Business Developer | Nicolai Errebo Birch 💻

Digital Communication

In the ever-evolving digital age, the art of communication transcends traditional boundaries, opening new avenues for creativity, collaboration, and community. 

Disruption from Digital Communication Development

Digital communication can be viewed from multiple perspectives, a fact that is well-documented in the extensive scientific literature on the subject. On this page, we perceive digital communication as a disruptive force in the digital transformation process. This perspective is based on Vials’ (2019) framework on digital transformation, where disruption can be seen both positively and negatively. However, this disruption has particularly influenced customer behavior and expectations, as they continuously engage with various stakeholders through new technologies. Digital technologies have significantly changed the way we communicate, where everything happens in an instant across numerous channels. 


A Procedural and Collaborative Approach

“Online communication must be explained in terms of its dynamic fluidity; a theory capable of understanding the communicative process as a process is necessary. Such a theory, we believe, may explain online communication as a form of communication characterized by the ability to invite collaboration and the willingness to engage in collaboration” (Guldbrandsen & Just 2011, p. 1104). 

According to Guldbrandsen and Just (2011), there are fundamentally two conceptualizations of digital communication, as identified through the existing literature on the concept. Here, the internet is viewed either as familiar or unfamiliar terrain, where the entity, broadly speaking, either uncritically reuses existing knowledge or naively abandons tested communication theory. They emphasize the necessity of both aspects and define digital communication as procedural and collaborative. 


CSR and Digital
Accountability in ICT

Research within ICT highlights a critical need for transparency, as noted by Famularo (2023). This trend underscores the importance of openly sharing digital technology practices and their impacts, emphasizing transparency as a cornerstone of digital responsibility. 

Reach and Engagement

Enhancing Organizational Visibility
through Social Media

Valentini (2018) illustrates how social media platforms enable organizations to expand their audience and engagement. Leveraging user-generated content fosters visibility and direct stakeholder interaction, crucial for brand awareness and engagement. 

Employee Growth

Promoting Employee Engagement
and Career Development

Gode et al. (2019) highlight internal social media’s role in enhancing employee engagement and professional growth. Such platforms encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration, contributing to job satisfaction and development. 

The Imperative of Digital Transformation

Building on the demonstrated financial benefits and strategic imperatives of digital transformation, it’s crucial to understand its underlying importance. As Vial (2019) elucidates, digital transformation is fundamentally driven by disruption—stemming from shifts in customer behavior and expectations, the competitive environment, or data accessibility. These forces compel businesses to continuously refine their digital and transformation strategies, aiming to capitalize on digital platforms and ecosystems for value creation. Particularly, the concept of integrative capabilities, as discussed by Vial (2019), highlights an often overlooked yet critical aspect of digital transformation. These capabilities are essential for navigating and leveraging the increasingly complex value networks essential for sustained success. This focus on adaptability and strategic integration underscores why digital transformation is not just beneficial but essential for modern businesses to thrive in a dynamic digital landscape. 


Digital Business Development

Business Development is a multifaceted discipline focused on strategic growth and value creation. It necessitates a deep understanding of internal strengths, market conditions, and customer needs. This area involves identifying new business opportunities, establishing strategic partnerships, and driving innovation within organizations. Mastery here is less about transactions and more about forging lasting relationships that benefit all stakeholders. 

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation represents the intersection of technology and business, signifying a shift towards more agile, scalable, and customer-centric operational models. It’s about leveraging digital innovations to redefine an organization’s approach, enhance process efficiencies, and improve customer experiences. Expertise in this domain means guiding entities through change, ensuring they remain competitive and relevant in an increasingly digital world. 

Digital Communication

Digital Communication is the art and science of connecting with audiences in the digital space. It requires skillful storytelling and data-driven strategies to navigate the ever-changing digital landscape. From content creation to analytics, it encompasses managing online reputations, engaging user communities, and building brand awareness. Success in this field is measured by the ability to create meaningful interactions and foster community through technology. 

The Theory

From transmission-inspired messages to interactive digital communication: The digital era has ushered in new rules of engagement that markedly diverge from the past. Based on the assessments of various scholars, a pivotal shift in communication approaches is deemed inevitable (Heath and Bryant, 2000; Plesner and Husted, 2020), highlighting the importance of understanding this transformation and its role in digital transformation. 


The Constitutive Perspective in Digital Communication

This evolution from the transmission to the interaction paradigm is thus seen as a hallmark of digital communication. According to Devito (1986, cited in Heath & Bryant 2000), the transmission paradigm is a process involving the sending of a message from a sender to a receiver. He defines the transmission paradigm as follows:

“The process or act of transmitting a message from a sender to a receiver, through a channel and with the inference of noise; the actual message or messages sent and received; the study of the processes involved in the sending and receiving of message (1986, cited in Heath & Bryant 2000, p. 46).” 

