Check your copy

I have a number of amusing stories relating to proofreading (well, amusing to me but probably not always the person involved). I won’t recount them all here, but there was the time I was interviewed and the current brochure was passed across to me – with a glaring error on every one of the hundreds of copies they had just had printed! This is a bad when it is printed matter, but even worse when this kind of mistake is on a website where it is easier (and possible!) to change.

Key product information

There was the time I was ushered into probably the most impressive boardroom I have ever been in, all chrome and glass walls and a huge boardroom table, white boards, the works – you could have photographed it for a stock photo. Anyway, I wandered across to a promotional banner in the corner while I waited for the key client to appear and noticed the typo misspelling of their key product.

Proof reading is part of everyday business life

Proof reading should come as standard.  Every person who produces copy or marketing material, at the very least should check and double check it, but there is a more subtle requirement. If the company produces written material on behalf of a customer, like a report or quote, it must also be checked. It lends a level of professionalism to have accuracy and nothing says “slobby workmanship” like errors on a quotation.

Fresh view of your work

If you know that your written work is less than ideal, built in to your work habits to get a cross-check, get a colleague or friend to review your work before it goes out and even better make it a company procedure to get everything checked whenever possible to do so – two sets of eyes are always better than one, particularly if you have worked for any length of time on something, you can get ‘mistake-blind’.