Like many PR professionals, I read a lot of blogs, and what I love most about them is the ability people have to comment on the posts—to add value to a debate or a topic and help spark even more interest than the original post.
At least that’s my idea of the purpose of comments. Apparently, not everyone feels the same. During my rounds today, I found three comments on different blog posts, all of which point out mistakes by the blogs’ authors.
Some were grammatical mistakes, while others were statements or sentences that could have been written more clearly. The comments were rude. You could tell the people leaving them felt smug for spotting an error.
Now, I know that blogs should be correct and that anyone in PR who makes a grammatical error should know better.
But you know what? It happens! Get over it! Why feel the need to leave a smug comment about it?
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t call people out on errors (especially if they are factual errors). Sometimes it’s a good thing. As an author, you can then correct the error and make sure you pay more attention next time.
But I don’t think it should be done rudely—and you should still add more to the conversation than just, “Oh, by the way, you’ve spelt that wrong.”
Bottom line is that mistakes do
happen. The way you handle the mistake and ensuring they don’t happen again make all the difference.
Here are some tips:
1. Always approve negative comments on your blog, or ones that call you out—
unless they are overly rude, personal, or use bad language. Then craft your reply carefully. If someone points out an error, thank them for their eager eyes and make a note not to make the same mistake again.
2. Ask someone to proof your work before you post it.
Part of my role as a manager is to proof any work drafted by other members of my team. But I always ask our account executive to proof my work. I’m human, mistakes happen, and sometimes you get too close to your work to realize you’re making mistakes.
3. Be transparent about changes.
If you make a factual mistake, or if you alter your post significantly after people have commented, always let your readers know you’ve made the change.
Oh, and feel free to leave a comment.
A version of this post originally appeared on
PR Daily contributor Brooke Nolan’s blog, PRtips.