The transmission paradigm is characterized by a functionalist/instrumentalist view and critiqued for its lack of context. This critique is especially pertinent to the perception of the receiver as a passive entity (Heath & Bryant 2000), contrasting sharply with the interaction paradigm found in digital communication. 


A Shift to Interactive Digital Communication Models

The interaction paradigm views the receiver from a more contemporary perspective, emphasizing circular communication models where participants are seen as equals within a dynamic process. A significant departure from the transmission paradigm is the social and cultural context, which Heath and Bryant (2000) heavily emphasize. Drawing from Guldbrandsen and Just’s (2011) definition and recommendations, there’s an intention to incorporate both aspects through the application of the constitutive perspective (Craig, 1999). This involves various theoretical communication traditions, with Craig (1999) defining the concept as follows: 

“Communication is no secondary phenomenon that can be explained by antecedent psychological, sociological, cultural, or economic factors; rather, communication itself is the primary constitutive social process that explains all of these factors (Craig 1999, p. 126).” 

Fundamentally, receivers are viewed as co-creators, where digital communication should align with their value understanding, expectations, and needs. 

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The Method

Through digital technologies, communication has undergone significant changes, impacting society, industry, and organizations alike. Modern digital platforms promote and facilitate interaction, complicating the management of messages. Thus, communication is viewed as an interactive process of valuable messages, moving towards an equitable relationship between stakeholders. Plesner and Husted (2020) argue that organizations must consider this when mapping out their digital communication infrastructure. Guldbrandsen and Just (2011) highlight the opportunities digital platforms offer to employ both old and new communication practices, advising against focusing solely on interaction. 

However, stakeholders’ expectations are clear. They seek meaning, dialogue, and engagement, which organizations must address. This paves the way for concepts like participatory design, as the gap between stakeholders and the organization narrows. Plesner and Husted (2020) outline both organizational opportunities and challenges depending on the context. Many organizations have developed their communication strategy around the traditional transmission paradigm, where they more or less control all messages.


The Complexities of Digital Communication in Stakeholder Interaction

The interaction paradigm places the conversation at the center, thus affecting the organization’s usual communication activities. This requires a significant adjustment for organizations. Stakeholders are characterized by having individual needs, making digital communication even more complex. It’s about exploring stakeholders’ behavior, needs, and expectations, where the message needs to be both interesting and entertaining. Plesner and Husted (2020) also argue that interaction fosters action, which organizations must be prepared to accommodate. 


New Market Expectations Through Digital Communication

This is supported by Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2004), who note that the traditional market is under pressure. Expectations such as co-creation, user innovation, DIY, participatory culture, and prosumption are emerging. The goal is not just for organizations to be product-oriented but rather to offer a holistic experience across the entire customer journey. Involvement in the entire value creation process becomes essential. Stakeholders’ expectations of digital communication are thus viewed as a complex discipline, as information is not meant to be merely consumed. Their expectations create a comprehensive process for the organization, requiring both time and expertise in digital platforms. 

The Journey

The digital era has redefined stakeholder expectations, compelling organizations to adapt swiftly. While the discussion on digital communication has primarily revolved around the interaction between organizations and stakeholders, this perspective doesn’t capture the entire essence. Organizations must also decide with whom and how they want to engage within the broader domain.

Organizational collaboration on digital platforms manifests in various forms, with Plesner & Husted (2020) highlighting concepts like collaboration and co-creation. Collaboration refers to working together, either within or among entities, towards a common goal, while co-creation involves stakeholders more deeply, focusing on mission-driven problem-solving beyond just professional contributors. Understanding the distinction between these organizational collaborations is crucial, as both can be sources of value creation. Collaboration is seen as a coordinated effort characterized by systematic planning, emphasizing the importance of integrating participating stakeholders (Plesner & Husted, 2020).


From Engagement to Continuous Improvement

This journey encapsulates the evolution from initial stakeholder engagement (Strategy Development) through to the active execution of digital strategies (Execution), ongoing assessment and refinement (Optimization), and continuous enhancement based on feedback and emerging trends (Improvement). Each step reflects a pivotal aspect of navigating the complex landscape of digital communication, underscoring the need for a strategic approach to both collaboration and co-creation in building meaningful relationships and achieving organizational goals. 


Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Facebook, leading advancements in digital communication.

Sheryl Sandberg

Former COO
of Facebook

Sheryl Sandberg was instrumental in shaping Facebook’s strategy, focusing on using technology to foster community. Her leadership blended digital and real-world interactions, marking her as a key figure in the evolution of digital communication. 

Neil Patel, CEO of NP Digital, LLC, demonstrating leadership in digital communication strategies.

Neil Patel

CEO of
NP Digital

Neil Patel has significantly impacted online visibility for businesses through SEO and content marketing. His guidance simplifies digital marketing and communication, making it accessible for companies to connect with their audience effectively. 

Bozoma Saint John, former CMO of Netflix, driving innovation in digital communication and marketing.

