Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Business Bloopers and Blunders

No better way to learn not to do something than to see what others blunder or blooper. I've seen some really funny bloopers as of late. I've also seen some shameful and sloppy blunders. Almost all of it, though, has to do with a lack of thoughtful attention to detail. The key to business and life, for that matter, is to slow down, think about it, and then do it. Business people who don't take enough time to slow down or give something its due, make often egregious and embarrassing errors. I thought I would share some of the whoppers I've been privy to.

Brochures, websites and press releases with the wrong company name. How does this one happen? you ask with complete confusion, as I did. I mean, really? You couldn't stop long enough to get the name of the company, product or service correct on someone's brochure, website copy, press release or any other collateral piece. What does this tell the client? Here are some not-so-good choices: A. You're too hurried to care B. You don't care or C. You're sloppy AND you don't care. Are any of these good answers? Not really.

Misspelled words, grammar mistakes and punctuation problems littering your collateral like a dump. My favorite was the press release where the person not only failed to get the product name correct, but the press release had spelling and grammar mistakes all over it too. This "piece of work" was shown to me by an unhappy client who had decided to leave "illiterate Irene" and work with me instead. After looking over what was essentially a mess, I couldn't believe someone turned this into the client as (get this) a "finished" product. Pass me the red pen! Again, the message here isn't very good: A. You can't spell B. You can't write and C. Why are you passing yourself off as professional? I'm just asking.

Incomplete and sloppy work should never be turned into a client. Another common error I've witnessed is the so-called professional who turned in marketing and PR materials that were incomplete. "Where's the rest of it?" is the question often asked. Maybe this "professional" (and I use this term loosely) didn't know the difference. Maybe the person didn't care to know the difference. Maybe she just wanted to get paid. Either of those choices don't say good things. This situation gets back to the necessity to pay attention to details, understand what you're doing, be thoughtful, and only hand over to clients your very best effort. Not the one where you were in a hurry and only wanted to add some income to the bottom line.

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