A Moment for Accuracy

Like most, I appreciate how quickly we get information these days, but at the same time, I am seeing an unfortunate trend – typos, nonworking links, wrong information and other content errors or functional mistakes on tweets, blogs, emails, etc.

During the past several weeks, I had to refrain from retweeting a number of interesting items because they had typos in them and links that did not work. One organization retweeted what they thought was a corrected link, but it still did not work. Even major news organizations are often issuing corrections to their alerts. In the quest to be first, accuracy is being lost and embarrassment is becoming more prevalent.

Maybe it is just me, but I have always placed a premium on accuracy. This was drilled into me by every grammar teacher I had throughout elementary school and high school. The quest for accuracy was further honed by my college journalism professors and the newspaper editors I had when I was a reporter. At my first public relations job, the policy was three sets of eyes, including a formal copyeditor, had to review or proof anything before it went out.

Proofing and fact checking is just part of me, I cannot help it. It is part of almost everything I do, especially in business. This is not to suggest that I have never made a mistake. However, I try to do everything possible to keep errors and embarrassment to a minimum. Here are some simple things I do to prevent errors.

1)    Research – Make sure you have the facts, check with reliable experts when writing a post or anything else.

2)    Review – Have a colleague or friend review what you have written for accuracy and tone. Depending on the seriousness of the item, have several people review. Everyone has a different perspective, and there can be multiple reactions to what you have written.

3)    Wait – Do not rush to post something the minute it is done. Let it sit a couple of hours or a day and take a second look at it with fresh eyes.

4)    Recheck – When you are ready to post or tweet, make sure everything is accurate and check that your links work before you send it.

Let me know what you do to maintain accuracy.


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