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Like many people in the PR industry I read a lot of blogs.
I have the ones I read on a regular basis, as well as those that I stumble across on Twitter and Facebook.
The thing I love the most about blogs is the abillity people have to comment – to add value to a debate or a topic and help spark even more interest than the original post itself.
Or at least thats my idea of what comments are for – but apparently not everyone feels the same.
During my rounds today I found three comments on different blog posts – all pointing out mistakes which have been made by the blogs author.
Some were grammatical mistakes; others were statements or sentences which could perhaps have been written a little more clearly.
The comments weren’t written in a friendly way – they were rude and you could tell the people leaving them were feeling smug at the fact that they had spotted an error.
Now, I know that blogs should be correct and anyone in PR who makes a grammatical error should know better.
But do you know what – it happens! Get over it!
Why feel the need to leave a smug comment about it?
I also spotted a post on one of my favourite social media blogs which had – shock! Horror! – not one, not two, but THREE spelling mistakes.
Did I leave a rude comment chastising the author? Or did I think; “You know what, I bet they wrote that in 10 minutes in-between client meetings, phone calls and drafting copy for a deadline, so let’s give them a little slack shall we?”
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t call people out on errors (especially if they are factual errors) – indeed in some ways its a good thing. As an author you can then correct it and make sure you pay more attention next time.
But I don’t think it should be done rudely – and you should still add more to the conversation than just “oh, by the way, you’ve spelt that wrong.”
So, the moral of my rant is that mistakes DO happen! It’s making sure they don’t happen again, and how you handle the mistake that makes the difference.
Here are some tips:
1). Always approve negative comments on your blog, or ones that call you out – unless they are overly rude, personal or use bad language. Then craft your reply carefully. If someone points out an error thank them for there eager eyes and make a note not to make the same mistake again.
2). Get your work proofed. Part of my role as a manager is to proof any work drafted by other members of my team. But equally I always ask our account executive to proof my work. I’m human, mistakes happen, and sometimes you get too ‘close’ to your work to realise your making mistakes.
3). If you make a factual mistake, or you alter your post significantly after people have commented, always let your readers know you’ve made the change.
I’ve made six errors on purpose in this post (here’s hoping you don’t find more than that!). Let’s play ‘Call me out’. Go on – get it out your system!