Have you ever written something, and once you finished it, you just left it as is? I have a lot of colleagues who don’t like to take the time to edit their documents once they’ve finished. And I definitely understand. You just took an entire week to complete that blog post. Why take more of your time when you have a hard deadline of 3 p.m. on Friday? My advice for this is: get over it.
You MUST edit your work before you release anything. This is incredibly important. As in, this-can-make-or-break-your-career important. As PR professionals, we are hired to PAY ATTENTION. Whether it be a press release, a media kit or even a tweet on Twitter, we must always be sure of what we’re sending out to the public. Click here to see what happens when professionals don’t pay attention.
Being aware of what you send to the public starts with editing your information at your desk. You may have to read over your document a few times, but it is well worth it. Below are three steps that I, personally, take to ensure that my message is clear and precise.
Step 1: Edit for grammar and spelling.
After finishing your assignment, grammar is the No. 1 place to start. Grammar is technical; this means that as long as you know the rules, it’s easy to swipe through your text and get rid of errors. In this first step, make sure you look for grammar and spelling mistakes ONLY. Trying to edit every aspect at once can cause you to miss something.
Step 2: Edit for content.
Now, make sure all of your content makes sense. Your ideas should flow, and related topics should be closer together in the document. If you begin a paragraph talking about a new product release, make sure you end the paragraph talking about the new product release. Too many ideas mashed together can get pretty confusing for your readers.
Double check that your content is interesting. Always have a purpose for your writing. What can the reader take from your blog post? Does your tweet have a call-to-action? Keep these things in mind as you browse through your text.
Step 3: Edit for style.
The most important step! This is your chance to shine. Maybe. Whether you’re writing for yourself or on behalf of a client, make sure someone’s voice comes through your writing. People follow brands that are personable…brands that they can relate to. Let your audience hear you speak through the words on the page. If you can’t do this, be prepared to lose some of your followers. No one wants to read robotic posts all day.
Honestly, I absolutely love editing. Before I fell in love with PR, I actually wanted to be a magazine editor. (If you’re interested, click here to read the story about how I chose my career.) But I understand that editing can be a drag. And for that, I believe that if you follow these three easy steps I mentioned above, your life will be a lot easier.
My apologies for disappearing on you again. I’ve been going through multiple transitions these past couple of months, including graduating from college (yay!), moving back to my hometown and settling in after a two-week vacation. But I’m glad to be back and sharing my ideas with you all! If you have any thoughts or added suggestions, please comment below. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you again next week! 🙂