Bozoma Saint John

Former CMO
of Netflix

Bozoma Saint John redefined digital marketing storytelling at Netflix. Her innovative campaigns emphasized authentic connections between brands and their audiences, showcasing the transformative power of digital platforms in communication. 



Slack revolutionizes team communication, making collaboration seamless and efficient, essential for the agile digital business environment. 


Canva democratizes design, enabling businesses of all sizes to create professional-quality digital content quickly and easily. 


Shopify empowers entrepreneurs to launch and manage their online stores, simplifying e-commerce for digital businesses worldwide. 


HubSpot offers an all-in-one inbound marketing platform, enhancing customer engagement and collaboration. It champions ethical digital communication and continuous learning.


Zendesk simplifies customer support, promoting clear communication and strong relationships. It supports ethical standards and collaborative innovation in digital service. 


Asana streamlines project management, helping digital teams organize, track, and manage their work efficiently in one place. 

Digital Communication Questions 

Digital Communication FAQ

Find a simple overview in our FAQ section, covering key aspects of digital communication. 

Digital communication encompasses the exchange of information through digital channels and media such as social media, email, blogs, and online collaboration tools. It plays a pivotal role in today’s connections between individuals, businesses, and their audiences. 

Digital communication allows businesses to reach a global audience, interact instantly, and make data-driven decisions. It enhances customer engagement, brand identity, and opens up new marketing opportunities. 

To enhance your digital communication strategy, consider following experts like Sheryl Sandberg, Neil Patel, and Bozoma Saint John for insights and inspiration. Also, implement a clear plan that includes regular evaluation and optimization based on analytics and feedback. 

Balancing different channels requires understanding your target audience’s preferences and behaviors. Use tools like HubSpot for an integrated approach to managing and analyzing your efforts across channels, and optimize based on performance. 

The success of digital communication can be measured through KPIs such as engagement, conversion rates, and ROI. Tools like Google Analytics and platform-specific analytics provide insights into how your audience interacts with your content, helping to guide future strategies. 

UX Design Portfolio

Shared Journeys in Digital Innovation 

Explore Our Digital Portfolio

Our portfolio represents not just our work but a series of learning experiences in digital business development, digital transformation, and communication. It’s a modest showcase of how we’ve applied careful thought and collaboration to meet digital challenges. We invite you to explore these shared journeys, hoping they inspire as much as they have taught us. 

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A sleek and modern simple website displayed on a computer screen, showcasing minimalist design.

Simple Website

Simple Website Design

Explore the case study on ‘Simple Website’ solutions, showcasing the power of clarity and functionality in web design. This section delves into creating user-friendly interfaces that prioritize ease of use without compromising on aesthetic appeal. 

UX Ecommerce

Ecommerce User Experience

Delve into our ‘UX Ecommerce’ case study, which highlights innovative approaches to online shopping experiences. It emphasizes intuitive navigation and seamless user journeys, tailored to enhance customer engagement and conversion rates. 

Mobile App UX Design

Mobile UX Design Insights

Explore the ‘Mobile App UX Design’ case study for in-depth insights into the design process behind our user-centered mobile applications. This study outlines the core principles and strategic approaches that guide our development of engaging mobile designs.

Healthcare Solution

Healthcare App Innovation

Discover the ‘Healthcare Solution App’ in our portfolio, highlighting our role in developing an application that enhances patient care coordination. This project reflects our expertise in creating apps that are both innovative and empathetic to user needs. 

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Craig, R. T. (1999). Communication theory as a field. Communication Theory, 9(2), 119-161.

Famularo, J. (2023). ‘Corporate social responsibility communication in the ICT sector: digital issues, greenwashing, and materiality’. International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility, 8(8). Received from

Gode, H. E., Johansen, W., & Thomsen, C. (2020). Employee engagement in generating ideas on internal social media: A matter of meaningfulness, safety, and availability. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 25(2), 263-280.

Gulbrandsen, I.T., & Just, S.N. (2011). ‘The collaborative paradigm: towards an invitational and participatory concept of online communication’, Media, Culture & Society, 33(7), pp. 1095–1108. Recieved from doi:10.1177/0163443711416066

Heath, R. L., & Bryant, J. (2000). Anatomy of the communication process. In R. L. Heath & J. Bryant (Eds.), Human communication theory and research: Concepts, contexts, and challenges (2nd ed.). Routledge Communication.

Plesner, U., & Husted, E. (2020). Communication and interactivity. In Digital Organizing (Chapter 8). Bloomsbury Academic.

Prahalad, C. K., & Ramaswamy, V. (2004). Co-Creation Experiences: The Next Practice in Value Creation. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18(3).

Valentini, C. (2018). Social media. In R. L. Heath & W. Johansen (Eds-in-Chief), J. Falkheimer, K. Hallahan, J. J. C. Raupp, & B. Steyn (Assoc. Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Strategic Communication. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Vial, G. (2019). ‘Understanding digital transformation: A review and a research agenda’, The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 28(2), pp. 118–144. Recieved from doi:10.1016/j.jsis.2019.01.003.

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