Understanding Client Expectations—editing

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

What does the client really expect when they ask you to use their content “as is”?

The word edit is an umbrella for myriad tasks. When it’s applied to text, edit can range from simple proofreading to ensuring that the final assessment questions meet the objectives which, in turn, are supported by the content. It’s elementary to conclude that the resources for this spectrum differ greatly from one end to the other.

By default, you should always include a basic proofreading and grammar check, but it’s important to establish any other expectations at the onset of a project.

We conduct a thorough needs assessment immediately after project award in order to analyze what types of edits are required.Does the content comply with Section 508 guidelines? Can the assessment questions be answered based on the content covered in the instruction? Don’t assume—reach an agreement in writing on the editing requirements at the start of the project.

Sometimes the entire editing spectrum cannot be accommodated when time and budget are running low. In this case, consider a contract modification, or perhaps look for other ways of containing costs and staff time, such as eliminating custom graphics or trimming animations.

Your name is stamped on the final product. Making sure the final product is worthy of that stamp takes editing clarification at the start of the project cycle.