Where once we produced letters and leaflets on a very occasional basis we now produce daily marketing bulletins and a constant stream of professional emails.
With this huge upsurge in written content, there is an increasing risk that bad spelling, bad grammar, and bad sentence structure become widespread. Even researching professional communication and proofreading, in the production of this article, has yielded some poorly written content!
“Marketing communication is important to get right,” says Elizabeth Adams, author at Researchpapersuk and Last Minute Writing, “With an emphasis on speed of delivery, it is tempting to skip the proofreading stage and publish without looking back. But in creating marketing content we should always seek to view our business as our potential clients do.”
Here are a few reasons why utilizing a proofreader can help your business to remain competitive and professional.
We are very lucky, in the 21st century, that we have automated systems that can spell check for us. Sometimes we get complacent in writing our copy, falling back on our spell check to do the work for us. But these spell checkers, while useful, are not infallible.
There are times when we need to use words that are not commonplace which spell checkers won’t pick up. In addition, in building our vocabulary, we might use words that don’t fit the context. In order to make sense of these mistakes, we need a good proofreader to clarify our meaning.
A lot is made of grammar. As more written content is created online, we find an increasing amount of frustration among avid readers at the absence of coherent grammar. Mobile messaging services has made many of us lazy in terms of grammar. When we fall out of the habit of grammar, it can extend to our professional communications.
Bad grammar and poor sentence structure can cloud a message. If a potential customer gets distracted by that misplaced apostrophe or gets lost in that long winding sentence, we run the risk of them switching off. Experienced proofreaders know how to suggest well-crafted grammar and strong, punchy sentences.
Ultimately, our marketing emails and messages are about information. Designers and strategist can create superb brand images, but even the best graphics and tagline can be undermined by badly crafted copy.
“A proofreader acts as an ambassador for your content consumers,” says Michael Guillen, a regular contributor to Draftbeyond and Writinity, “With a fresh pair of eyes, they seek a simple understanding of your message.” It’s embarrassing to content writers when a mistake is made, but it can also cost business if, for instance, a figure has an extra digit or headline contains an obvious spelling mistake.
It is an editor’s job to ensure that your content is of a publishable standard, and in a traditional publishing company, you would have a typesetter to ensure that the aesthetic of the content is engaging. But in small businesses, a proofreader can be the first line of defense against a confusing or halting layout.
Text that is aligned unusually or around images that don’t seem to fit can be quickly flagged up by a proofreader. They will find areas where the formatting of tables or graphs has undermined the page flow. They can also help to suggest paragraph structure into a more coherent argument or message. With an in-house proofreader, they can look at the style of your posts or emails and help you to adopt a consistent tone.
Having a dedicated proofreader is a real, tangible asset to any company. Whilst it may be tempting to keep proofreading as an afterthought or leave it to the last minute, a well-proof-read article will ensure your brand is coherent, professional and communicative.