RE: flashpoint of the week: editors and writers egos

Subject: RE: flashpoint of the week: editors and writers egos
From: "Karen E. Black" <kblack_text -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2004 14:02:51 -0500

Lynne Wright needs help taming writers who produce substandard copy:

1. Get a detailed job description. If you have input, make sure it states that you're responsible for editing for usability, clarity, conciseness, and industry best practices. I use my performance review standards to justify my demands ("I can't let it go out like that, I'll get a bad annual review..." even though nobody but me seems to care or know any better). Use ROI - fewer service/technical calls, sells more product.

2. Your writers are still smarting from being red-pencilled in elementary school. I use green or purple ink.

3. Edit as strongly or as tenderly as you want, but give details about why the content needs those changes, citing grammar rules and <ugh> MS Manual of Style for Tech Pubs if you have to. Then copy the boss for a while on the edits, until he gets tired of justifying your existence (which is improving the company's product) and lays down the law for you.

Best of luck
Karen Black in Toronto, does her best to keep her company from looking dumb

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