Yesterday, Noor had a little bit of a rant, and rightly so, on the importance of detail – specifically, in her rant, about people getting your name right. Now, Noor will be the first to acknowledge that her name is perhaps unusual but this doesn’t forgive people beginning emails to her with ‘Dear Kheir’ when she’s signed off an initial email with ‘Noor’. Quite frankly, it’s just bloody rude and shows a lack of attention and care.
Vicky Bentall (nee Aitken) used to get emails – still does – addressed to ‘Dear Aitken’… who the hell is called ‘Aitken’? Similarly, I often get called ‘Owen’ in emails – the sender clearly assuming my surname is that hugely popular family name ‘Chris’. Mark has to spell ‘Pinsent’ down the phone all the time, opting to either try and suggest it’s spelt like ‘Vincent’ aside from not having a ‘V’ nor a ‘c’; or he has to put up with people saying “as in ‘Piss Ant’?” to which he responds, ‘yes, like piss ant but with an education’.
Mail merge is perhaps sometimes responsible (which shows a laissez faire attitude to personalisation); Pinny got a delightful invite from PR Weak to attend a networking event, which was addressed to ‘Mr Other 10’, presumably because ‘Mr Average Importance’ was too vague, or ‘Mr Potential Cash Cow’ was a little abrupt.
Now spelling someone’s name wrong might seem trivial but really, it’s just manners isn’t it – and basic manners at that. But we often forget the importance of attention to detail (and I’m not necessarily talking about typos, we can all forgive them every now and again – unless you’re Tom Jennings in which case it turns into some kind of grammatical jihad). From a client’s perspective, this attention is key, and unforgiveable if often overlooked, to the extent that contracts can be lost on its account, or pitches declined due to lack of care (‘care is perhaps the most important word here). An anonymous mole highlights a case of a company losing the opportunity to pitch for a big global tech account because it spelt the company name wrong within the opening sentence. I worked on the SanDisk account for a few years, and when we first got it we didn’t appreciate how important that capped ‘D’ is in the middle of the brand name, let alone spelling it ‘ScanDisk’ as so many, including the Guardian always did.Spelling a client’s name wrong basically shows you don’t give a monkeys really.
And don’t get us onto the subject of CVs – I remember one which we actually thought was a joke it had so many mistakes in it – including the applicant’s name. ‘Hi, I’d like to work for you – I can’t spell my name right, but I try really hard and do my best honest’. Sorry pal, back to flipping burgers I’m afraid…
Attention to detail – such a simple thing; such an important thing, yet so often overlooked.