I’m a stickler for spelling and grammar (so, if you see any mistakes in this email, please let me know and I’ll be suitably mortified!) and so, whenever I am advising my clients, or writing a press release on their behalf, I always tell them the importance of making a good first impression in anything they write.
I once heard of a PR agency (no, thankfully not us!) who lost a job because they went to pitch to a client and one of the first words in the very first sentence of their first PowerPoint slide, contained a spelling error! I’ve also seen countless spelling errors on company websites over the years. Unforgivable.
Only last week, someone emailed me, trying to sell me his services for an on-farm diversification project I’m working on, and he started the email ‘Dear Sirs’. Not impressed! I replied to him, very politely, telling him that in this day and age, addressing any email to Dear Sirs was a dangerous assumption to make. Not only that, but it also showed that he hadn’t done his research. Needless to say, if I need the types of services he offers, I shall be going somewhere else!
In a similar vein, I’ve lost count of the number of times people have referred to me in emails as Anne instead of Anna and their lack of basic research, or attention to detail, drives me crazy! Last week I was even called Emma in an email!
I realise that not everybody finds spelling and grammar easy and so my top tip today is to make use of tools that can help. Use a simple spell check on your computer, or use Grammarly.com which will check your documents for you. They aren’t entirely foolproof but they can certainly reduce the chances of making an error. Alternatively, make use of a friend or colleague – my mum is also a member of the grammar police so if I’m ever unsure, I’ll always run something past her. (She usually tells me I’ve used too many exclamation marks!)
Likewise, if you are getting in touch with someone new, look them up on Linkedin (or Google) and make sure you spell their name correctly and know what gender they are!
Let us know if we can help you with the written word.