In today’s fast-paced environment a lot of material is published before anyone (other than the original author) ever sees it.
Is this a good thing? Are editors still necessary?
While many would argue that the ease of publishing material today has eliminated the need for editors, I would tend to disagree. In my opinion, editors still have a vital role to play in today’s public relations environment. Plus, the lack of an editor usually shows. I can’t even begin to count the number of typos that I’ve noticed on news stories, blog posts, and company websites.
Having worn several hats in this industry (having been both a writer and editor as well as a small business owner myself), I can look at this issue from several angles. From the perspective of a business owner, the need for content, particularly online content, is often immediate. As a result, writers who specialize in online content are usually in a hurry. While that hurry means that the content gets published faster, it also means that a writer is much more likely to make a mistake. Hiring an editor can add cost to a project as well as slow it down. Usually, adding an editor means another person to pay.
For these reasons (and others), companies operating on a low budget may choose to do without an editor.
Speaking as a writer, I know that even in the best of circumstances it is not always easy to catch your own mistakes.
When rereading your own words there’s a natural tendency to see what you think that you wrote rather than what you actually did write. Frankly, I appreciate it when a “different set of eyes” is available to look over my work.
Editors can add the following value to any public relations project:
- Reduce the number of typographical errors
- Suggest additions or enhancements to a piece
- Reword awkward phrases
In addition, an editor may also be able to contribute the following:
- Check facts
- Suggest ideas for new content
By the way, lest you be tempted to think that typos aren’t really important consider this – a typo is often the difference between being accurate and being inaccurate. A misplaced decimal, a simple misspelling, or a missing word can totally alter your intended message.
For example, $2000 is entirely different from $20.00. The decimal makes a huge difference in meaning.
What do you think?
Should public relations agencies employ editors?
Do you have an editor review your content before it is published?