The written word is becoming a rapid and throw-away form of communication. More and more information is sent and stored electronically. It is a quick, easy and cheap way to get a message across and to keep in contact. But do you proof-read your website, blogs, e-mails or tweets? Does it matter?
I would argue that misprints in your written communication do matter: your website or blog is often the first impression potential customers have of your business, many people will check out your website before they meet you or buy from you. Spelling mistakes and misprints can make you look sloppy. If you say “we pay attention to detail” as part of your selling point, but have a spelling howler on your Home Page it does not give a good impression.
We tend to send e-mails instead of letters these days, so there is no double check – how often have you been invited to an event by e-mail only to find the date is incorrect or the text is incoherent?
Even if we do use traditional printed media, mistakes still creep in: it is very difficult to read your own copy and it is always good to get a second person to look over the text.
Misprints can, of course, be very amusing, particularly when they are inappropriate. These are my top three:
1. Seen on an invitation to the opening of a new medical centre:
“You are invited to the unveiling of the plague.”
2. Spotted on the menu of an Indian Restaurant:
“Deep fried aborigine”
3. Received in an e-mail from the local golf club:
“The new shits have arrived.”
Whilst these are amusing, they are not how you would like to portray your business and can be expensive if you need to re-print.
The most frequent mistakes are in dates, telephone numbers, e-mail, web and postal addresses – because few people actually check out their own details!
Please call me on 0758 412 7644 for a proof-reading service quote.
Blog first written in 2011 and subsequently updated