotion, events…” Dr. Larson, University of Utah

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