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 mis-prints 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. Spelling mistakes and mis-prints can make you look sloppy – if you say you “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.
Mis-prints 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!