Before you send that next press release, or add copy to your online press room, or post something to your blog, or upload a new article to an article directory site, use Mickie Kennedy’s 8 top tips for proofreading.
His company, eReleases, writes and distributes press releases for people who don’t want to do it themselves. Several of his tips, like letting the release sit for a day or so before you return to it and edit with a fresh pair of eyes, are old copyeditor tricks I used when I worked as a newspaper editor.
I commented at his blog and offered four more tips:
- Check all numbers. If the headline says “8 tips for spring cleaning,” make sure the text includes eight tips, not seven. If the story says X is Y percent of Z, double-check it on a calculator.
- If there’s a phone number within the press release, pick up the phone and call the number, even if you are the one who typed the number and you’re sure it’s correct!
- Ditto with URLs. Make sure all URLs click through to correct web pages.
- Make sure someone’s name is spelled the same way throughout the release.
Before you hit “send,” also check to see that the release has a call to action. Some press releases I read miss that element frequently. It’s the one opportunity you have to tell readers exactly what you want them to do: go to an online catalog, call for tickets, download a free report, etc.
The call to action was one of eight items on Janet Thaeler’s checklist. for press release writers. She was my guest during a teleseminar on Keywords: The Magic Magnets That Pull Journalists & Consumers to Your Press Releases.”
Do you have your own proofreading tricks? Share them here.