There’s almost certainly been an occasion when you’ve re-read a document you’ve written and just sent only to notice, right at that moment, a typo that you missed. And then your stomach flipped over when you realised it was too late to repair.
Everyone’s been there. Spelling and grammar mistakes are easy to make and difficult to spot. This is especially true if you’ve written the document yourself. Yet a single mistake could cost your company thousands of dollars and seriously damage its reputation. A UK Royal Mail survey found that 75% of customers don’t trust organisations that have errors in their written communications.
Professional proofreading of reports, whether annual reports, industry reports, financial statements, sustainability reports, not to mention product disclosure statements and IPO documents and similar public-facing documents, gives you assurance that the document is as perfect as it can be.
When your report is going to be read carefully by investors, the board, employees, the media, the public and other stakeholders, you want to be confident that it’s free of errors.
It’s not just to avoid embarrassment that report proofreading is an essential part of the document production process. There are other important reasons why professional proofreading is vital.
1. Proofreading protects your organisation’s reputation.
After all your time and effort creating a report or stakeholder communications, you want to be sure that everything is just right before it’s released. Hence, you need proofreading of the highest standard.
Professional proofreading is like insurance for your brand. It’s your investment in ensuring your annual report, sustainability report and other important stakeholder documents are the best they can be – free of typos, inconsistencies and other errors.
For example, the words ‘Company’ or ‘Return on Equity’ or may be the norm in the first sections of an annual report, but in the notes to the financial statements initial caps are often changed to ‘company’ or ‘return on equity’. That is, there’s a switch from using initial capital letters to sentence case. Likewise ‘director’ or ‘Director’.
Plus, with all the different contributors to your report, and numerous changes to the copy and design, it’s easy to forget to check that all edits have been incorporated correctly. Updates to the table of contents are often overlooked, for instance.
Whilst this is not earth-shattering, different styles and incorrectly presented information look sloppy. They indicate that insufficient attention has been paid to the content, which makes readers wonder if all the data is correct. That creates doubt in their minds, which can damage your organisation’s reputation.
2. Proofreading finds all the errors that spell-check misses.
Unfortunately it’s easy to miss the obvious. When you’ve been so involved in the document production, you can’t see the wood for the trees. Take the Australian Defence Force. In 2011, the ADF came under fire for issuing service personnel in the Middle East with embroidered badges identifying them as belonging to the ‘Royal Australlian Navy’. It’s unbelievable that no one spotted the mistake before the badges were released. But no one did.
Although internal reviews and spell-checking programs can tackle the obvious issues, they don’t catch everything. Companies that use professional proof readers seek help because they believe in the value and appreciate the comfort they gain from meticulous proofreading.
3. Proofreading ensures your report is the best it can be.
Professional proofreaders check every word, punctuation mark and sentence for accuracy and legibility. They mark up missing words, inconsistencies of headings and titles, typos, grammatical errors, and query content that doesn’t seem to make sense. They ensure that the table of contents matches the content, that the bullet points are consistent and that captions are correct.
It might sound straightforward, but it takes enormous attention to detail and concentration to ensure that proofreading a report or stakeholder document is done correctly.
At Proof Communications, for example, we typically make 10 mark-ups a page. If your report has 50 pages, that’s around 500 mark-ups!
Call Proof Communications today for professional report proofreading
Truly great proof readers are thin on the ground. That’s why our skills are sought by government and large listed companies in Australia and overseas, especially for stakeholder documents and annual report proofreading.
If you’re looking for a reliable, trusted Australian proofreading company, we’re here to help. Our friendly, professional proofreaders have English as their first language and are all onshore. We’ve been providing proofreading services to major companies, government and leading private businesses for more than 20 years.
Our professional proofreaders strive for perfection every time, producing a finalised document that is error-free, grammatically correct and easy to read.
Call us today on 0448 566 377 or 02 8036 5532 or contact us.