The Importance of Getting It Right
What are the differences between these two images? *Answers below
By Grace Cunning, Senior Project Manager
What used to be a fun brain teaser is now a critical exercise I employ on a daily basis. MKP communications inc. prides itself on executing top-notch bank marketing materials. Our commitment to delivering quality work means that project managers are responsible for making sure all content is spelled and punctuated correctly, and all artwork released is defect-free. Errors that make it into final materials – whether they are emails, web pages, letters, branch collateral, or materials in other channels – can erode the trust customers have put in their banks, and, consequently, the trust clients have put in MKP.
Here are a few tactics I rely on to make sure my work is as close to perfect as possible:
Read it out loud
When it doubt, read it out! If a sentence is poorly constructed, you’ll likely be able to hear it. This method forces you to slow down the speed of your reading, making it easier to identify run-on sentences and catch errors like repetitive words.
Convert PDF to Word
Most of our creative work is developed in InDesign and converted to PDF for review by internal stakeholders. PDF readers, however, do not have a reliable spellcheck feature, which can be frightening when managing 100+ edits from multiple reviewers on a tight deadline. By converting the PDF to a word processing program like Microsoft Word, you can evaluate the text more easily and use spellchecking and grammar checking tools to catch mistakes.
(Intricate brochure designs can be difficult to export cleanly, especially when information is organized in columns on the same page. If you have Acrobat Pro, you can click “Edit PDF” then “Crop Pages” to select and break columns separately, allowing you to convert text to Word without lines overlapping.)
Ask for help
MKP’s policy is to send all materials to a reputable, professional proofreading service before they are released to print or published. Project managers build time into schedules to make sure this happens – no exceptions.
For more time- or price-sensitive assignments that aren’t necessarily “final” but still important, we rely on co-workers to provide a “clean read.” If you’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, editing, and re-reading a 60 page disclosure booklet multiple times in one day, you understand the value of fresh eyes. It’s not unusual at MKP for the team to exchange this kind of support, especially considering that we share the common goal of getting it right.
Our work is not done just because we’ve received final approval. MKP user-tests all digital production, assigns multiple team members to review print proofs, sends someone on press to check colors and positioning, and deploys a QC team to inspect the final product. As a project manager, I know that the quality of my work from start to finish is a reflection of MKP, and, ultimately, of our wonderful bank clients. Perfectionism is not something that comes naturally to me, but years of experience practicing the strategies mentioned above have empowered me to strive for it.
*Answers: Woman in blazer’s earring and watch, Apple logo on laptop, cell phone on table, glass next to phone (becomes a mug), man’s wedding ring, wood paneling/window on ceiling, air conditioner power cables, power outlet on glass wall.