I implore you to heed the suggestion I present: Hire qualified writers.
The first step is simple; read the written words on a writer’s blog. Take the extra two minutes it takes to scan our blog posts and our published articles. While you’re reading those posts and articles, pay close attention to the writing abilities of that writer.
Poorly written articles are indeed a reflection of your decision-making skills as a company or PR firm. When you hire a writer or blogger to talk about your company, product, or service, that writer should publish a coherent blog post. The article should be free from punctuation errors, follow basic grammar rules, and words should be spelled correctly. Know that a perfectly written post is not the goal, but blatant and frequent grammar errors should not be prevalent.
Of late, I’ve read way too many sponsored posts written by bloggers that are laden with run-on sentences, misplaced punctuation, and egregious misuses of the written English language.
We writers don’t expect to read an essay worthy of literacy awards, but we expect to not have to cringe and want to take out our red pen.
I am not a perfect writer. I make mistakes that get published; it happens. Professional and prideful writers alike respect those who point out our mistakes and suggest a change. The writing community wants fellow writers to represent us as intelligent, knowledgeable authors.
In English classes, whether it be at the high school or university levels, teachers follow simple rubrics to more effectively inform students of the quality of their written work. I’ve included such standards used in rubrics that would earn full points:
Writing is confident and clearly focused. It holds the reader’s attention. Relevant details enrich writing.
Uses consistent agreement between parts of speech. No errors in mechanics. Creative and effective use of spelling strategies.
Consistent variety of sentence structure throughout.
Company and public relations representatives, I implore you to compare the existing published material on a potentially hired writer’s website to a basic rubric for writing.
- Do the posts make sense?
- Is punctuation used properly, at least in 9 out of every 10 sentences?
- Is proper spelling reflected when using homophones such as your/you’re and there/their/they’re?
It’s simple, friends. Respect your message by hiring writers that have proven they practice basic English-writing skills.
I’m at the point where I feel that publicizing the names of the companies that hire writers who massacre grammar and spelling rules is inevitable. I know I’m not influential enough to shame a company or PR firm, but my only recourse is to to publicize the practice that negatively impacts your campaign with a poorly-written message.
I encourage you to hire professional writers. We aren’t any more expensive than unprofessional writers, and we’ll make sure your message is published in a well-written, error-free, cringe-free article that you are proud to say represents your company.
Love & nerdy kisses,
P.S. If you see any blatant grammatical errors in this open letter, please call me out on them. I’d do the same for you.
rubric information from readwritethink.org