Being a wordsmith, I am especially attracted to creative uses of words (puns, for example), books about proper grammar and punctuation (Eats Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss is a favorite), histories of language, and more. That’s why you’ll find me recording and watching every Monday-night Jay Leno Tonight Show.
Monday is the night that includes the weekly feature “Headlines.” It shows endless examples, sent in by viewers, of amusing, but unplanned, language and spelling errors in newspapers, advertising, menus, and other printed materials.
On the Tonight Show, these errors are humorous. On a B2B Web site or in professional marketing materials, they are not funny at all. Spelling errors, punctuation errors, verb-usage errors, and others make the company being marketed look lazy or careless.
Who would want to do business with a company like that?
Professional B2B marketers who care about the image their company projects will make sure that every word that goes out from their company gets proofed before the material is posted or distributed.
If companies have an internal resource who is good at proofreading and has the time, that’s great. If not, proofreading how-tos and resources are everywhere online. For example, Virginia Tech and Purdue offer quick online guides to better proofreading. You can search and find dozens of professional services such as The Proofreaders. Marketers can ask for referrals to proofreaders. A colleague referred a freelance proofreader to me who reviews and corrects everything I write before it goes to my clients.
Proofreading is a very important step in the marketing process. Companies who care about their brand, their positioning, and their image will make sure all their company communications use proper grammar and correct spelling. They are as important as the message itself.