organizational style

Incorporating the copy-editing function in your company

All companies (and non-profit organizations) should ensure that the copy-editing function is a part of their structure and processes. This can be achieved by providing one or more people who work for the company with reputable training; alternatively, freelancers can be used on an ad hoc basis. The goal should be that all the company’s documentation and other written communications, including their marketing messages, are edited by an expert in the areas of language and style before they are distributed or published.

 

We all know that contrary to the idiom that we should not judge a book by its cover, most of us do so. In other words, image counts; first impressions count. The reason for this is that where audiences, or readers, notice errors, they will subconsciously associate these with the person or organization thought to be behind the document or publication (including websites). So, in the reader’s mind, the poor quality of the text signals that the company will deliver low-quality products or services.

 

To perform the copy-editing function, one needs training in copy-editing, for copy-editing involves more than just ensuring that documents and publications are error free. Proficiency in grammar and spelling are just two aspects of the copy-editing function. Other aspects involved are style (applicable to both language and design), including using style manuals, style guides and style sheets; work study, or the processes involved in copy-editing; marking up texts; communications, for example with other team members and participants (including graphic designers).

 

Becoming an effective copy-editor presupposes an understanding of what constitutes good writing. Economy, diction, composition, these are all aspects of good writing. To ensure that the documents and publications produced by a company meet these standards, they must be understood and embraced.

 

Beyond copy-editing documents and publications, training in copy-editing equips one to become part of, or to oversee a company’s document and publication management function or department. When the copy-editing function is incorporated in a company’s structure and processes, the effects are observable, and the impression given is one of brand consistency, which translates into reliability, and hence, trustworthiness.

 

If you are a one-person company, doing a copy-editing course may enable you to perform the copy-editing function in your company; alternatively, selecting a suitable employee to train as a copy-editor could be another way of incorporating the copy-editing function. Some larger companies – including publishing houses – employ one or more copy-editors full-time, with additional capacity met through a panel of freelance copy-editors.

 

The Electronic Copy-editing and Proofreading Course, offered by WriteArt, provides the knowledge and tools, described above, to enable the copy-editing function to become an integral part of your company’s makeup. It also enables freelancers to offer copy-editing, rewriting, document management, and other services to companies who wish to outsource their copy-editing and document management functions.

 

Training in copy-editing could also enable you to pursue careers in teaching English as a second language and writing. If you are a freelance translator, indexer or designer, training in copy-editing could add to your suite of services offered.

 

To register for the Electronic Copy-editing and Proofreading course, visit the WriteArt Shop web page.

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