Mr. Marketing: Welcome to Oklahoma, California
By Rob Weinberg, “Ask Mr. Marketing”
I need to make a cataclysmic confession: I’m NOT perfect.
This realization was driven home to me last Friday.
As I exited Coco’s, a lovely lady named Elaine accosted me, a copy of my July 5th column in her hand. “I have a bone to pick with you,” she announced.
Pointing to the third paragraph, she said “What’s that word?” “Quebec,” I answered. “And what word comes after the comma?” “Ontario.”
“Quebec isn’t in Ontario,” she chided me.
Okay Elaine — you caught me. I admit I made a mistake. My Canadian geography is poor, at best, and I apologize. But does it matter that I said one province was part of another province?
Because while I’ve visited places like Florida, N.Y., there’s no Oklahoma, Calif. And anyone who claimed there IS such a place would sound like a yahoo to most of us.
That’s what I must have sounded like to Elaine, who is obviously a faithful (and hopefully forgiving) reader.
This all happened because I didn’t take the time to understand the difference between a Canadian city and a province.
Harry Truman said it best; “The buck stops HERE.” Even though none of my proofreaders, editors, or other readers caught the error, I must take responsibility.
My mistake aside, there’s a larger point to Elaine’s observation; check your facts. Then check them again.
Because whether you’re writing in the newspaper, developing your web site, or designing a brochure, you need to ensure your information is accurate.
As the current political campaign teaches us, it’s easy to say anything you want with little fear of penalty. However, as my bride consistently reminds me, merely because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
Remember my mantra: people do business with people they know, like and trust. And understand that customers are more likely to like and trust you if your information is accurate.
So the next time you’re developing a marketing communications piece of any kind, make a little extra effort to ensure your message is clear, honest, and true.
And if you make a mistake, be big enough to admit it. You’ll enhance your credibility, and folks will generally think better of you.
With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.
Over 30 years, Mr. Marketing has made at least one other mistake. Learn about it at www.askmrmarketing.com.
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