Monday, December 30, 2013

Check It Twice

Santa isn't the only one who should check his list twice. You should be checking what you post and blog.

We all make typos. It happens to the best of us. ("Thsi" is my most common speed-typing error.) But when you are creating a professional piece - it is essential to the brand of "you" that  a second set of eyes review your work. Here are a few recent finds while reading vendor websites*:

"Pore" is correct but uncommon and reads oddly.
Most think of it as a very small skin opening;
and that is the more common medical definition.
1) The first was found in a piece done by an agency - post creation, post printing and highlighted on their website as an example of their work. (Uoh!) Not mission critical, but a second set of eyes  could have been of help.
"It's" = a contraction of "it is".
Possessive tense is "its"
2) The second is a heavily promoted blog piece written by a company specializing in website design and SEO. An error so common I spotted it in a national Yahoo piece a few day's later (last sentence of the opening paragraph).

Think you don't make any errors? We all do. Even New York Times best selling authors are not immune - a recent book by a big name author used "eye pallet" rather than the intended description of eye make-up as an "eye palette". Given the sheer volume of how much many of us write for work (e-mails, memos, website copy, etc), the odds are not in our favor - eventually, we will all make an error. But we are in good company. Even the "influencers" on LinkedIN make minor writing errors. Quite a few of their blog pieces have typos. Usually grammar or incorrect word usage, rarely spelling.

The real question is - What do these errors make you think about the authors? How does an error like the above illustrations impact their credibility to you? More importantly, how does an careless error impact your YOUR credibility to potential clients?

To think about…
Have you put in place your proofing process? 

The process can be as simple as asking a detailed colleague to review your work or setting aside the work and reviewing it when you aren't tired or in a hurry. Another option is to hire a reviewer or proof-reader.

*Yes, I did notify the vendors about the errors. As a department of one, I'm very grateful when folks give me a heads up on any errors they spot. Neither vendor made corrections in the weeks following.