So why do businesses need an editor anyway?

Why?

Editors don’t just work on books and magazines…oh no…anything that can be read needs an editor or a proofreader. Yes, even businesses benefit from that extra set of eyes. Your business publications, website, business flyers and advertising materials attract people to you and your services. Don’t you want to make the best impression possible?

I know it can all be very mysterious…and yes, there are different types of editor, but basically we read through your stuff to make sure it looks and reads right.

An editor, amongst other things, ensures that:

  • BookYour publications are set out the way you want them – keeping things consistent and in the style that you like, one that will speak to your audience in the language of your company. Yes, I can be very chatty and informal, and that’s the way I like it…but if you’re a lawyer or a plumber you will want a different voice.
  • Your information is correct and consistent – for example, you don’t want to have one piece of contact information on one page of your brochure, then a completely different one on another page. Or, heaven forbid, forget to actually put contact details on your publications!
  • Your material reads well and says what you want it to say. Not everyone is a Word Wizard after all.

          and…

  • Your publications aren’t littered with embarrassing typos.

Whoops!

Ooooh yes, typos. We’ve all seen them, those cringingly bad typos that don’t just involve misplaced apostrophes, but are enough to make you suck the air through your teeth and grimace (just me then?).  The recent one I saw on Twitter, for example, springs to mind…Tesco offering money off deserts – don’t think even with money off I could afford more land at the moment.

If you type in “advertising typos” on Google (or your favourite generic search engine), you’ll find enough websites to keep you happy for hours…unless of course one of your business’s typos appears there! Can you imagine? How embarrassing! Yes, I know the old adage there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but …yes…there is.

For a bit of light relief (I know…the thought of your business and typos can bring you out in a cold sweat) here are a few instances of bad typos courtesy of the Guardian.

Mind you, it’s great publicity for the author of the new book…now why didn’t I think of that? Well done Mr Moir!

ScreamBut it’s not all huge, scream at you from the page, typos that get you going viral on Facebook, or appearing in a book on typos, that can cause grief…there are the little ones that can still cost you to put right. A spell checker won’t pick up those words that are actually words, but shouldn’t be there in your copy. Your “Fact Checker” can become a “Fat Checker” and slide past without being noticed, but an editor or proofreader will spot it.  And you Public services can become…well… let’s leave that one right there.

Street names are a good example of something that is all too easily messed up…there are quite a few instances I’ve noticed locally where the name “Princes St” is spelt “Princess St” and not just on printed leaflets…but on those adverts that rotate on the TV in the Post Office. A typo showing up every five minutes for all to see. Yes, the business will still get custom, and locals know there is no Princess St, but not everyone is local and …well…it’s just embarrassing isn’t it?

While writing up this piece I came across a good blog by the Grammar Girl on funny typos…well worth a visit for a giggle.

Lorem IpsumFinally…an editor can make sure that you don’t leave in dummy text….yes, it can happen. You pop in a little Lorem Ipsum… you know that dummy text that’s used to help designers with their page layout… and you forget to take it out. You’d be surprised how often it’s left in documents and websites. I’ve seen a few examples, although of course now you’re going to toddle off to Google and see what images are on there. Here’s my favourite.

So…

Why do businesses need editors? Simply to make you the best you can be…and save you a red face or an expensive return trip to the printers. It’s like health insurance for your words.

One thought on “So why do businesses need an editor anyway?

  1. Pingback: Content Consultancy for Business | Northern Editorial

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