Our own in-house grammar-guru Lindsay Durfee made reference earlier this week to a recent USATODAY.com article that was littered with misspellings and various errors. Although corrected, the post was met with a litany of user comments as to the carelessness of the media outlet releasing something without a simple proofread. Their solution: disable the comment functionality, correct the errors, and enter damage control mode. Was this occurrence a mere aberration or the symptom of a greater problem sweeping the business world?
The Internet Age tore across the globe like a bullet-train through Grand Central Station. Many adapted to its advent, and many unlucky individuals let it pass them by. Those who got on board early are reaping the benefits of its capabilities, and those who remained stagnant are trying to retain a firm grasp on their professional lives in this exciting and unfamiliar time. There’s no doubt the Web has revolutionized all that we do, but in instances as described above, it may prove a hindrance as opposed to an advantage.
One glaring observation is the infiltration of “Internet shorthand” into the business sector. While appropriate for your Twitter account or a quick text message, “LOL’s” and “U’s” have no place in the email subject line to your CFO. A lackadaisical approach to the simple matters in business will simply cause your constituents to doubt your abilities and cast you in a negative light.
Our most recent blog post outlined the importance of using social media to craft your brand notoriety and maximize your Internet presence. There is one other critical facet to this: use your brain! Smart social media trumps a flood of nonsensical, inaccurate Twitter blasts and Facebook status updates. Aside from providing a public forum for your potential clients to view your mistakes, it denigrates your message and broadcasts an image of inattentiveness to your affairs.
With the world at your fingertips, it’s entirely too easy to drift into autopilot and allow technology to do all the work. As USA Today learned the hard way this week, spellcheck is no substitute for attention to detail and a copy editor with a keen eye. Rein in every aspect of your corporation that is visible to the public: from pitches and press releases to blog posts and business emails. The Internet is a magnificent tool; allow it to work for you and not against you.
PR/PR Public Relations