In the old days, when we screwed up a press release with an embarrassing typo, it was bad enough that we had to humiliate ourselves in front of journalists.
Today, it’s a lot worse. Journalists are blogging. And they’re exposing our boo-boos to the whole world in blog posts like this one from a Baltimore Sun reporter.
A press release, written by the Center for American Progress, refers to a school “principle” instead of a school “principal.” As if that isn’t bad enough, this group is pushing for teachers’ salaries to be more in line with those of principals.
My free email course “89 Ways to Write Powerful Press Releases” has a lesson on proofreading. I recommend that you ask somebody else to proofread every release you write and to click on every live link to make sure it takes readers to the correct website.
Full disclosure: I’ve made more than my own share of typos. Many of them actually showed up in newspapers where I worked as a reporter, either because I didn’t proofread my own copy well enough, or a copy editor missed it. (See “The Do-it-yourself Press Release Makeover.”)
Other errors are in this blog, for the whole world to see. One of the worst appeared in this post when I first published it this morning, after proofreading it about 10 times. A reader quickly pointed out that the link to the press release tutorial incorrectly led her to the Baltimore Sun post.
Just call it “The blogging faux pas of the day.”