I saw an online ad today for an upcoming event. A charity do, for a worthy cause, with a celeb host. The host’s name was spelled wrong. My finger hovered over telling them and quickly hovered away. “Don’t be that person” my inner pedant voice said. Experience tells me that people don’t like their errors pointing out, unsolicited. Solicited heck yes, that’s what people pay me for. But does it matter? The odd typo didn’t harm anyone did it?
Well, I did look for up to date research on the effect of typos and bad grammar on business, and found none so you’ll have to take my anecdotal evidence as gospel for now.
I have a ton of examples but will give you just a few…
Many yonks ago, a colleague, in the events industry sent a brochure to print for an event in Sidney Australia. The CEO picked it up, literally, picked up a copy from the fax machine (I told you it was yonks ago) and was not best pleased. He was mortified that anyone could be that dim (his words) and about the cost, obviously. The brochures had been printed and posted out. The damage was done. It doesn’t present the best impression of the company does it? Everyone knew it should be Sydney. It’s not like they thought it could be anywhere else but it sends out a message. The underlying theme being if they get that wrong what else will they get wrong? Attention to detail people.
One I see frequently on Twitter is pubic instead of public and honestly it happens a lot. It is an easy mistake to make but it doesn’t half look unprofessional. Blame fat fingers, laziness, typing on the go etc – the result is the same.
Ask any recruiter or employer and they’ll tell you of the typo filled CVs they frequently get (also it’s CVs – not CV’s). Again, first impressions and perception.
LinkedIn – see CVs, but I’d also add, you probably haven’t defiantly done anything but you might have definitely done something.
Dating profiles – oh my, I have been known to dip my toe in, and I’m afraid I dismiss outright anyone with typos in their profile. This stuff REALLY matters to me.
But it’s not just grammar and spelling pedants (mostly copywriters) who take offence at typos. It really does reflect badly on your business.
Your (not you’re) website is your shop front and first impressions matter. If it’s riddled with typos some people will step away and shop elsewhere.
So how do you make sure you’re putting your best foot forward copy wise? Call me. The end.
No, check your work. Use a human proofer, get a second pair of eyes on the copy. Human proofing is vital – a machine won’t pick up errors that a human will.
Also see Donald Trump’s tweets for what not to do (but don’t follow him it will just feed his ego). They are riddled with typos, and general nonsense and typify unprofessionalism. Don’t be like Donald.