Your document, whether it’s an article, a backgrounder, a press release, documentation or a novel, is you. It’s your identity, a reflection of you, your company, your goals. People read it and judge you.
My job is to make sure readers are never distracted by content, flow, language, spelling or grammar issues, to make sure that they concentrate on your message and nothing else.
It’s more than just knowing when to use “it’s” or “its,” “lie” or “lay,” and “I” or “me.” And it’s more than subject and verb agreement, dangling participles and introductory adverbial phrases.
It’s about clarity of message, organization and structure. It’s about consistency for bullets, serial commas and smart quotation marks, everything that makes your work an efficient, intelligent way to convey your knowledge and information.
Plus, it’s about being on-message and focused for the target audience.
Are you sure:
- Everything in your document is accurate?
- That the story is complete?
- Every quotation approval has been received?
- All the necessary permissions have been obtained?
- That it follows the guidelines of The Associated Press Stylebook or The Chicago Manual of Style—whichever your organization follows—to the letter?
Perhaps it’s just about having a fresh pair of eyes to spot organization flaws or silly typos.
The bottom line is this: it’s about making your document the best it can be.