I recently blogged about the Grammar Police, those social media friends who are compelled to correct tweets and Facebook statuses down to the last comma. But now it's time to be serious about grammar, punctuation and basic language skills. In writing, in business, in self-promotion it is very important to work towards perfection.
I just visited a website for a company that writes press releases for various organizations and individuals and distributes the releases to publications for use. Their website was riddled with errors. I debated about sending the company an email to alert them (and ask if they'd like to hire a proofreader) and in the end decided: no. Honestly, if I sent emails to every website I visit that has errors, it would be an unpaid part-time job. So I have to pick and choose.
Joe's car wash? Yes, I would email them. Joe is probably just a decent, small business man that is trying to make a living by washing cars. Although he may not be particularly tech savvy, he does understand the importance of a web presence and probably hired his cousin to build a website for him. Joe may appreciate the heads up and possibly be receptive to the idea of a proof reader. I like Joe already.
But a PR firm? Aren't they advertising their exceptional writing abilities? Not only would I not hire them, but I would suggest they hire an editor. I can only imagine the email I would get in reply:
"Thanks for visiting our websigh. Are you interested on any of our servics?" (No, really not, thanks.)
Which brings me to the point of this blog. I don't expect everyone to be perfect. I'm certainly not. But, writers, or editors, or businesses that are in the business of selling their writing want to be taken seriously. Therefore, they should at least try to make their marketing material, or self-promotion, error-free.
Use an editor or a proofreader if you have to. Graciously accept and acknowledge those who find an error and let you know so that you can fix it. Strive toward perfection.
Check out my (meant to be humorous) blog about the Grammar Police.