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Review Cycles – and Vicious Circles

Communications must be timely, accurate and be of some use, in other words, they must be of quality.

Tight review cycles are imperative; but those people charged with reviewing a piece of copy, or worse, those people with the responsibility of appoving it may not have the same understanding of the aim of the communication.

Reviewers are often experts or people with some form of authority, but they will most likely be outside of the Communications Department, and so have different views on tone, vocabulary, and semantics. The review cycle can go on ad infinitum if not controlled by the Comms Dept.

There may well be multiple reviewers, each with their own POV; and here’s where I drop the professional tone, and revert to my usual bewildered, hurt, voice.

Reviewer One, lets call him Jack, likes things to be technically correct, and insists that everyting is explained in full, yet also likes acronyms, jargon and geek-talk.

Reviewer Two, let’s call him Bill, considers himself part of the literati and likes the English language as she was 50 years ago. Infinitives always come whole, and prepositions never come last.

The Approver, Cath, wants the copy out, done and dusted, off her desk.

So there I am, submitting my work to Jack n Bill and I’m getting conflicting ‘comments’.

“Remove the word ‘real’ from in real money, as what other kind is there?” says Bill.

“Fine” says I.

“We need the phrase in real money to differentiate this cost from insubstantial ‘adjusted book-to-bid cash’.” says Bill.

“%$&^” says I.

In the mean time, half-cocked, Cath has seen both versions, (with and without the offending ‘real’) and wonders why her time is being wasted.

So, me being the Editor, as far as I can work out, I make an executive decision and publish the damn thing. Can you guess if it went with or without the errant ‘real’?

Doesn’t matter, because I’ve upset either Jack or Bill, one of whom will now take days to respond to emails, and will snarl up any future review requests good n proper.

About Wedge

I’m Wedge, and this is my website! I’ve worked within internal communications since 2004, managing intranets and digital comms. Now I’m a freelance comms and intranet specialist - I help organisations plan and improve their intranets. I work with other agencies, and write a lot of blog and magazine articles. I founded the Intranet Now conference. You can catch up with me on Twitter - I’m @Wedge.

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