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Guest Post, The forgotten art of Proofreading by Just Holly

Holly is a marketing, PR and communications wizz and the owner of Just Holly.  This week we asked her if she would a guest post for us and she happily accepted our invitation. Below she has shared some great advice and written about one of her pet hates.

The forgotten art of proofreading

Now this is a tough topic to blog about – purely because I have the – not so irrational – fear that I will type an error into this blog about proofreading and paint myself into a corner!

But the fact remains that there is nothing that gets my goat more than something that has not been proofed.

Notice that I said ‘something’? This is because I am including all correspondence, whether it be an email, a post to Facebook, a blog post (gulp!), a Tweet, a business plan, whatever!

It seems that people now use the excuse of our fast-paced lives to forget about grammar and punctuation. There are some great images flying around the net proclaiming that punctuation saves lives – don’t write “Let’s eat Grandma” if you actually mean “Let’s eat, Grandma”, otherwise you could be entering into cannibal territory.

I have even gone as far as to create a Pinterest board for items that have not been proofed for grammar errors prior to publication.

Proofreading should be the first and last step for anything that is going to be seen or read in the public domain. It’s an essential quality check and can stop your business – or you – from being ridiculed. I don’t believe that all publicity is good publicity and overlooking a misspelled word or a missing element of punctuation can do your brand a lot of harm.

Obviously I understand that there is always the human factor involved in writing/typing/publishing of content and to be completely honest, I still succumb to human error in my writing and it’s something I do every day.

But this is why you put in place steps to attempt to avoid mistakes.

When you think your external signage, a Facebook post, a memo is finished and ready to be published, STOP! Ask someone else, with a fresh set of eyes, to look over the finished product one last time.

Just think, if you’re a Public School, forgetting that L can cause a lot of unnecessary embarrassment!

By Holly McHattan

If you have some have spotted some embarrassing typos or would like some help with your proofreading you should contact  Holly on 0403 293 880.

You can also follow Holly via her Facebook and Twitter.

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