Judging from social media posts, grammar has gone the way of cursive writing. It was important back in the day, but who needs it now? If you really want to communicate effectively, we all need it—now more than ever.
The past couple of years, I have been teaching a course in PR writing at the Missouri School of Journalism. Grammar is one of the major focuses of the course, in addition to learning and using AP Style. We zero in on grammatical errors and make sure we write it right. Not an easy thing to do, even for students at the world’s best journalism school.
Bravo to the students who take this elective course. They do so because they realize they need to be better writers. They need to learn and understand what I call “editing to perfection.” Like proper use of grammar, it is also a lost art.
At Communiqué, our copy writers and editors are always working hard to achieve editorial perfection. One thing I stress is the need to edit, edit and re-edit your work. The credibility of the work is shot if the copy contains a typo, a grammatical faux pas, or a misspelled word.
It is always good to share your draft copy with a fresh set of eyes. As the author, it is common to read back what you meant to write, rather than what you actually wrote. But even without feedback from someone else, carefully going back and editing can help you reach the goal of perfection.
We produce newsletters and other publications for clients in an effort to send credible messaging to target audiences. Most of these audiences are highly educated professionals. We spend many hours going back through draft copy, layouts and page proofs to make sure we catch every typo and grammatical error. Our track record is pretty darn good. We work hard to make it so.
When you are in the PR business, grammatical errors can not only be detrimental to good communications, but can be expensive. Nobody wants to have to reprint a brochure, newsletter or report because of errors left unchecked. For regional or national publications with large circulations, that can be a killer.
Good grammar and editing to perfection – that’s what we strive for here every day and with every paragraph of copy we write. Our clients appreciate the extra effort, and at the end of the day it helps us do what we are paid to do, communicate!