The Big “E” of Review Loops

This post was written by John White on Tue, 27 Jan 2009 20:33:56 +0000
Posted Under: marketing manager,messaging,rapport with writer,review loop,subject matter experts

Review loops rarely go fast enough for me.

I spend a lot of time reminding – “pestering” is a less compassionate way of putting it – reviewers to turn copy around, because writers need time to incorporate changes, and some reviewers forget that until the eleventh hour, then expect final copy in no time flat.

e-graphAn “E” occurred to me as the best shape in which to describe this; hence, the figure.

The lower you are in the organization – say, a marketing coordinator or below – the longer it takes you to run a review loop and return the draft to the writer. This is because you’re not empowered to make decisions about such things and need to route them around the organization among those who are so empowered.

Paradoxically, the higher you are in the organization – say, a vice president or above – the longer it takes you ALSO to run a review loop and return the draft to the writer. This is because you are very busy putting out fires and your time is precious.

If you’re in the middle of the organization, however, you can run a pretty short review loop and keep the project moving. You understand the project, you know whether the draft meets the organization’s goals, and you’re already responsible for outward-facing content.

It goes deeper. In the middle of the organization, you probably view the writer as a peer, rather than as a superior or a subordinate. It’s easier for you to sympathize with a good writer’s objective – to do a good job in the shortest time possible – and easier for you to want the writer to succeed.

Do you see this “E” as you route drafts through your organization? How do you deal with it?

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