The Importance Of Copy Editing – It’s Not A Boring Job
By Charlotte I’Anson, PR Executive
There is still an existing stigma attached to copy editors with images being conjured up of dull, pedantic people, sifting through documents drinking extra-strong coffee. In fact, in the world of marketing, PR and content creation, copy editing is one of the most crucial jobs.
For a marketer, publisher, writer or journalist – the toolkit no longer begins with a pen and ends with a notepad. The technical requirements are huge. Editors are required to have extensive knowledge of data analytics, SEO, social media and social media management websites, linguistics, syntax, grammar, semiotics, semantics, the list goes on.
In the media, having the right knowledge of editorial skills can greatly affect audiences’ perceptions – write something the wrong way and you could potentially insult entirely unintentionally.
If something has been brushed through with a fine-tooth comb, professionalism is maintained. Whether it’s a personal blog or an important press release, eliminating mistakes and formatting errors can be the difference between a purchase or a complaint.
SOME TIPS ON HOW TO EDIT YOUR OWN WORK:
SAY WHAT YOU MEAN TO SAY
Accuracy is key in any writing or communications profession. Just as it is important to say the right words in a telephone pitch or face to face with a customer, it is important to sell yourself on paper by writing accurately.
LOOK FOR CONSISTENCY
It might go without saying, but double check the tenses in each paragraph to make sure they are all the same. Your audience will remain interested throughout the whole document and won’t be as easily confused. Also, look for consistency in your tone of ‘voice’. If you begin writing with correct grammar and complex sentence structures and finish with slag and localised idioms, for example, the lack of flow will be obvious and unsightly.
KNOW YOUR OWN STYLE
Following on from this, the formatting style in which you write is essential. Do you use lists, photos, sub-headings, numbers? Pick one and stick to it.
MAKE IT QUICK
Being an editor is not always a job that requires sitting behind a screen for hours and hours. It helps if you are a super-fast typist but also have the capabilities of skim-reading and re-structuring phrases to make an article work. Regular editorial tasks will keep your reading and typing speed up.