Thursday, April 01, 2010

Is all news good news?

Today I spent part of the day at work drafting a marketing style guide.

Under P for Proofreading, I suggested that someone not involved with the original work be recruited to proofread any document intended for public consumption - esp. details such as dates, times, names...

It's happened to us all - we spend hours on writing a report, news release, grant application, and under the stress of deadlines send it out. A few hours later, next day, next week, when we prepare to file the document we catch the one error we wish we hadn't missed.

I know too well that cringing feeling you get when you spot the mistake, after it's too late to correct it.

Today returning from our after-supper walk we picked up the local paper from the lobby of our building.

An article about my book and the April 10 launch - complete with pic - is on page 3. Page 3! Anyone who knows newspapers knows page three is where you want to be.

The picture is not too bad... another point in the paper's favour.

I read the article... despite the fact that the paper's interest was generated by a News Release that I submitted and a copy of the book that I sent the reporter - my name is spelled wrong. Not horribly wrong, but enough to me to shrink just a little. Petersen. Peterson. What's the diff?

Then I note a misquote. Not only in the body of the article, but also used as a pullout underneath the photo.

What I KNOW I said was, 'I don't write light commercial fiction.' What the paper has me saying is, 'I don't like light commercial fiction.'

A subtle difference, perhaps. But enough of a difference to make me cringe.

(I like lots of commercial fiction. And if it was easier to write, I might even give it a try!)

Any publicity is better than no publicity. Right?

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