Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I really should charge for this advice, but...

For journals, presses, institutions, and any business with a web site, here is a major tip:

You want people to know who you are, to know what to call you and how to spell it, right? Well, then figure out your official name, which parts of it are capitalized, and be CONSISTENT throughout your entire web site in referring to your official name.

The association I used to work for drove me crazy by inconsistently referring to itself in a variety of ways. Other department heads referred to the association in a wide variety of acronyms and nicknames, which annoyed the hell out of me as the Director of Outreach Programs, trying to ensure a consistent image for our organization.

Now that I am a freelance copy editor, which involves much fact checking of publication names and institution names, I find it very frustrating when I cannot figure out the exact name of a journal or college, due to the fact that its web site contains several variations on the name.

For instance:

Ars Medica - I "think" that is the proper name/spelling/case of the journal because that is the way it appears on the cover of each issue. However, the journal's web site at refers to it as "ARS MEDICA," "ARS Medica," and "Ars Medica" all on the same page. So, which is it?

Shenandoah - Same problem here. On the web page at, it is referred to as both SHENANDOAH and Shenandoah, as well as the italicized Shenandoah. But, on the cover of the journal and in the mailing address, it is written Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review. So, what's it to be?

These are just two of many instances that could be cited.

This is not to say that if your organization or journal has a very lengthy "official name," that it cannot be referred to in any other way. In such cases, it would be very useful to have one "official nickname" or abbreviated name, that could be used, and used consistently.

Ensuring your business' "Brand" is all the rage nowadays but even if it weren't the mantra du jour it is still important to be consistent in referring to the name of your publication or institution on your web site and in all of your communications - Facebook, Twitter, and blogs included.

1 comment:

Martha Silano said...

Excellent advice, Bernadette. I have noticed this with mags and organizations--it's important to double-check consistency!