“You only have one chance to make a good first impression.”
You’ve heard that before, I’m sure. So if your first impression with potential clients or customers is in print, you don’t want it filled with misspellings, improper punctuation and lousy grammar. To make sure your communications look intelligent and correct, have a professional proofreader eyeball them before they go public.
Proofreading, like thoracic surgery or window-washing on tall buildings, is something you don’t want to leave to an amateur. No offense, but that includes most people. Heck, you have a business to run. You’re in a hurry. You make a few mistakes.
I worked for a swell ad agency in Omaha awhile back. One of our clients was a local KFC co-op, and we produced window signs for them. As I passed by the window of the production department, I noticed a large KFC sign posted there for all to see. It read as follows:
BISUITS AND GRAVY
I asked the production manager what a “bisuit” was, and when she noticed the error, she blanched. She said, “We just printed 500 of those.” Nobody had proofed it before it went to the printer, and the agency had to eat the cost. Oops.
Correct spelling, grammar and punctuation are vital in every communication you send out. That includes e-mails, postcards, brochures, catalogs, letters, advertisements, TV spots or videos, signs, newsletters, business cards, point-of-sale pieces, and whatever else you use to promote your business.
Let’s put it this way: when prospective clients or customers look on the Web for a service you (and competitors) provide, which business will s/he choose to do business with—one whose website is filled with misspelled, poorly punctuated, poorly written text, or one with perfect spelling, grammar and punctuation? All things being equal, I’m betting the customer will go with the one whose website has perfect spelling, grammar and punctuation.
That’s because taking care with the communications you send out absolutely screams, “Professional!” It suggests you take care to do a good job for your customers.
Does correct punctuation really matter? Look at the difference a simple comma makes in the meanings of the following two questions:
Q1: What’s that in the road ahead?
Q2: What’s that in the road, a head?
Point made? Every communication coming from your business should be passed under the eagle eye of a professional proofreader. Even if you’re pretty good at English, it’s hard to proof your own writing. You miss things. Hire a professional proofreader. It’s relatively cheap, and it’s better than looking like a doofus in print. Right?
Did I mention I’m a professional proofreader? Hmm. Good to know. Call me at 913.236.7595, and let’s chat about your proofreading needs.