The importance of proofreading

The art of communication……. or not?

Importance of checking your press release before it leaves your desk!

The importance of proofreading

It’s fair to say that none of us are perfect, and I most certainly have many flaws and foibles. However, I hope that I never allow something like this to leave my desk! Copywriting is an art that should be preserved, as should proofreading.

It is amazing how careful people are about their glossy publicity material, but forget to pay attention to those important, one-off communications. Sometimes, such errors go relatively unnoticed or have little immediate impact, BUT in a case like this it undermines everything that they are offering!

I have to say it made me chuckle as have many of the other funny examples that are readily available on the web. Indeed, it reminded me of when I worked for a publishing company and 6000 copies of a medical leaflet were printed with “XXXXX Pubications” on (I’m being discreet as they were a wonderful business to work for, and took the hit by reprinting the lot), but it also reinforces to me that rigour in proofreading is still an essential part of business.

The art of communicationThe other mistake to watch out for (and I confess I was once caught out on this years ago so learnt the hard way) is to put sample text in, and forget to replace it before release. So easy to do, but such a waste of resources and space! This has had some famously awful consequences such as the “Dear Rich Bastard” letter that is now legendary in marketing circles as an example of “how not to do email marketing”. Please excuse the language in this, but it is pertinent to the post!

Perhaps another cautionary tale is well demonstrated by this from a store. Spell checking is a wonderful tool, but dangerous when the suggestion is to replace a word with something entirely different, and you’ve taken your eye off the ball for a second….. Dangers of spell checking tools

Sometimes speed and deadlines can make us overlook the need for excellent representation of the company or product. An extra 5 minutes checking work will pay dividends in the long term. With the longevity of content on the web, no-one wants to be remembered for the unfortunate typo, rather than the great product that is on offer!

If I have made any errors in this post you can have a jolly good laugh at my expense – go on, let me know! Also, if you have any great examples of bloopers, I’d love to hear about them, and in the meantime you might enjoy this link to The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. Do you know of any howlers that demonstrate how easy it is to make a mistake?

By Kate Wilson
Business Toolbox Cumbria
Hook up with me on Google+

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