In my previous life on the BBC News website, not a word went live without at least a second pair of eyes taking a look. Yes, even with breaking news updated one line at a time or live online commentary.
This is a principle I want everyone to adopt.
If you’ve been working on a piece of copy for a while – making lots of changes, chopping and changing between different areas – when you read it through you will miss things.
Whether it’s a comma where it shouldn’t be, a fact that’s completely wrong, or a repeated repeated word – if they go live on the website it looks bad.
And yet we all do make mistakes. A recent article in Wired magazine said we don’t spot them in our own work because we already know the meaning we want to convey.
Get a fresh pair of eyes to take a look and you’ll be amazed at what they notice. Plus it gives you a nice warm feeling inside if they say, “Yup, all looks good to me!”
Who you choose to second-check it is up to you – your manager, the person sat next to you, or me!