Editing the Editor

By Matter

I was talking to a colleague recently about editing each other’s work, specifically, about editing written work. Whether it is a blog post, social media content, a press release or an email, we often ask for our colleagues’ advice before we hit send. All of us understand that often two brains (or more) are indeed better than one. However, when is it time to step away and let someone else’s style shine through? Just because you may have said it or written it differently, doesn’t always mean it is better – quite possibly, it just means that it is different. Equal, though, in its ability to convey a certain message. My colleague came to this realization the other day when he was editing someone’s work. He recognized that he was spending needless time rewriting something that was already great, it just wasn’t how he would write it. This is often a significant realization as you become a manager. You learn to step back a bit and it benefits you, the client and your colleague.  It is one thing to give feedback and advice, it is another to edit something that doesn’t need it.

In PR, we’re often taking content and information and trying to turn it into a story that excites a reporter enough to write about it. It may be different than the original content, the style and voice may have changed, but it’s still a good story and a powerful one. The way I may tell the story is often different than how someone else tells it. We need to remember this when we approach a task. What can we learn by admiring someone else’s style and how can we use that knowledge to shape our own?