After investing in quality copywriting, the choice to invest in quality proofreading is the best thing you can do for your message.

The breakneck speed at which marketing departments often move can make it hard to find time to put copy through a proofread before it’s published. Common excuses for why marketing departments don’t invest in quality proofreading include:

  • Our account managers or junior creatives review the copy before it goes out
  • Enough people look at the copy while it’s being crafted
  • We have Grammarly or Spellcheck or AI
  • No one reads copy anyway, so who cares….

Let’s look at objections to each of these excuses:

I have account managers or junior creatives to do the proofreading

Providing quality proofreading is an acquired skill. Like with any role that needs expertise, assigning it to an untrained person is a recipe for disaster. And in this case, it could be a costly disaster to your bottom line and/or your reputation.

Enough people look at the copy while it’s being crafted

And while they’re looking at the copy, are they making little changes and not tracking their revisions or telling anyone? And are the reviewers trained to look for errors that most casual readers miss? Because you can be sure a hawkish reader out in the world will find them — and the wrong one might embarrass you on social media.

We have Grammarly or spellcheck or AI

Good for you. But none of those tools are built to add nuance or check to make sure you’re saying what you think you’re saying. Human proofreaders can do that.

No one reads copy anyway, so who cares…

David Ogilvy said, “Nobody reads advertising. People read what interests them; and sometimes it’s an ad.”

Quality proofreading can be that final check on the quality of the message you’re putting out there. And this is important because if you don’t have a quality message, you have nothing.

How Marketing Departments Can Invest in Quality Proofreading

The first step is to look outside the organization for help in this area, and this is the best move for three reasons:

  1. Objectivity: Someone outside your ranks isn’t influenced by the clients or the agency politics or the whims and needs of the agency writers. An outside proofreader is 100 percent focused on the words.
  2. Time: When you have a dedicated external resource on the proofreading acting as an extension of your team, your internal people have more bandwidth to do what you hired them to do — and they’re not out of their element.
  3. Freedom: With what amounts to a safety mat on the ground, your creatives can push their copy ideas far and wide, knowing they have expert support to pull them back if need be.

Once you’ve selected your quality proofreading provider, the second step is to give them samples of work previously done for the clients you want serviced by your proofreader. You do this to familiarize your proofreader with the tone, manner and style of the copy. And if you wanted to include a style guide along with the samples, calling attention to the important elements of the client’s preferences, you’d be doing them and your agency a favour.

Finally, it’s critical to work time into your process to accommodate the proofreading that should happen. In most cases, your proofreading service provider will tell you how much time they need to do a good job for you — which is what you want.

Quality proofreading doesn’t take long, and it isn’t expensive.

It would probably be more expensive to reprint everything because of an error that would have been caught. And it would definitely be more expensive to manage the PR/legal nightmare of a mistake that led to the misuse of your product — or worse.

Thinking about investing in quality proofreading?

It’s a good call if you get your provider right, and you can’t go wrong with Re:word. For close to 15 years, we’ve protected companies like the one you have, and reputations like the one you’ve worked hard to build.

And we have an iron-clad process you can integrate easily.

Let’s talk about how we can help your marketing department invest in quality proofreading.