The Power of Proofreading
We all do it. Some more often than others. We are embarrassed when we are caught at it too. What am I talking about, you ask? Mistakes in your writing. Some may be small, like poor comma placement. Others can be big, like an incorrect word or bad subject-verb agreement. Even worse, misspelling a name. (And trust me, I’m familiar with that one personally.) But whatever the error, it makes the writer look less than knowledgeable and can even make him or her look unprofessional as well. On top of that, there are readers who get so distracted by mistakes that they simply stop reading your document or lose focus and miss the message.
So what should you do? Hire a proofreader! At BBR Marketing, we recently added a regular proofreader to our staff, and she’s incredible. Kelly and I are writing and editing copy all the time, and while we are probably better than most, we would miss things from time to time too. I hate nothing more than to have a client point out an inadvertent spelling or grammar mistake! But we are human, and like most of you, we tend to fix mistakes in our heads when we are reading, because we know what it is supposed to say. Therefore, enter Sarah, our official proofreader.
There’s probably no way to calculate how much money your company would lose due to a poorly written document. It might not be much at all, and it may be thousands of dollars. Either way, I would be willing to bet that the cost to have that same document proofread is lower than the potential loss you could incur, whether it be loss of reputation or revenue. So why not do it? Good proofreaders go well beyond correcting simple mistakes and offer an outside perspective on your writing. They will make suggestions for ways to improve awkward language or repetitive word use, and can ensure the message you want to communicate comes through clearly and professionally.
So, give it a shot. If you can’t afford a professional proofreader – and I bet you can whether you think so or not – have a colleague review your materials and you do the same for him or her.
If you’d like us to provide an estimate for proofreading your documents, just reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to help.
To close, here’s Taylor Mali’s “The The Impotence of Proofreading” illustrating just how bad it can be in a very amusing way.