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Editing Matters

You may have heard or read that last month’s printed invitation to the president’s State of the Union address had a typo. Instead of “Union,” the word “Uniom” was printed. As a communications professional, I shook my head. Did anyone edit that copy before it went to print? The office of the Sergeant at Arms, which is in charge of maintaining laws, protocol and order in the House of Representatives, reprinted the tickets after what a spokesman called a “misprint.” However, the tickets had already gone out.

Yes, everyone makes mistakes. It’s not the first time the White House has erred in printed materials. They misspelled the names of the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman (inserting an “h” into his first name), and British Prime Minister Theresa May (taking the “h” out of her first name). They mistakenly identified Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, as the Secretary of Commerce and in a White House release about terrorist attacks, they used “attaker” instead of “attacker” and “San Bernadino” instead of “San Bernardino.”

And let’s not get into the typos, punctuation missteps and misspellings in the president’s Twitter feed, none of which do anything to bolster public opinion of him.

Beyond adding professionalism to your content, proper copy editing enhances the value of your written content by:

  • Boosting authority
  • Balancing depth and length
  • Maintaining or increasing credibility
  • Improving brand knowledge

The BBC reported that spelling errors alone cost companies millions of dollars in online sales. Spelling mistakes call your credibility into question. How much do you really care about your customers if you are careless with content promoting your product or service? Neglecting to carefully review content might suggest to the reader that your dedication to providing accurate information is an afterthought.

In the digital world in which we all now operate, we rely on autocorrect and spell check to save us from content blunders. However, they aren’t perfect solutions and we always recommend that a second set of human eyes review content before it’s published. Particularly when something is going to be printed – an invitation, a brochure, a letter, editing is crucial. Put succinctly, editing matters.

 This post courtesy of Account Manager, Jennifer Kardian

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