Does the idea of someone checking and correcting your work make hairs on the back of your neck stand up? Some people have such a negative reaction to the very idea of anyone touching their work that it’s almost perceived as an insult. However, there are a number of very real reasons why you should not only let someone read your work ahead of time but should also let them review it for editing.
We all know the importance of getting dissenting opinions, from everything to politics to what to wear on a big date. Getting a second or even third opinion shows what we might’ve missed or hadn’t considered and broadens our horizons. However, for some reason many don’t see the reason to do this when it comes to the copy they’ve written for their company.
For instance, you might think the press release you’ve written for your business has absolutely everything covered. This is especially true if you’ve spent a long time on trying to get it right. You get “too close” to it and can’t see any of its flaws – it’s almost like being in love! You look right past all the goofs and small spelling errors and see a terrific piece of prose.
Next time you catch yourself thinking this, immediately hand it off to a few colleagues or simply tear the thing up. There’s no way it’s as perfect as you think it is. On top of that, there’s the issue of opinion. The paper you’ve written is strictly from your vantage point. It’s very difficult to maintain a strictly neutral tone of voice.
That tone of voice and opinion can often come through in the form of language. This is hardly thought about enough, especially in company blog posts. Even if the entire rest of your post or paper is perfect, one small slip up can mean certain death.
Handing the document off for a peer review lowers the chance of a potentially fatal error to slip through. Maybe you just didn’t know that you had to be careful with the name “Randy” when marketing to a UK audience? Your colleague, who travelled abroad during college, will be able to nix the idea and help you change it up so you’re not laughed out of the meeting next week.
Aside from offending your clients and customers, a good peer review will give you a chance to spice up the document as a whole. Remember when you just couldn’t think of the right phrase for your closing paragraph? Your coworker has just the right phrase for it; all you need to do is hand it over.
That’s why you should not just allow for copy review and editing; you should also take and give copious notes. Tell them what sections you were having issues with and parts you don’t think work (you know there are at least a few). In the end, you’ll have a much stronger piece.
Do you peer review all your work? Discuss below.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/beginnersguide.html