A 2016 Adidas ad misspelled the country of Colombia and offended the very people it was trying to honor. A grocery chain announced on Facebook that its milk is made from powder, when the writer meant to say it was not made from powder. And typos in prices often cause a hit to profits.
Such flubs damage brands, and, thanks to social media, they do so quickly and widely. That’s why the best content marketers know copy editors are a necessity, not a luxury, to make sure a loss of credibility doesn’t get in the way of your creativity.
Beyond just preventing laughable typos, an experienced copy editor will make your content—whether it’s a blog post, magazine, website, ad, social media post or an annual report—professional and polished in terms of grammar, punctuation, capitalization and word choice.
Good copy editors are familiar with libel laws and will flag text that might get you into trouble. They’ll read with an understanding of an organization’s tone and voice, knowing that what’s on-brand in an energy drink company’s tweet is an embarrassment in a financial institution’s white paper.
Save the embarrassment
In short, copy editors have learned, often from painful, public experience, how language can go horribly wrong. Publishing inadvertent innuendos or insensitivity will distract from your organization’s message.
For instance, commonly used terms often commonly offend: It’s “Ukraine,” not “the Ukraine,” and never use “wheelchair-bound.” So-called bad breaks in lines of copy could disgust your target readers rather than attract them; imagine a billboard that blares:
*Eat your baby...
If you don’t have a professional copy editor, a co-worker should thoroughly review your content. Make sure to bring this person in early enough in the editing process to allow for a big change, and remember the golden rule of writing: It must be clear. Copy editors don’t just protect you from mistakes; they protect you from miscommunication.