Be sensitive; get the details right

It’s always important to check over and authenticate the key details in anything you write before you send it out. But if there’s ever a time when it’s absolutely vital, it’s when addressing sensitive matters.

Gordon Brown knows this now better than anyone. At a time of year when everyone is particularly conscious of the lives and lot of soldiers, it is especially mortifying that he apparently sent out a handwritten condolence note with misspellings, including of the late young man’s name.

Whether it’s your unfortunate duty to be penning a letter denying a loan, rejecting a proposal or giving someone their notice, you must remember that the recipient will probably already be on the defensive. Any typos or unchecked errors will just seem like insult piled on top of injury.

So, be it in the spirit of not burning bridges, of good press, or merely the milk of human kindness – get the details right.