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Associate Editor

Mike's Blog

By Michael Cornnell

About Michael

Michael Cornnell is Associate Editor for Promo Marketing Magazine.


Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
7 Pieces of Advice Before Upgrading
Oct 6, 2015

Most everyone wants the latest and greatest upgrade to technology, especially when it’s a free update, like Windows 10 or...

Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
'Can't' Is a Four-letter Word
Oct 5, 2015

Most of us learned the four-letter words we shouldn’t say when we were in school. We heard the words in...

Ask the Accountant

Harriet Gatter
Do I Have to Collect Sales Tax for Out-of-state Sales?
Oct 2, 2015

Question: Do I have to collect sales tax for out-of-state sales? It depends, and it's complicated. State governments would like...

Jeff's Rant

Jeff Solomon, MAS
What Can We Learn from The Artist Formerly Known as Prince?
Oct 1, 2015

Since I recently wrote a commentary titled 'Are You Too Old To Rock,' I thought I would share another thought from the...

Kiwi's Coaching Corner

Paul  Kiewiet
So What's Holding You Back?
Sep 24, 2015

Are you afraid to fail? Or are you afraid to get started because you might fail? The late TV preacher...

Lights, Camera, Promotion!

Brittany Hahn
The Mayor of Funkytown
Sep 23, 2015

Each Power Box has its own personality. Power Box 1 is really into dubstep music. He raves hard all weekend long. On...

Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
Ask the Accountant
Jul 24, 2015

Question: I am starting out as an ad specialty distributor. Is it better to set up my books on a...

Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
Gotta Love These Supplier Best Practices
Sep 1, 2015

I’ve been in the promotional products industry for more than 25 years, both selling products and programs, and coaching and...

Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
A Cycle Of Engagement
Jun 10, 2015

In 2015, the journey of the promotional products professional in shifting prospects to clients is more challenging than ever. With...

Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Swing All the Way Through
Apr 20, 2015

From time to time, I’ve written about a situation involving one of my kids, and after observing something recently, it’s...

Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
The Exact Cause Was Never Determined
Apr 3, 2015

If you read what normally is in this space, you've seen a lot about the protocol it takes to manufacture...

Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
Measure the ROI at Trade Shows (Using the Right Mix of Creative and Promotional Products)
Dec 30, 2014

Every year more and more products are being introduced into the market, and after a while it all looks 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,...


Kyle Richardson
The Best Laid Plans
Jul 11, 2014

Why it's always smart to keep a planner with your schedule and important documents, and why it's never smart to...

Promotional Fashionista

Colleen McKenna
5 Soccer Promotions for After the World Cup
Jul 1, 2014

Studies show that Americans prefer soccer to NASCAR. Here are five items to sell to soccer fans....

The Hot Button

Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
"How It's Made" Can Make You More
Jun 11, 2014

The show "How Its Made" is celebrating its 22nd season on television. How can we be a hit, season after season,...

Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
Got Control Issues?
May 14, 2014

Does chaos define you? How you respond to certain situations says a lot about your character. Here are five quotes...

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...

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

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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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.
Click here to view archived comments...
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.