When selecting communication media, the application for which the media will be used should be a strong influencing factor. For example:
- Teaching works well with interactive and heuristic systems.
- Broadcasts may be best delivered through short, fast systems.
- Some questions or private information are best delivered through secure systems.
- Brainstorming may need a system that allows many connections.
The media selection process combines all the factors in this lesson. The following reiterate the variables one considers when selecting media:
- Who is the recipient?
- Does he or she prefer to communicate verbally, visually, or audibly?
- Is he or she experienced with mediated communications?
- Are there one or many participants?
- What types of messages are being sent?
- Is the message short or long?
- Is the content private?
- Does the communication have a time constraint?
- What are the needs of the communication process?
- Is multimedia needed to facilitate understanding?
- Is the reliability and quality of the transmission important?
In most situations, the availability of media will be the most limiting factor in the selection process. The confidentiality of the message may limit the media selection further.