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Associate Editor

Mike's Blog

By Michael Cornnell

About Michael

Michael Cornnell is Associate Editor for Promo Marketing Magazine.

 

Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
Promotional Products: If It Ain’t Broke, Leave It Be
Apr 18, 2014

I wrote recently in this space about swag that went wrong for Goldman Sachs at a conference for women in...



Jeff's Rant

Jeff Solomon, MAS
A "Condemned" Supplier Shares the Truth!
Apr 17, 2014

There clearly are companies who operate in ways that are contrary to the traditional supplier/distributor model we are comfortable with....



Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
Speak Now and Sell More!
Apr 15, 2014

How would you like a powerful marketing strategy that can position you as a leader in your field, put you...



Promotional Fashionista

Colleen McKenna
3 Ways to Style an Imprinted Tee
Apr 15, 2014

Imprinted T-shirts are in with the fashion elite. Here's how they are styling the tees....



Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Adapting Your Style
Apr 14, 2014

Many of us have taken a behavioral style inventory at some point in our careers. While the intent of these...



Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
The Anatomy of Emotional Marketing
Apr 11, 2014

You've probably heard the old adage: "It's the thought that counts." This could not be any truer, especially in business. When...



Kiwi's Coaching Corner

Paul  Kiewiet
Without People, Brands Have No Meaning
Apr 10, 2014

Brands are built over time but can be destroyed in an instant. This is why is it critically important to...



The Hot Button

Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
Even Retirees Are Doing It
Apr 9, 2014

Even older clients who grew up with the "one-size-fits-all" adult T-shirt as their world are choosing to buy FASHION TEES....



Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
Go Mobile or Go Home
Apr 8, 2014

I am, without a doubt, the most mobile CIO in the USA. Name one other CIO that is so committed...



Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
"Free Crab Tomorrow"
Apr 7, 2014

Joe's Crab Shack offers free crab tomorrow. That's because it's never tomorrow. All we have is today. I've talked to...



Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
6 Reasons Why Marketing Fails and How to Prevent It
Mar 31, 2014

When it comes to marketing, there are no guarantees. A great marketing idea that is poorly implemented or incorrectly presented...



Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
Go Green or Go Home
Mar 26, 2014

Earth Day is right around the corner. Need ideas for upcoming promotions? Here are three products that scream "I <3...



Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
5 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Land New Business
Feb 26, 2014

LinkedIn is a happening place. It is the unsung hero of social platforms and it can indeed be used to...



Embellished

Kyle Richardson
New Year, New Site, New Magazine
Jan 31, 2014

This week, we announced the redesign of our home page and magazine. Let us know what you think about the...



Big Picture Promo

Matt Kaspari, CAS
Meeting Clients Where They Are
Oct 24, 2013

Promotional marketing is at its best when it empowers a client’s brand, meets his or her objectives and fits within...



My Two Cents

Rick Brenner
For Promotional Product Sales, Protect Your Client's Brand
Jun 3, 2013

Whether you are selling to a global brand like Nike or to your local YMCA, no single asset is more...



Friday Sales-thought of the Week!

Dale Limes, MAS
Reverse Engineer Your Sales Success
Mar 18, 2013

Steven Covey reminds us that when setting goals ... "Start with the end in mind." That is to visualize the...



Editor's Notes

Nichole Stella
The Perfect Match
Mar 5, 2013

The Super Bowl has also become the Ad Bowl, where brands duke it out to see who has the funniest,...



The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson
Think and Succeed
May 29, 2012

What would happen if you woke up in the morning and your first thought was, "I am never going to...



Creating More Purposeful Sales Conversations

Lisa Leitch, CSP, MAS
Under 100 Days to Achieve 2011 Goals
Oct 20, 2011

It's hard to believe, but there are fewer than 100 days left to achieve 2011 goals! Are you on track...



How to Not Send 8,000 Misspelled Bags to Missouri State University

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Last Friday's newsletter ran one of our biggest stories ever, "Missouri State University Misspells Name on Over 8,000 Promotional Bags." Either you guys are really into schadenfreude, majorly concerned with proofreading, or maybe just HUGE Missouri State fans (obviously the most likely answer. Go Crazy Beavers! Or whatever their mascot is! I don't really follow college sports! Because they're so boring! Unlike exclamation points, which are the best!!! See?!?!?!)

