How much do you value your reputation?

thumbs up, oops, oops proofredAre you aware that documents you’re sending out by post or by email attachment may contain errors that might damage your hard-earned reputation?

The reason I ask is because I recently received an email from the Sales Director of a local company in which was attached a sales brochure. On reading this brochure I spotted 12 mistakes.

When I replied to notify him of this, he was devastated as he had no idea that he was sending out literature that contained mistakes. He said he would be going back to his marketing people to point this out and that a new brochure would come to me first for professional proofreading.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that will spot these mistakes. Whilst the product being promoted wasn’t appropriate for me, those for whom it would be appropriate are probably now making a negative judgement about the business and saying, “If they can’t be bothered to check their literature, then why should I be bothered to place an order?” The poor quality of the brochure gives the wrong impression to prospective customers.

You probably do everything necessary to ensure that your products and services are delivered to the best of your ability. You protect your staff, yet how much care do you take over all the various bits of written material that your business produces?

I’m talking about stuff like website content, blog content, publicity/marketing material, emails, newsletters, reports…..the list goes on.

Many of us may take all this for granted as it is just something we do without thinking about it. But let’s think about it for a minute……..

Any piece of written material that you ‘publish’ by sending it to a customer or out into the public domain via a website or a blog, for example, is either promoting your business or it will reflect back on the quality of your business, without you even knowing it.

Did you know, in a recent survey, 59% of respondents said they would not do business with a company whose marketing material contained errors?

So, what do you do to make sure that your written content is accurate and error free? Do you rely totally on your auto-correct functions and a spellchecker? That’s fine, but did you realise that if a word is spelt correctly but you might have keyed it incorrectly, a spellchecker won’t pick it up? That could be embarrassing if you type ‘naked’ instead of ‘named’.

Reading and re-reading your own work is not only time consuming – time that you could be using to better effect – but you’re more likely to miss those small errors because your eyes and brain recognise what you’ve written and will skim over it even though it could be wrong.

The brain is an incredible thing. If you’re reading something and you spot a mistake then your brain will automatically flip into a different mode and focus on finding the next mistake instead of the message contained within the writing. So, if you’ve got an important message to get across to your potential clients, you must make sure that it’s error-free otherwise you’ll lose the reader’s attention.

These are classic examples of how a trained proofreader can help businesses to preserve and enhance reputations through the publication of professional-looking and error-free copy.

Peter ClarkePPG Proofreading Logo

T: 07843 304743

E: peter@ppgproofreading.co.uk

W: www.ppgproofreading.co.uk

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Reputation Matters – Why Good Graphic Design Is Important

This month’s ‘Reputation Matters’ session at the F2 Business Huddle on Friday 9th September is by Reputation Advocate Graham Martin, of Red Pixel Creative. Graham will be giving us his insight on “Why a good graphic design is important”. To whet our appetites Wendy spoke to Graham about designing a flyer.

Wendy: Graham, thank you for your time. Can I start by asking you to explain a little more about what graphic design is please?

Graham: It’s a way of combining photo graphics and text into a branded marketable item used to promote your business

Wendy: So there’s a lot more to it than just printing with pretty pictures!

Graham: There certainly is and there is quite a lot to think about when putting a flyer together:

  1. Firstly you need to consider your market and who or what your product or service is aimed at. This is important to get right to make sure you are selling to the right audience.
  2. Next consider the right message including colours, photographs and content. For example I’d suggest not using bright pink for a builder!
  3. Choosing the right design and style to suit your company image and the market you are aiming at is very important. If you have an existing brand, then develop this further or at that stage introduce a new design to represent your business. If you have already got something in place continue using this for consistency or introduce something that can be a graphical style for every piece of marketing you design thereafter.
  4. Getting the right content together will then make the leaflet work as a complete marketing item, including copy writing, photos and Illustrations. The text and photos should work together to promote your service or product. Also consider breaking your content up with bullet points and sub headings which help to make it easier to read.
  5. Finally getting the print right – consider how you are going to use the materials e.g. Direct mail, hand delivery or a promotional pack. The quality of the finish is more important for a hand delivery than a bulk direct mail campaign.

Wendy: Thank you Graham that was really helpful. I’m looking forward to hearing more from you at the F2 Business Huddle.

Southern Entrepreneurs September Events

TRAINING

15 September Fleet –  Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Marketing. Fantastic workshop for new businesses or people who are ready to grow their business and now need to find low cost options to market their business.

21 September Portsmouth – Influencing Skills. Ideal for sales people or just people who deal with customers and suppliers and want to be able to direct things to their advantage and keep the upper hand.

27 September Southampton – NLP for beginners. Learn how this fantastic tool can help you keep calm, face difficult situations and stay in control. Useful for business and personal life situations.

27 September Portsmouth – Graphic Design for beginners. Highly recommended workshop. Learn the history of how we use design the way we do. Benefit from understanding what you want and need from a logo and when and how to rebrand to best advantage. Very “hands on” workshop with excercises to get you thinking!

28 September – Bordon – Time Management for anyone who runs out, hasn’t got enough, wastes or need more! It isn’t a quick fix but will give you ideas which once put in place will help you find that bit extra in your day.

29 September – Wickham – Merchandising, looking at displays and products. ideal for retail in all it’s forms including people who have stalls at events, pop up shops and others who need to have a visual display to advertise their goods or services.

29 September – selling On Line. This is designed for anyone who is or is thinking of selling on line. Websites, dedicated on line shops, ebay or other platforms. This workshop looks at ethical and legal issues to ensure you stay on the right side of the law at all times.

NETWORKING

6 September Winchester – Neil Nutburn talking about motivation, how to get it, keep it and what to do when it deserts you!

14 September Portsmouth – is your business growing quickly enough? come and hear an interesting talk on how to speed up that growth.

14 September Southampton – print and how your material is designed really does make a huge difference. Listen to hints and tips from a design expert

20 September Eastleigh – Belinda tells us how photographic images can make or break your marketing material. Even social media photos are very important. Think how many times you look up people’s profiles, how you look is important.

21 September Fleet – Wonderful amusing honest start up stories from Andy Pringle. We are hosted by Regus Business Center in Fleet for this event so do try to come along, see what the facility can offer and take advantage of their offer of a free trial for people who attend this event.

29 September Bordon – Always a popular venue. Nick talks to us about visualisation and how it can make your dreams become a reality.