Tag: Melbourne editing

Every couple of weeks Facebook gets hijacked by a semi-convincing scam.

Today, it’s a particularly enticing one. “Qantas Airline” is offering– well, it’s hard to be sure.

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 2.31.15 pm

Depending on how you interpret the vague text, it might be a free first-class flight aboard the flying kangaroo, or perhaps a year’s worth of free first-class flights.

As this popped up in my Facebook feed today, fuelled by the ‘shares’ of friends understandably enticed by a seemingly good prospect, some common warning signs pointed to a scam.

Here are the giveaways:

  • The name of the poster. “Qantas Airline” rings alarm bells.  “Qantas Airlines” would be more convincing, but still suspicious. A quick search reveals the airline goes by the simplified “Qantas” moniker on Facebook, just as many corporate accounts do. For example, the bank prefers “ANZ Australia” rather than the long-winded: “Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited”.
  •  Liberal use of exclamation marks. These are rarely used (or required) in professional communications. As author F. Scott Fitzgerald said: “Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” Such a hefty scattering is a good indication of amateurs at work.
  • Unnecessary capitalisation of letters. There’s no reason for “million”, “share” and “free” to use capital letters. This is generally the easiest way to identify a scam. Corporates generally run their marketing content past a subeditor to ensure it’s mistake-free before it’s sent out for public consumption.
  • Misplaced apostrophes in “step’s”, “winner’s” and “inbox’d”. Missing hyphens and accidental double-spacing in the post also smack of shoddiness.
  • The low-res image of a ticket accompanying the post was clearly not taken by a professional.
  • “Winners will be inboxed.” If Qantas really did run such a huge promotion, the airline would want to squeeze every possible drop of promotions out of it. A simple inbox message to announce the winner? Highly unlikely.

There you have it. A few easy ways to identify if you’re being taken for a ride.

Thoughts/sledges welcome below.

By Melissa Kitson

There’s no such thing as a harmless typo. Unfortunately for publishers, any error be it a typo, a formatting glitch, inconsistent capitalisation or a mismatched pronoun, is never harmless. It says, “We don’t know what we’re doing.” Readers (admittedly, not all) look out for this. They prowl for errors, eagerly awaiting the chance to pounce on a misused semicolon or incorrect contraction and declare their editorial prowess.

Sadly, this is often to the detriment of the content. To ensure content has maximum impact, brands need skilled and professional editors. An editor is crucial to maintaining quality – not only to pick out typos but to protect a brand’s voice, message and story.

Read more at NewsModo.


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