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7 Common Proofreading Mistakes in Press Releases

It may look easy, but it’s not. Crafting that perfect press release can take hours. Now imagine this: you spend hours and you finally have it worded exactly the way you want it. You send it off and cross your fingers hoping to get some good coverage.

But then you reread it. And guess what? You notice you made all sorts of mistakes with your proofreading. Your shoulders slump and you slap your palm to your forehead, realizing that you just wasted lots of time and money.

Save yourself all the heartache by avoiding these common press release proofreading mistakes:

  1. Names are misspelled – Why is this such a common mistake? Well, simply put, spell check won’t pick up mistakes with names. So you could spell someone’s name 3 different ways in your press release, hit the spell check button, and be none the wiser.
  2. Mixing up homophones – Homophones are words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different meanings. For example: to, too, and two. Each of these has very different meanings, but it would be easy to forget which is which. And again, the ever-helpful spell check will not pick up an error in homophones every time because, well, they are all real words.
  3. Using an apostrophe with its – It’s one of the hardest rules to remember. When should you use an apostrophe in reference to the word its? Usually an apostrophe is used to show possession and to aid with a contraction. But it’s different in this case. Use the apostrophe to say “it is” and leave out the apostrophe for the possessive form.
  4. Broken URLs – If your press release contains links, make sure you check to see the URLs are spelled correctly and they go to the right destination when you click through. What’s worse than reading something only to click on a non-working link?
  5. Not fact checking – Remember, a press release is supposed to deliver news. And good news should be founded in fact. But what happens if you send out a release filled with mistruths? Or how about even just one small error that involves skewing important data? Well, you can count on it ending up in the trash can along with your credibility.
  6. Misplaced keywords – In the world of SEO, you may find yourself desperately trying to get those keywords in there. As well you should. However, when you’re proofreading, make sure it sounds natural. The keywords will do you little good if your press release sounds terrible because of them.
  7. Not having someone else look over it – The number one rule to proofreading is get a second set of eyes on the job. The bottom line here is that we do not catch all our own mistakes. It’s practically impossible. Get a fresh set of eyes to take a look.

Writing your press release is only half the job. Make sure it is proofread properly so you will have the best chance of being taken seriously!

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/beginnersguide.html

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4 Responses

  1. Hello from Montana,

    Thanks for a very informative article.Much easier to brag about others than myself.

    This gave me the kick in the seat of the pants to let people know about my successes and awards.

    Enjoy your writing style and look forward to following your blog.

    Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, Author and Motivational Speaker http://www.judyhwright.com

  2. fivekitten says:

    I am ALWAYS mixing up homophone and its/it’s when I’m rushing or not thinking. And it’s not because I don’t know the difference, I’m sure I’d ace a test. When I’m typing fast, my fingers “hear” the words, and grammatical rules require you to stop and think, even if only for a nanosecond. I make it a conscious effort now to do a search/find for instances of “it’s” after I submit anything, chances are I put apostrophes in where they don’t belong. It helps to learn your weak points. Awareness is always the beginning of improvement.

  3. I have a 30 minute rule for everything I write. Once I’m happy I forget it for 30 minutes and go and do something else. I’ll then return with fresh eyes. After that I pass it to someone else to double-check. If the time is built-in then problems can be minimised.

  4. Owen Christofferso says:

    Nice post.

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