We live in a world where content is everywhere. From the book on your bedside table to the latest social media post that you scrolled through on your smartphone, words shape our perceptions, decisions, and emotions. Behind every piece of business content, there’s often a team: a writer and a proofreader. But do we really need professional proofreading services?
Who needs a proofreader?
The question isn’t so much ‘Who needs proofreading services?’ but rather, ‘Who doesn’t?’ In an age of digital communication, ensuring clarity, accuracy, and professionalism in writing is crucial. You might be forgiven for a typo here and there in a text or email, but when it comes to corporate and public communication, it’s another story. When a single typo can damage your image or reputation, proofreading services are a worthy investment for businesses of all sizes.
What does a proofreader do?
At the core, a proofreader acts as the final line of defence against errors, ensuring clarity and coherence. They diligently scan each word, punctuation, and sentence, to make sure that your content has utmost accuracy and easy readability. This includes addressing missing words, spotting discrepancies in headings or titles, correcting typographical and grammatical errors, and questioning ambiguous content. They also verify that elements like the table of contents, bullet points, and captions are flawless and align with the content’s context.
Why you can’t do without proofreading services
- Maintaining consistency: The more people involved in putting together your business document, the more likely there are to be typos and inconsistencies in how terms, roles and programs are presented. For instance, a “Process Improvement Program” might mistakenly be interchanged with “Process Improvements Program” throughout a document.
- Preventing unexpected costs: Failing to proofread can lead to expensive costs. For example, one building project required ten sets of drawings, each costing $1,000 to print. When a client received their set, they quickly brought it to the building company’s attention that the word “pantry” was missing the “r” in all of the kitchens. All ten sets had to be reprinted at the company’s expense: a total of US$10,000 for a one-letter error. Costly mistakes are devastatingly common, see more here.
- Avoid reputation-damaging mistakes: In an age of information overload, the credibility and quality of your content can set you apart. Every piece of writing, regardless of its purpose, represents you or your organisation. Mistakes aren’t just damaging to your credibility, they can be outright embarrassing. Imagine being the person responsible for approving a document telling shareholders they’ll be receiving ‘divideds’ instead of ‘dividends’? This is one typo we picked up while proofreading an annual report for a major bank – the day before the 150-page document was due to go to print.
- To convert more sales. A study by UK firm, Global Lingo, found an astonishing 59% of respondents said they wouldn’t do business with a company whose marketing material had obvious errors. Furthermore, 74% of respondents said they pay close attention to website copy. In the eyes of many consumers, marketing or website material littered with mistakes is an indicator that a company cuts corners or has poor attention to detail.
- Promote effective communication. Beyond just correcting errors, proofreading adds a polish to content, making it more engaging and compelling. It ensures readers aren’t distracted by silly mistakes and the message you intended to convey is the one your audience receives.
- Avoiding legal consequences: Errors can sometimes lead to legal troubles. In 1988, an advertisement in the Yellow Pages misprinted ‘Erotic Travel’ instead of ‘Exotic Travel’, leading to an 80% drop in sales and a subsequent $10 million lawsuit. Ouch!
How a proofreader can save you
Have you ever noticed a glaring error just seconds after hitting the ‘send’ button, or when first seeing that document you approved in print? Even professional writers have proofreaders, because our brains often skip ahead and auto-correct mistakes, especially in content we’re familiar with. That’s right, that embarrassing error you missed wasn’t even your fault.
This is where the expertise of a proofreader comes into play. By enlisting a proofreader for your important document or communication, you’re helping to risk-proof your brand and protect it against costly mistakes. While it’s hard to quantify the exact time and stress saved by employing proofreading services (although we could guess), we do guarantee that a professional proofreader will spot errors that nobody else has.
Don’t leave your content to chance.
Don’t leave your content to chance. Reach out to our experienced team to discuss your proofreading project here, or call us on 0448 566 377 or 02 8036 5532.