Case study: Business customer

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Characteristics

In this environment, time is of the essence. There probably are resources within the company who have the language skills and attention to detail to ensure that all publications are as close to perfect as humanly possible, but those people are already stretched to the limit and have seen the documentation so many times that they can no longer read it fresh eyes.

Types of project

Conference materials, agendas, award information, web content, annual reports and forecasts. Some documentation is supplied in MS Excel format, some in MS Word and some are the final PDFs just ready to be printed.

Problems & solutions

Consistency

The source material has been written by multiple people and the terminology, tense and person are not uniform. Some biographies of conference speakers are in first person and present tense, with a very informal tone and acronyms that aren’t explained. Others are more formal, in the third person, and use completely different terminology.

Someone has to bring these bios, descriptions of services, companies and projects into a consistent format and using the services of an objective outsider who doesn’t know all the internal company jargon is a real benefit if the material is to be made public.

Time pressure

When source material is due to come in from multiple sources, some of it is bound to be late.

Using the services of a freelancer who is happy to work outside of the standard office hours allows the documentation to be proofread ready for publication/printing on schedule.

Content

The information provided isn’t always what was asked for. The company description may be 500 words long, instead of the 100 words that will fit into the conference brochure, or it may be missing entirely.

An independent editor can cut down excessive content or do a bit of research to write up the missing content.

Formatting & final checks

The material has been tweaked and the design team has put everything into a document ready to be printed. It looks great! But, we want to be certain.

That last look over from a fresh pair of eyes can tell you where the colour-coding became inconsistent, that the head shot next to the CEO’s name is actually someone different (yes, this does happen, so I often use the company website or LinkedIn to check), that the timeline label under a plot of projected growth figures is just repeating 2017, that the report’s page numbering needs correcting, that the agenda suggests that room 17 has three talks going on simultaneously at 2 pm on the second day of the conference…