Recently a presidential candidate’s campaign misspelled “America” when launching a mobile application. Word spread quickly via the Internet, and the misspelled word, “Amercia,” was even trending on Twitter for a while. Though this mistake isn’t likely to harm this candidate’s credibility and professional reputation, it goes to show that even presidential candidates need a good editor.
You’ve probably seen misspelled words or grammatical errors all over the place: billboards, restaurant menus, corporate emails. They’re everywhere quite simply because they’re so easy to make.
While some errors are simply incorrect, other errors can embarrass your company, confuse or offend your potential clients, or provide misinformation. By the time you’ve realized your mistake those prospects may have moved on to do business with your competitor.
Mark Twain wrote, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” Have you ever noticed that at checkout in Publix grocery stores, the signs say “10 items or fewer” and other some stores’ signs say “10 items or less?” Publix is correct.
A good editor or proofreader can help you make sure the words you’ve chosen work for what you’re saying, are grammatically correct and make sense while ensuring that every word is spelled correctly (you can’t trust spell check to catch everything).
You can maintain your professional reputation by having someone read over what you’ve written. An editor or proofreader has a trained eye to catch typos that go unnoticed by others: transposed letters, too many or not enough commas, homonyms such as “their, they’re and there,” and claims that don’t make sense. Editors can help you make sure you’ve chosen all the right words to convey your message. If you don’t have an editor close at hand, finding a friend, staff member or spouse to read over what you’ve written can help catch the mistakes you’ve missed.
There’s no shortage of communications pieces your company should be sending out into the world. Email campaigns, the company website, news releases, a blog and a solid social media campaign are a few of the ways you can engage your fans and followers. You’ll be at your best when you’re reaching your customers in these ways, with accurate content containing no errors. Chances are your customers might think any company that takes the time to make sure, literally, that all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed will take just as good care of them too while delivering the best product or service.
Betsy, with over a decade of writing and communication experience, is a holder of an M.S. in English from North Carolina State University. She is currently a business communication consultant, writing coach, book editor, and resume writer for Write Choice Services in Atlanta, Georgia. You can follow her on Twitter @betsyrhame or connect with her on Linkedin.