I grew up in a country that was mainly white-Anglo-Saxon Christian. The boys in my school were either Alan or Gary; the girls were Julie or Ann. It was hard to get their names wrong. Fast forward to 2009 and we all now live in a global village where the exotic or different is now common. Misspelling or getting people names wrong is unacceptable and only for the ignorant. Getting somebody’s name right when you talk about them is basic stuff.
I fell below these basic standards this week and it wasn’t even an exotic name that I messed up on. I referred to a Peter as Paul. No excuses, I apologised to Peter and he accepted my apology and asked that I changed the marketing piece. At this point I became self-righteous and indignant, why couldn’t he just accept my apology? Why did I have to put it right?
Peter was right and I was wrong. It took me over 90 minutes of my own time to correct my simple, stupid clumsy error. My real stupidity was thinking that I could get away with it and that somehow I was victim. What a schmuck I was!
Get people’s names right, apologise if you get it wrong and then fix it. Don’t bleat like I did.
The small stuff really matters in marketing.