Written communication and oral communication are the two different methods of communication. Which one of them is better cannot be said in a single word. Because they have their own utilities, uses, advantages and disadvantages.
Oral communication facilitates quick transmission of messages, provides flexibility, develops good relationships between the sender and receiver, reduces communication cost etc. On the other hand, written communication helps in preserving message, avoiding distortion of message, reducing the possibility of denial of communication, using message as reference in future etc.
From the above discussion it is clear that oral communication is better in some cases while written communication seems to be better in some other situations. The followings are the situations where either the two methods is considered to be more appropriate:
Complexities of message: When complex message is exchanged, written method of communication is considered to be more suitable than oral method. This facilitates the readers to understand the entire meaning of the message by reading again and again.
Need for preserving the message: Written communication is preferable when a permanent record of message is needed for future reference.
Number and distance of the receivers: When the audiences are large in number and geographically dispersed, written communication is fruitful there. This facilitates the sender to communicate repeatedly with the audiences with the same written documents.
When uniformity of message is significant: When it is required to communicate the message uniformity to different people, the sender should prefer written communication instead of oral communication.
Time allowed for communication: Oral communication is more effective when it is needed to communicate with someone instantly.
When quick response of receiver is important: Oral communication is more preferable when instant or quick response of the receiver is required.