Most people who know me know that I’m a fan of Jen Lancaster. She’s a wonderful writer with a biting sense of humor, and in addition to writing very funny memoirs, she writes a fabulous blog. Recently, she wrote this post about sloppy proofreading that was evident in a recent advertisement for Skinny Cow products. The ad appeared in some major magazines. In part, her blog reads,
“My only guess is that the generation who grew up relying on Spell-check is starting to run the show.
And that makes me stew.
In this economy, when I personally know so many smart, seasoned, motivated, talented individuals who are un-or-under-employed, I’m angry when errors of this scale hit the mainstream.
Generation X would have never let this sh#t fly. I’m not saying that whichever member of Generation Y who worked on the Skinny Cow ad should be fired. (And perhaps I’m making a broad, incorrect assumption on advertising being a younger man’s game.) However, I am saying that employers are getting what they pay for when they opt for cheaper labor.”
I’m not going to weigh in on the GenX or GenY question (we have a GenY employee who would NEVER allow such mistakes), but I will agree wholeheartedly that people get what they pay for when they opt for cheaper labor.
WriterGirl offers world-class writing skills to our hospital and health care clients, and while we occasionally make mistakes, we’ve developed a process that minimizes these kind of errors as much as possible.
However, we still run into clients who think that (a), they can “just write it themselves” (which rarely works out, by the way… they usually don’t have time to respond to emails, much less write website content),or (b), they think they can “just find a freelancer who can do it for less.” Sure they can. No doubt about it that writers are all over the place, hankering for work and ready to write for less. But I can, in most cases, guarantee that those writers don’t have the expertise that our writers bring to the table (every WriterGirl has been vetted to ensure s/he can deliver on the promise of excellence we make), nor is there a process for ensuring that small errors (like misspellings, misuse of words, improper grammar, and so on) are edited out before anyone sees them.
At WriterGirl, quality matters. A lot. If a writer provides a first draft riddled with errors, we work with the writer to correct those errors. If we get a second draft with mistakes, we’re a bit less forgiving. So much so that it’s highly likely we won’t work with that writer again. We promise quality to our clients, because we know their patients will judge them on the words on the pages of their website. If the content is sloppy, you can be sure that patients are going to get the impression that the hospital is sloppy… and that’s a big problem.