Anywho, the story brought in a huge amount of traffic for us. And while I don't have much to say about schadenfreude ("It's great" pretty much covers it,) or college sports (see above), I can talk a little about proofreading (it's partly how I make my living after all.) So, if you're worried about ending up like the poor souls who let a relatively big typo slip by their eyes, indulge and absorb yourself of my proofreading advice below.

1. For the Love of God and Kittens, Use Spell Check On Every Single Thing You Write
Your computer's spell check is not perfect, but that doesn't matter. Spell check is where your proofreading starts on every bit of copy you write. It doesn't matter if you're working in a word processor or not. Take the text you write, copy and paste it into Word or TextEdit or whatever, then look for the red squiggly lines. If there are red squiggly lines, either you or your computer is dumb. Figure out which of you it is, then make the necessary corrections. Green squiggly lines also aren't good, so you should look at correcting those as well.

I can't tell you the amount of third-party copy I look at every day that obviously hasn't been spell-checked. It's horrendous because it takes roughly two clicks to spell-check something, and it's a really efficient and painless way to remove 9/10 of the errors from your piece. I'm not sure why more people don't do it, other than arrogance and gross sloth, but I think we can agree, those aren't palatable excuses. ("Sorry Mr. Client, I didn't proof that thing because I didn't feel like it, and also who cares?") So please, just spell-check every single line of copy you write. It takes like 4 seconds and you'll be surprised by the number of errors you catch.

2. Proofread in Pairs—Or Triplicate
Before a piece goes out, have two-to-three people proofread the copy. Even the strongest proofreader is fallible, so having extra eyes on something is an easy way to reduce your chances of an error slipping past. People get tired, careless or accidently miss stupid little mistakes all the time, but it's not usually the same error, hence the value of multiple proofers.

3. Keep a Hawk's Eye Over Art Changes
If I had to guess how the Missouri State Bag error happened, I'd say someone called for a font or text change last-minute, and no one bothered to check the new version. If my experience in the magazine business is any indication, this is how 4,000 percent of errors make it to print. It's so easy to trust your art person to make a small change without error, but it's also a preposterously easy way to get slammed with typos. Copy and pasting the wrong text, using an old file, or simply careless typing, there are so many ways an art change can go wrong, it's critical that you closely proofread after each one.

I'm not saying art people are careless or otherwise prone to error, I just mean that at the ends of projects, where people are getting tired and rushed, that's where mistakes start happening. So it's not an art-person thing, it's a deadline-stress/fatigue thing. It's just human error, there's a chance for it in everything we do, which is why every art change should be thoroughly proofed, even the simplest, smallest change.

That's it for this week guys! Thanks for reading and see you all next week!

Like my blog? Why not follow PM on Twitter or Facebook (or just me on RSS or LinkedIn) so you never miss a post? Thanks!

Monday Mike Fact: Saw Skyfall over the weekend. It was awful, a weird mix of The Dark Knight and Home Alone. I'm sure that sounds awesome, but in actuality it was terrible, boring and embarrassing. A man is eaten by a CGI komodo dragon in a busy casino, and no one reacts, screams or even says "hey, uh, did that security guy just get eaten? Maybe we should tell someone? Like a manager or a doctor or something?" Nope! Just keep playing craps and let James Bond happily walk out with a huge briefcase of money! Makes perfect sense, and by perfect sense, I mean I should have rented Wreck-it Ralph.
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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
Jerry Duke - Posted on February 19, 2013
What I don't understand is how could they have gotten half the order right and the other half wrong. Looks like someone caught the error and fixed it., but why didn't they stop right there and fix the entire order? This order doesn't pass the smell test.
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Archived Comments:
Jerry Duke - Posted on February 19, 2013
What I don't understand is how could they have gotten half the order right and the other half wrong. Looks like someone caught the error and fixed it., but why didn't they stop right there and fix the entire order? This order doesn't pass the smell test.