A conversation today with a colleague who has been struggling to interpret her client’s enigmatic feedback prompts me to write this post…
The copy is on your desk, ready for you to review. What’s the best way to feed back to your writer? Here are some tips:
- Do acknowledge receipt and be prompt with your feedback. If you let the copy disappear into a black hole, it will be harder for the copywriter to pick it up again. Keep them posted if there’s a delay.
- Do be specific. If you say, “It needs more about x”, without giving any details about ‘x’, the copywriter won’t know where to start.
- Do make changes visible – preferably by using Word tracking – so the copywriter doesn’t have to hunt for your changes in order to check they flow into the copy. Incidentally, marking up changes in the text is better than having lots of ‘comments’ boxes in the margin.
- Don’t expect your copywriter to discuss every little change with you. It will be the most efficient use of the copywriter’s time – and your budget – if you mark up the changes in the text and leave any discussion for significant issues or new content.
- Don’t make vague observations. Your copywriter isn’t a mind reader! “It needs more passion” isn’t a clear steer.
- Don’t send back multiple versions from different people. If several contributors need to review, circulate the document and get them to mark up their feedback on a single version. Otherwise, the poor copywriter has to try to reconcile possibly conflicting feedback.
I’m pleased to report that my own clients give me very focused, timely feedback. It helps me to help them!