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Deborah Brody Marketing Communications

Percolating Creative Ideas

June 21, 2017


Happy first full day of summer!

One of the things I love most about summer is sitting outdoors, reading a book with a cold drink by my side. On my summer reading list are two business/nonfiction books that relate to how our culture and economy are being impacted by the times we live in. The first is Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Acceleration by Thomas Friedman. The second is Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson. I'll post thoughts on both later on in the summer.

In the past few months, I have been doing a lot of copy editing work. After copy editing dozens of pages, I have found the same types of mistakes are most common. Read below for what you should always watch out for.

Staying on the editing theme, on the Caffeinated Views blog, I wrote about how a walking tour I took could have benefited from cutting things out to create more focus (Editing Makes Everything Better! ).

I am currently seeking new projects and clients. If you (or a colleague) are looking to spice up, refresh or create your marketing materials, please get in touch.

Best regards,



What you always need to check

Whenever you are writing any type of business or marketing communication—event invitation, press release, business letter—you will most likely include one of the items below. These are items that every copy editor checks because they tend to be easy to overlook or mess up.

Names and titles
You absolutely must check the spelling of every single proper name. Is it Mary or Marie? You also have to check how something is called formally. You may refer to the State Department, but according to AP Style, on first reference it’s the U.S. Department of State.

You have to make sure these are accurate and also, that any name of a street is spelled correctly. Plus, the way you reference the state varies according to what style you choose. The U.S. Postal Service abbreviates my state of Maryland as MD, but AP Style says it is Md.

Dates and times
Dates should always be checked against a calendar. Is June 19 really a Tuesday? Not this year! Also, style guides differ on whether you use the “th” ending. Same goes for time. Check to make sure the time is correct and check how your style guide recommends you write out time. For example, some style guides say it’s “AM” while AP Style says it is “a.m. “

Numbers and Math
Most writers hate dealing with numbers, and with having to do math. But in business and persuasive writing, numbers often tell or support the story. Since it is very easy to transpose numbers or include stuff that doesn’t add up (especially when discussing percentages), these mistake make whatever you are writing about inaccurate. Finally, there are rules, according to each style, on how you write numbers. For example, in AP Style, age is always written as numerals (he was 9 years old); and you write out numbers less than ten.

Where can you check these items? Always use “official” sources, including primary sources, websites, and of course, your style book. Addresses (and the spelling of street names) can be checked in Google maps. Use a calculator to check your sums. And with Google, you can check calendars for many years back and forward.


Let's work together!

Deborah Brody Marketing Communications services:

▪ Writing and copy editing of marketing/communications materials
▪ Communications and social media consulting
▪ Communications and social media audits
▪ Customized blog training and workshops
Writing and copy editing of marketing/communications materials
Communications and social media consulting
Communications and social media audits
Customized blog training and workshops

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