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Why is copy editing important to PR?

By Marjorie Comer

44786739_s.jpgEnsure external communications appeal to the media with copy editing.


As a public relations firm, we believe it’s important to provide you with a white-glove experience. One of the ways we do that is by offering comprehensive PR solutions and value-added services at no additional cost. One of those services is copy editing all content and documents we share with the media, post on a newswire, or otherwise submit on your company’s behalf.


For Axia Public Relations, utilizing a copy editor ensures we produce clean, flawless products for publications – including following current U.S. English, AP Style, and other company-specific standards on behalf of our clients. AP Style is a style and usage guide that professional journalists use to write and format their stories. We uphold those same standards to communicate in the news media’s preferred language. We also know how important it is to create a consistent brand and to provide messaging that’s easily digestible and engaging for consumers.


What is copy editing?

Copy editing is a tool to ensure every written word an individual or company produces supports the goals of those writing it. This service ensures that the basic mechanics are correct (spelling, grammar, capitalization, punctuation, etc.) and the visual presentation (typeface, spacing, etc.) is professional and appealing. Depending on the desired depth and scope of work, copy editing can also entail more benefits like:

  • Ensuring consistency of voice and style.
  • Cursory fact-checking.
  • Checking every sentence and paragraph for singleness of meaning and logical presentation.
  • Suggesting changes and inserting comments to draw attention to unclear passages.
  • Improving flow and impact from one idea to the next.
  • Padding or trimming as word counts demand.
  • Tightening up copy for clarity and concision.
  • Reworking text to ensure it delivers a clear and cohesive message.

Whether the copy is for a news release, blog post, letter, email, web page, story pitch, contract, poster, brochure, advertisement, or even a simple contacts list, it’s prudent to run it by a copy editor before sending it out.


What’s the difference between copy editing and proofreading?

Proofreading is similar to copy editing but less extensive. It covers the basic mechanics, like spelling, grammar and punctuation. Copy editing will go deeper to address the visuals (typeface, spacing, page breaks, image placement, etc.) as well as the bones of the message itself. This includes details as minor as replacing single words with better-fitting alternatives or as involved as reworking entire blocks of text for better clarity, flow, and impact. Proofreading is also the final step before publication. Whereas copy editing is done on a regular document (usually double spaced), proofreading is done once the text is finalized on the page (usually single spaced).


What does a copy editor do?

Copy editing involves four basic elements: reading, applying, fixing, and double-checking. The first and most obvious step is for the editor to read the provided copy. Then, the editor must apply the client’s preferred manual of style to that copy. Whether that style is a circulated manual of style, such as AP Style, or an internal style sheet specific to the client, the copy editor will ensure correct and consistent use of mechanical and visual elements throughout the piece. Adhering to the prescribed voice and style, the editor gets to work amending, adjusting, fact- and link-checking, polishing, and sometimes rewriting to produce pristine copy. Once a final read-through confirms perfection, the editor sends the copy back for the client’s stamp of approval.


Axia wants to be a long-term partner with your company, which is why we provide copy editing, media monitoring, and spokesperson training as value-added services with our long-term campaigns. For many companies, having a copy editor on hand is an added expense. We’re pleased to offer this service at no additional cost, ensuring we present impeccable content for and about your company and saving you money in the long run. Don’t believe us? Check out the cost of an in-house public relations department, and call us to manage your long-term PR efforts.

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marjorie-new.jpgMarjorie Comer is an award-winning PR professional at Axia Public Relations. She graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication. Marjorie cheers for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Marjorie has worked for Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Follow her on Twitter @Marjorie_Comer. Learn more about Marjorie Comer. Read Marjorie's recent blog posts below.


Featured image credit: 123rf.com

Topics: media relations, public relations, copy editing

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