The summer I spent interning on the copy desk at The Seattle Times was one of the most formative times of my professional life. I had the privilege of working alongside – and learning from – a desk full of editing savants. I heard engaging (to me, anyway) conversations on why “Rio Grande River” is redundant and other Grammar Nerd Topics. I used a standing desk for the first time (!!!). And I learned the greatest philosophy in all of editing: Everyone needs an editor.
Only a few evenings, at the most, would go by at the paper between declarations of the mantra. People who’d overlooked errors would recite the motto when others caught mistakes they’d missed – not so much to absolve themselves of blame but more to recognize that everyone, no matter how seasoned, benefits from an extra set of eyes on the page.
Just as this is true in a traditional newsroom, it’s true in a brand newsroom, where volume is often high and real-time content has little time for exhaustive revisions by the author before going live. Your content is easier to read and of higher quality when an editor has reviewed it. With clean copy, audience members have the freedom to be immersed in the content rather than distracted by errors. In addition, copy reviewed by an editor may even be more engaging, as well: A/B testing by IBM showed that edited pages may do as much as 30 percent better than unedited pages in terms of engagement (defined as clicks to desired links on the page).
The negatives associated with publishing unedited content range far and wide. Messy copy reflects poorly on your brand and may prompt audience members to question your authority as a thought leader within your industry. Errors are distracting and may redirect audience members’ focus from the content itself to the mistakes within your text. Finally, the Internet is full of critics, and without fail, The Grammar Police flock in droves to post snarky comments on stories filled with mistakes. (Not exactly the way you’d envisioned your audience engaging with your content, huh?)
Every piece of content needs an editor. At Raidious, we put our clients’ content through a rigorous editorial process, whether a white paper, a social post or somewhere in between. To learn more about our process, contact us today.