This chapter defines what is meant by phatic communication and the phatic purpose and considers its role in maintaining and building ethical relationships, a key purpose for professional communication. The communication model at work is not a linear, expert-to-novice, Shannon-Weaver type of model for help; it is a network model in which the phatic function plays a significant role in maintaining the sociability of the network. Not all linguistic treatments of the phatic function adhere to Bronislaw Malinowski's framework. In face-to-face communication, there is an important embodied component of phatic communion, which the Roman rhetoricians Cicero and Quintilian would have treated under the canon of delivery. In the cultural realm of digital social media, the phatic purpose of "staying in touch" is a worthy communication aim in its own right—and perhaps a baseline aim necessary for all other types of digitally-mediated social media interactions.