Tips and Tools to Avoid Spelling Errors in PR Campaigns

Monday - 30 December 2013

Courtesy of Sara

Few organizations have a perfect record in PR, marketing or social media campaigns. Sometimes, a campaign doesn’t target the correct audience. Other times, the PR or marketing teams fail to consider unintended consequences of its content, and it backfires on them.

Yet many campaign failures are completely preventable, and could be easily fixed. Ginny Soskey shares 14 of the Worst Typos We’ve Ever Seen that serve as lessons on why companies mustn’t take the editing process lightly.

Some errors might only be noticed by journalists and other grammar sticklers — like a toy store’s ad that guarantees products are “So Fun, They Won’t Even Know Their Learning.” 

But Soskey also shares plenty palm-to-face examples, including Stratford Hall’s holiday promotion promising “Reliability…always upholding the highest standards for every detal.”

Courtesy of Bruce Oberg

Other examples sure to make editors wince:

“Lyndon B. Johnson School of Pubic Affairs”

Courtesy of JimRomensko.com

“Be a Biomedical Technincian”

Courtesy of WCPO

“Click Her to Visit Our Website”

Courtesy of Funny Typos

As these typos illustrate, proofreading is an essential function in any PR or marketing campaign. Editors should read through their content twice once for spelling and grammar, and a second time for context and structure. When proofreading headlines, use the following two tips to find mistakes:

  1. Read the headline backwards
  2. Use a pen or your finger to “touch” every word in the headline as you read it

Danielle Cherrick lists free services writers can use to tighten their writing in 4 Proofreading Tools to Help Your Content Marketing.

The tools listed include:

Grammarly. A free Chrome extension, Grammarly Lite recognizes spelling, punctuation, capitalizes and word usage errors in social media content and comment boxes.

Polish My Writing. Writers can paste content into this free tool and identify spelling and grammar errors. The software also offers style suggestions for word usage — hopefully better than suggestions made by Microsoft Word.

Quick and Dirty Tips. Founded by Mignon Fogarty, who also created Grammar Girl, Quick and Dirty Tips is the free, compact version of the AP Style Guide, with guidelines for grammar, punctuation, spelling and word choice.

Bottom line: an easily preventable spelling error can instantly damage your brand’s credibility. Every writer must work carefully, take advantage of free online tools that can catch mistakes and use an extra set of experience proofreading eyes whenever possible.

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