If It's Worth Writing, It's Worth Proofing
We live in a world of status updates, 140 characters, text messaging, casual conversations via social media and blogs written in a more casual tone. But does that mean in the business world we no longer need to be buttoned-down in our communications? I’m asking this question because I’m amazed at the amount of content I read online that contains spelling and grammar errors. I’m not just talking about little mistakes that could easily be overlooked, but major omissions and misspellings. Even though discourse on social networks is more conversational than other media, people are still using it to market themselves and their companies. Would you ever dream of sending out a direct mail piece or putting a commercial on TV without taking the time to proofread? Why then would it not be as important to make sure your blog post doesn’t contain errors? Does the more conversational online world get to live by different rules?
Here are a few examples of recent proofreading failures I’ve run into:
“The only real negative of this book, from my perspective, is its title. I found myself hiding the front cover while reading it on the plane. It made giving this as a gift to any of my clients a bit awkward. I also found myself hiding the cover while reading it on the plane.”
“The classic marketing mix consists of the 4Ps: product, place, price and promotion (PR, personal sales, promotion and adverting).”
“I just received something the other that I’ve never seen before. And it was a ‘Weekly Facebook Fan Page Update’ email from Facebook.”
“It provides a the platform to hone your subject matter, draw interest and appeal from your best agency prospects.”
If these bloggers would have just proofread their articles once, they would have found these mistakes and corrected them before sending out their content to thousands of potential customers. However, for some, getting as much content out there as quickly as possible is the goal. I disagree with that attitude. I would rather get good content less often than a ton of content every day that is not as relevant. When I see these errors, my opinion of these bloggers is that they are not very detail-oriented, not very professional and definitely not someone I would hire. I am a very detail-oriented person and avid proofreader, so maybe these kinds of things matter to me more than most people. But I also think that someone who does the small stuff well and takes care of the details is going to do a better job than someone who doesn’t.
I am a twenty-something Gen Y-er who has lived in the Internet-connected world almost my entire life, and I still am not okay with these kinds of mistakes. If these bloggers are trying to target older generations who may be used to the more rigid writing style of the past, which I would think they are, can you imagine what these potential customers think of this lack of attention to detail?
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