Does spelling matter if it’s social?

I’ve just logged into my LinkedIn account and a poll came up titled ‘Does your company have and follow an editorial process for social media to avoid typos and grammatical errors in postings?’

At the time of writing this, the results were 64% No and 35% Yes (whatever happened to the other 1% I’m not entirely sure!)

I find this statistic quite interesting. After all – in what other instance would copy be issued into the public domain without being proofed? I work in a fairly small B2B team and every press release and feature written is proofed by at least two members of staff.

The quality of written work is of the utmost importance in the PR industry. It’s the one thing we should be able to do with our eyes closed.

I would be mortified if I sent out a press release full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

But with social media it appears that it’s OK.

In fact, even if you did have an editorial process in place, as suggested in the LinkedIn poll, would you actually be able to follow it?

After all, if the apostrophe in ‘there’s’ or the space between a full stop and the start of a new sentance means you total 141 characters instead of 140, what would you do?

Delete the apostrophe of course! Surely it’s accepted with such a tight word limit?

(I’d like to see the papers use that excuse next time a sub editor is struggling with a headline).

It’s interesting to see if this will ever stray into more traditional PR and media, especially considering the high use of ‘text talk’ over the last few years.

However, I can’t see it happening any time soon. As an industry, I think we’re still too proud for that.

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