Written by Michelle Collins
When creating professional looking brochures and informative flyers the written sentences and phrases must be perfectly constructed. Spelling, grammar and punctuation must all be absolutely flawless.There is nothing more off-putting than reading a company’s marketing materials and becoming distracted by poor spelling and atrocious punctuation. If you’re as pedantic as I am, you’ll probably whip out a red pen and make all the necessary corrections by hand just to satisfy yourself. And then you’ll find you’ve lost the will to read any more of this sub-standard marketing literature.
This kind of sloppy approach also places a seed of doubt in the potential client’s head. If a company can’t produce marketing materials that are grammatically correct, what does that have to say about their eye for detail, professionalism and ability to finish projects on time? In short, bad grammar has the power to drive customers away.
Think I am exaggerating? Well how would you feel if you read a patient information leaflet from your physician, which stated: “How To Prevent Head Lise” or “Your Childs’ Anaesthetic”. Neither of these would fill you with confidence. For businesses the same holds true. When marketing materials are peppered with grammatical and punctuation errors many clients will just walk away. Even if clients don’t know the definition of a misplaced modifier or a subordinate clause, they will soon pick up if the sentence construction does not flow.
Imagine a hairdresser’s promotional flyer, which states, “Come and visit our newly renovated salon for your next haircut which will impress you with its great modern look.” How very confusing! Is it the salon or the haircut that will have the great modern look? For people who are quite happy thank-you very much with their existing style, this could cause them to think twice before booking a cut and blow dry.
Business owners are normally far too busy to spend time writing copy and checking it before marketing materials are produced, and often don’t have the finely honed skills to get it perfect – that’s why copy writers and editors are needed. It will be far cheaper to use skilled copy writers and editors to create excellent copy than having to reprint an expensive, glossy brochure because a smattering of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors were overlooked.
1. The writer
Whoever writes the marketing material content should know how to write, how to punctuate and how to spell. If a writer is confused by his ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ and can’t help but misplace the apostrophe around the ‘s’ they need to be replaced.
2. The editor / proof reader
A qualified editor / proof reader will tweak the text so it flows perfectly, check all punctuation and spelling, and will give the final approval before the item goes to print. Some business owners mistakenly think this is a luxury and try to bypass this step. But no-one can write his or her own material, then edit it and proof read it. It just can’t be done. Fresh eyes are essential to check the final text.
Business owners don’t need to understand the split infinitive or where an apostrophe should appear as long as they hire experts who do. By working with skilled writers and editors the business owner can rest assured that the final marketing materials will contain perfect copy.
For business marketing materials, grate grammar is issential!
Written by Michelle Collins
Michelle Collins is an experienced writer in the field of brand design and website development, and works for New Design Group in Toronto, Canada as VP of Public Relations. View the New Design Group website, or visit the Facebook page.