It was about two years ago that we sent out a company news item, only to realize that after hitting send, it contained a typo.
This was not the downfall of western civilization but it bothered us. Three people had read the copy and someone should have seen it.
We realize no one is perfect, and we doubt anyone judged us too harshly for the lapse. But mistakes are only part of the process if you can’t find a way to eliminate them, and we weren’t convinced we had deployed every method possible.
The error had occurred to us after Michelle’s brother sent a text pointing it out. Keep in mind this was during a time when reading our work out loud was not a part of our editing process. But reading with your eyes and reading with your voice are two different things.
The latter catches inflections and nuances that the former misses. You realize you need a comma in a given spot, or that you used the same word too many times, or that you misspelled something.
And an out-loud read is most effective when two people are doing it because the one may catch something the other misses. Or one reader might challenge the other with a question that makes something better.
So we initiated a new part of our editing process. Once a piece has gone through content editing (by Michelle) and copy editing (by Angie), Dan and Michelle read it out loud – alternating by paragraph – before we send it to the client. We rarely catch typos or grammatical errors during this phase – Angie is just too good – but we do catch more subtle things that can be improved.
The live reads take time but they have unquestionably made us better at what we do. We have learned, however, to limit how much live-reading we do after 4 p.m. We get too loopy after then.
Quality control is an easy thing to skimp on, but you will pay a price if you do. This is one of the ways we deliver the best quality content, and remain at the top of our game.
If you want to know more about what we do, our web site is spectaular and eager for a visit from you.