How to lose credibility


I am a terrible proofreader. Sometimes I think it’s because my brain moves too fast. Gears have switched to the next thought before the first one is completed. On the other hand, I have a friend who works in the newspaper business (and yes, hanging on for dear life to her job) and she literally hunts for typos. When she finds one, for her, it’s like hitting the jackpot. You would think that for every typo she found, she won a million bucks. She once told me how she was reading a Stephen King novel and found a typo in the book. She called the publisher! But she also told me of a course she took back in journalism school that ingrained in her mind what typos potentially could do. Typos and mistakes in anything (a simple letter, direct mail piece, your website, even a blog) can zap you of credibility. As an editor, if she received a press release that had a typo in it, she said she would immediately be skeptical about the source of the information and question how carefully the source put the information together, fact-checked and the like. And while spelling errors and simple mistakes that come from careless proofreading may diminish your credibility, imagine what a wrong price point could do in a promotional postcard? If you’re promoting your latest widget for $299 but by mistake have $199 in your postcard, your phone may ring for sure, but at what cost? Whether it’s positioning yourself as an expert or offering a fantastic deal on products and services, make sure the information you put out there to your customers, vendors, and even your employees, is correct. Proofread everything you write or post. Then have a trusted source review your work. Taking just an extra five minutes before you hit send or before printing your collateral could not only save you money, but will keep your credibility in tact.

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