It wasn’t until after I completed the required editing class at the Cronkite school that I became grateful. As strenuous and tedious as the class was, it taught me how to pay extreme close attention to detail. The class prepared us to be an editor for newspaper copy, but I think it was valuable for us to be trained to edit everything that we write and release; whether that be photographs of your client’s company, a press release or website copy. We learned how to recognize common mistakes that people make and errors that the untrained eye may read over and over and still think is correct.
In public relations, a majority of you work is representative of someone else. You want everyone to be promoted in the most positive light possible. Even if I am just sending an email to a colleague, I read it over and over out loud and proofread it several times. Especially as an intern, I know my reputation and credibility is on the line.
Not only is your creditability as a professional on the line in public relations, but you can also influence the credibility of your client. On the Speak Media Blog, there was a post about proof reading your materials. Recently PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) released a promotional flyer for the upcoming Digital Impact conference with a typo ironically misspelling the word “relations” in public relations. With the misplacement of one letter, (realtions instead of relations) the entire organization was open to mockery. It is rather humiliating that the Public Relations Society of America cannot even spell public relations correct. To add insult to injury, the word is even included in their organization’s name.
Like we were taught in my editing class, mistakes cost people money, and sometimes their job. Mistakes in titles, names, dates and numbers are crucial errors and can affect the entire meaning behind what you are writing. It is so important to take the time to review your work because nothing can repair your reputation or credibility once is has been damaged.