From Engineers without fears-- the presence paradox - lite communication tools:
Most of our corporate communications (emails from the CEO, townhall meetings, intranet pages) position themselves as meaningful but are frequently meaningless. Instead they convey another set of messages around status, order & control. They are, in fact, almost purely phatic.
If you start looking for the phatic messages in emails, and who amongst us doesn't, it changes everything. And that is why you must use a variety of modalities for communication. Especially if you work in a multi-generational workplace. (And God help you if you don't).