Last week Scott McClellan over at Collide Magazine wrote a great article on proofreading and other mistakes that churches make. Looking over my shoulder while I was reading the article was my web developer who laughed and said that had nothing on the Adulterous Bible.

The King of England's printers made a critical typo when they reprinted the King James Bible in 1631. When the good men of King's printers got to the Ten Commandments they left off a rather critical word out. Read the the original text below. (You can read the full story in detail here.)

Have you ever had a job to do for a client or ministry partner and after its been printed and distributed to a gazillion people you've had a knock on the door from your Senior Pastor gently telling you about a 'small' (subtitle: HUGE) mistake on the job?

Here are four tips to avoid a communications wipeout like that:

1) Get two different people who haven't been involved in your project to proof read your communications piece. Ask them to check it for spelling and grammar.

2) Pick a detailed focused person and a creative person. They interpret writing differently and will help you communicate more clearly with some helpful suggestions.

3) Are you like me, not a natural writer? Here are 8 great tips for less sucky writing from's Communications Director Lori Bailey. If your writing improves, chances are you'll make less mistakes.

4) Ask your graphic designer if they've done a thorough spell check. It's like a 'well duh' moment I know, but I'm never surprised when my graphic designers have said that they've forgotten to do it. Here are some funny mistakes that have been made in church bulletins.

My father-in-law taught me when helping him to do any carpentry always to measure twice, cut once. It's the same in communications. Check it again and again, because you can only print it once!

What proof reading tips do you have? Help other readers and drop in a comment.

Have you have every had that dreaded sinking feeling of seeing a typo in a job you've done?

Footnote: Phil Cooke, Author of Branding Faith found this amazing typo on this billboard which surely will be the butt of many jokes.

Related posts
Great Insight For Writing From Rick Warren
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If you are like me sometimes people don't seem to always understand what I'm trying to say. I'm a quiet kind of guy. Sometimes I mumble. Sometimes I ramble on and complicate what should be a simple answer or explanation in a conversation.

Many churches are like me in the way they communicate. They mumble. They ramble. They communicate ideas in a complex way when in fact the ideas can be communicated very simply .

Sound familar? Is this your church, or a church you know?

If you are like me and need help with your church communications like I strongly recommend Less Clutter. Less Noise by Kem Meyer. Kem's book will equip you with simple strategies for getting the word out. It is helping me on my journey to cut through the clutter and noise of people's lives and communicate with increased simplicity and clarity. Her ultimate goal is to help people take their next step towards Jesus. Pretty cool huh?

I heard ahead of time that it was pretty good so I brought two copies, one to read and one to give to other staff to read so we could be more aligned in our thinking.

Just like last week's book giveaway, I think it is so good that I'm putting my money where my big Australian mouth is. I'm giving away a copy of the book.

Complete these two simple steps and it could be yours:

1) Retweet this message or post it to your Facebook page: ' I'd love 2win a copy of Less Clutter Less Noise by @kemmeyer via @stevefogg

2) Leave a comment below including your Twitter handle or Facebook link so I can contact you if you are the winner. It would be great to hear from you on how it could help you in what you do. 

I'll be announcing the winner on Saturday 3rd July 2010 on this post (EST Australia Time)

For the rest of you, you can buy the book here. It's brilliant. Don't miss it.

PS. I'm stumping up the dough for this. There is no behind the scenes marketing going on. It's just a great book.

*****The winner of the book giveaway is: @PaulSteinbrueck Paul was picked by *******

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10 Church Branding Myths
Does God Need A Rebrand?
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:: Follow me on Twitter, come and say G'day on Facebook, get regular updates via my RSS feed or stalk me in person in Melbourne (you'll have to do the leg work on that one).

Yes, Hillsong Conference 2010 starts next week. No, sadly I'm not going.

Watch this video below and enjoy the Hillsong Conference opener from last year. Brilliant execution across so many creative mediums.

Thank you Hillsong for setting the creative bar sky high.

You can register here.


Some of the best blogs and videos I’ve read this week.

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Can You Brand Faith?

Steven Fogg —  June 21, 2010 — 31 Comments

You can win a free copy of a great book. Click on the link to find out how.

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I've been blogging this week about the power of research, I think the agency that created this ad certainly did their research. I've also blogged about the power of focus, this ad certainly hits it's target market.

But most of all, this TV advert reminded me of the power of great communication.

The most effective communication moves the hearer/viewer beyond the rational head space and moves down into the heartspace.

I immediately thought about my life, family, my wife, children and the shortness of life.

I was, in that moment connected to the brand.

The sales of company that was advertising John Lewis, sales leapt an incredible 39.7% immediately after the campaign ran.

(It also reminded me of this bible verse)

Follow me on Twitter, come and say G'day on Facebook, get regular updates via my RSS feed or stalk me in person in Melbourne (you'll have to do the leg work on that one).

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Steven Fogg —  June 9, 2010 — 1 Comment

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