I cringed when I read the masthead of an issue of my e-newsletter. Instead of “Forward these headlines” it read “Foward these headlines.” I don’t know how it happened, but my guess is that it was some last-minute change that I forgot to spell-check.
Mistakes happen because we’re all human. There’s no getting around them. Some are worse than others, such as typos on giant billboards or, in the case of one advertiser, using an image of Woody Allen without permission that resulted in a $10 million lawsuit.
Since mistakes can’t be completely eliminated, the goal is to minimize them. Too many mistakes can compromise brands and consumer trust, as well as damage client-agency relationships. “Mistakes will kill you,” my former creative director used to say.
How do you minimize mistakes?
The best defense against mistakes is to create a multi-tiered review process for all creative work,” reported an issue of Marketing News. That’s a fancy way of saying it takes several sets of eyes to produce error-free communications.
There are various methods, but a checklist of some kind and formal routing process is a good place to start. Again, the key is to have many eyes review the work, especially the details. It’s also critical to stick with your routine during all revision cycles.
I usually send drafts of my e-newsletter to a few people for editing and proofreading comments. But they’re busy and I often need to hit the send button without their input. As a solo professional, my main defense against mistakes is spell-check and multiple reviews. I also put the work aside for at least 24 hours before publishing.
What do you do? Whether you’re on the client side, an agency, or a solo professional, feel free to comment on your method for minimizing mistakes.