Happy New Year – I hope 2012 brings you much success and everything that you wish for!
An awful thing happened a little while back – I discovered that my website was corrupted and I had two lots of different text on each page, rendering it completely unreadable. Fortunately I know what caused the problem, and I discovered the fault quite quickly, so it was easily remedied. However, there were still 36 hours when my website was definitely not the greatest place to be on the web!
Then, when I was checking out someone’s site for them, I found that their website had something wrong on every page too, also making it completely unreadable.
It’s far too easy to assume that our websites, and any other pieces of our marketing, are OK when in fact that they’re not. I heard recently of a company logo that was about to go to print on some literature?except somehow the company name was spelt wrong within the logo. It took an eagle eyed designer to spot it, so it was corrected before too much mishap.
When I worked at various Ad Agencies, proof reading was an essential part of our job. It didn’t matter how senior you were, proof reading had to be done by at least 3 people and signed off by the most senior.
One of the most useful lessons I was taught was to call the phone number in the ad or on the direct mail piece. Don’t ever assume that the number is correct, just because you “know” it’s the right number. It doesn’t take much for two numbers to be transposed, even though it may “look” right.
And, here’s how I was taught to proof read (and it hasn’t let me down yet) – read your text forward for sense (i.e. does it make sense; is it grammatically correct?) and backwards for spelling. The reason for doing that is that our eyes never read every letter of a word, or every word in a sentence. We see the main letters or the general shape of the word/s, and our brains fill in the rest. So if you’re trying to proof read for spellings, it is all too easy to miss them if you read forward (i.e. in the normal fashion). Read backwards though, and you see each individual letter and word.
Check, double check and triple check dates, times, telephone numbers, addresses, email and website addresses.
It’s always the common things that have the mistakes, e.g. your logo, company name, phone number etc. These are the things that people assume are OK, just because they’ve seen them a thousand times before.
Assuming is dangerous. Check everything.
And in today’s electronic world – double check that what you think you’ve just put online for all the world to see, is actually what IS online.
And as for your website?check on it occasionally to see if it’s OK!
Have a great week!
Dedicated to your success as always,