Push Communication, Pull Communication, and Interactive Communication are the 3 different categories of communication methods.
Now, what is a communication method ?
In simple words, a communication method is a description of how communication is carried out in a project.
PMBOK defines a communication method as “A description, analogy or schematic used to represent how the communication process will be performed for the project.”
There are many communication methods that are used to share information among the project stakeholders. All the communication methods can be classified into 3 broad categories
- Push Communication
- Pull Communication
- Interactive Communication
As the name “Push” rightly implies, in this type of communication information is “Pushed” to the intended recipients.
In this type of communication, the recipients of the information is decided by the sender, and information is sent or distributed to only those recipients.
It is important to understand that, this type of communication does not ensure that information is actually reached or understood by the intended audience. Information is sent to the intended audience that’s it.
Examples : Letters, Emails, Memos, Faxes, voice mails etc.
As the name “Pull” rightly implies, in this type of communication recipients should “Pull” the information that they require at their own discretion.
This type of communication is used when there is large quantity of information or when the audience size is very large.
Examples: Web Portals, E-Learning, Knowledge repositories etc.
This very website is an example of Pull Communication. The number of people trying to learn project management is huge, so the audience size is huge, and each visitor to this website visits at his own discretion and convenience to access information.
In Push communication information is pushed to the recipient. In Pull communication information pulled by the recipient himself. However, the fact is that in both these types, the flow of information is unidirectional (fixed sender to fixed receiver(s)).
Interactive communication is a type of communication, where two or more parties do multi-directional exchange of information in real time. i.e.. information is send and received by the involved parties in real time.
Examples: Face-to-Face conversations, Phone calls, Meetings, Video Conferences, Instant Messaging, some forms of social media etc.
Obviously, this is the best form of communication to ensure that all the participants has a common understanding.