In the era of tiny keyboards and social media, flying thumbs and emoticons, typos are inevitable, but do they really matter?
For any type of public relations professionals that answer is yes. For example, take a look at the recent Mitt Romney campaign misspell disaster. The campaign team unveiled a new iPhone app that led off with the phrase, “A Better Amercia.” To no one’s surprise, the Twitterverse had a field day.
If you are trying to make it in the PR and business world you need to learn how to communicate efficiently and most importantly, make yourself clear. Sloppy mistakes made when communicating can dilute your message or worse, seriously diminish your credibility.
Social media and texting have procured bad grammar habits and a serious reliance on auto-correct. Hastily written typos occur all the time in this realm. Unless you are conversing with your friends this type of communication is not necessarily bad; however, you never know who may be reading that misspelled Tweet and forming a negative opinion about your writing ability. The most important tip to keep in mind is to try and keep messages succinct and spelled correctly.
Here are some tips to minimize typos in your personal communication:
Read it out loud. When my fingers are flying typing an e-mail, there are times when my fingers don’t catch up to my keyboard. Words like “from” turn into “form” and won’t be caught by spell-checkers. They leave a sloppy impression with the reader. Take a minute to read your draft out loud, which will help catch any words that shouldn’t be there or any that should.
Borrow another pair of eyes. If it’s important, if you’re tired or in a rush, ask someone else to read what you wrote. If I’m sending a critical e-mail or if I’m dealing with a sticky situation, I want to make sure I’m typo-free so that my authentic message comes through.
Separate social media from the rest of your writing. Remember there’s a time and place for LOLs, #hashtags and abbreviations. Birthday wishes and comments about weekend adventures don’t fall into the same category as business communications.
How you communicate speaks just as loudly as the actual content of your message. Regardless of technology trends and busy schedules, a few extra seconds can reinforce a great personal brand.