TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘Metropolitan Transportation Authority’

The Cost of a Typo: $250,000

No matter what E.L. James tells you, the professional world still values the ability to write well–and that invaluable skill includes the nearly forgotten art of copy editing. We mention this fact because sometimes tiny little errors can be both costly and embarrassing.

In case you don’t live in New York City (congratulations), the Metropolitan Transportation Authority just earned the ill will of all eight million of us city folk by raising the price of a single subway fare from $2.25 to $2.50. The MTA’s communications team, however, does not appear to have received the message: the organization printed out thousands of updated maps that still listed the minimum price of a pay-per-ride subway card at $4.50 (it’s now $5).

Of course, all those thousands of maps are now useless. The price to correct this incredibly simple mistake? A quarter of a million dollars. That may not be a lot for an organization that serves so many people every day, but it does give us a great opportunity to make a point: your voice matters. Whether writing materials for yourself, your firm or your client, make sure you edit everything twice. Misspellings on your own Facebook page are fine–but awful as grammar and punctuation on the social network may be, those errors never cost anybody so much for so little.

Mediabistro Course

Content Marketing 101

Content Marketing 101Get hands-on content marketing training in our brand new boot camp, Content Marketing 101! Starting September 8, digital marketing and content experts will teach you the tips and tricks for creating, distributing and measuring the success of your brand's content. Sign up before August 15 and get $50 OFF registration. Register now! 

MTA Press Release Hypes Org’s Fierce ‘Storm-Fighting Posture’

This week we told you that no, the press release isn’t dead. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority sort of proved our point today with a “Superstorm Nemo” release that goes to great lengths to explain how the incredibly awesome MTA is so on top of things this time, you guys (and that they won’t screw up royally like they did in 2010).

Beyond claiming that “The MTA network has assumed a storm-fighting posture in response to the severe weather forecast”, the release also takes time to hype its “fleet of snow and ice-busting equipment.”

Now, we don’t want to give anyone the impression that this release stands as an example of great writing or anything–the rest of it is mostly boilerplate stuff about how subway and bus service might be a little less convenient than usual this weekend due to all the ice and snow and notices reminding drivers to “operate at reduced speeds due to wet roadways”. But that first sentence did get our attention. Cheeky!

So if you’re going to issue a press release on behalf of an organization famous for bureaucratic inefficiency and poor customer service, you might want to slip in at least one clever phrase to make sure that it’s not too terribly dull.