My almost-client grabbed a 38-page training manual off the stack of 200 copies.
She rolled up the book, brandished it like a mini sword, and frowned at her team.
“Ten of us reviewed this. Ten. We didn’t catch it.”
A conference budget derailed by what the project manager saw as unimportant:
‘Fresh pair of eyes’ proofing
It may surprise you to discover I’m not here to wave my hand in the air, jump up and down, and say, “Here I am! Pick me! I’ll proof your work!”
We may not be the best ‘fit’ for one another, project-wise.
(If we are, that’s great. I’m just sayin’ … 😎 )
When it comes to our websites and other business materials, we must all remember:
We’re human, and we make mistakes (trite, but true).
It’s important to hire a tester or proofreader to find those little things
we and our teams will miss. Proofers save us time, money … and heartache.
I take this seriously. I use proofers to check what I think is final copy.
A little ‘train-ing’ story
“OK, Kathie … you have my attention. Why do so many things get past our people?”
Come with me on a little journey.
In the middle of nowhere, your commuter train comes to a stop.
Conductor: “I’m sorry, we’re waiting for a repair crew.”
You (peeking out the windows): “The track looks fine.”
Conductor: “See those crossties stacked over there? They weren’t
installed, and the original team didn’t catch it. We’ll
be underway as soon as the inspector certifies the repairs.”
Eventually, you’re moving, but at a maddening non-pace.
The inspector checks everything (inch-by-inch) as the train creeps along.
Here’s how it all plays out
In the editing and proofing world, ‘crossties’ are wrangled by your
• Tester (website links, software, and other ‘electronics’).
• Editor (hard copy, ebooks, website text, etc.).
Your proofer is the ‘fresh pair of eyes’ … the final, inch-by-inch inspector.
It doesn’t take much …
… to derail a reputation. After that train trip, you tell your friend … what?
“Wow! I got to work fast!”
You say, “You are not gonna believe ….”
Be the best
No matter your product, make sure no one says, “You are not gonna believe …,” about you unless the statement ends on a positive note.
Bad news travels fast, and that genie rarely returns to its bottle.
Let’s actively pursue excellence.
What was the issue at the beginning of this post?
The material no longer matched the
published-to-the-world conference agenda.
The manuals needed an expedited ($$) rewrite/reprint.
Here’s the deal:
When the same people create and review website pages or written materials, the ‘obvious’ can get lost in the shuffle.
Everyone knows what’s supposed to be there (links, text, etc.).
For this business owner:
[In-house editing/proofing] + [Expedited rewrite/reprint] = [$$]
Be careful out there!
Your Takeaway: Always use a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ to review final work. And the next time you see a railroad track? Think about your editor and proofer!
Join the Conversation: Tell us about a time you
- Found errors after spending lots of $$ at a print shop.
- Ran into an online glitch that had you wondering, “How’d they miss that?”
- Gave up trying to convince Company X it had an error(s) in a document.
Share this post, and join the conversation in the comments section.
Let’s learn from each other!