‘There are similarities between being an editor and a tailor. Tailors have a vast supply of fabrics, buttons and thread at their disposal and put it together to make a whole. That's what an editor does - looks at society at a given time and pulls together the interesting aspects into a single issue.’
- Graydon Carter
We want to take this opportunity to state that none of the editors are bald, meaning that the writers haven’t driven them to pulling out their hair (yet). However, it’s fair to say that with a host of writers creating a constant stream of legal content (between 25,000-50,000 words a week), our editors have a pretty tough job knocking raw copy into shape for our clients, while trying to do as little damage as possible to the writing team’s confidence.
This week, we take you through a typical working day for the editors, to give you some background on what the role brings to the good ship Curated Media.
08:30 – The editing team take advantage of no writers being in the building by securing their first cup of coffee. If there isn’t any coffee left, they face a quick walk out to the shops to get some before the arrival of the rest of the team.
08:45 – The editors chase up clients for their content requirements, start to analyse the content due for the weeks and months ahead, identify which writers will be best suited to each project and sketch out the instructions for each writer’s assignments.
09:10 – After the writers have arrived and woken up a little, editor-in-chief Kate will have a quick pow-wow with the team (e.g. whether the previous night’s episode of Game of Thrones or True Detective was filler rather than killer) and brief them about what is expected in the day/week ahead in regards to content.
09:30 – Formal instructions start going out to the writers. These cover the basics, like the type of content they have been assigned, how long it needs to be and when it’s due; as well as direction as to the substance, like the specific topic or story they’re to cover, how this ties into the client’s specialisms, what tone of voice to adopt and directions to sources that can help them with their research.
10:15 – All that instructing and assigning means our editors deserve a coffee and Guardian crossword break. SEO old-buddy-old-pal Douglas is briefed about how easy or hard the crossword is, before he has a go himself during his first lunch at 11.45.
10:30 – Following a quick glance of the headlines and the passing on of links or documents relevant to the writers’ assignments, the editing staff cross reference the current week’s deadlines with writer progress and submissions (sometimes requiring a gentle nudge of the writers to keep everything on track).
10.45 – The editors check that all content from the previous week has been uploaded correctly, with any issues being raised with the social team.
11:00 – Editing starts in earnest. This involves reviewing and (where needed) amending both the technical aspects and substance of the author’s raw text: spelling, grammar, punctuation, readability, structure, style, tone of voice, consistency, accuracy etc. – everything and anything to make sure content fits in with our clients’ needs and wants. If any pieces need redrafting or restructuring, they go back to the writer with notes on what needs to be changed.
12:30ish – Lunch rolls around (ho ho!) with many trading screen glare for a splash in the local pool or a wander.
13:00 – The vast majority of the editing team return to the office to continue the editing process, checking that facts and law are accurate, and the flow and feel of content is suitable.
13:45 – There’s a brief chat with the writers, to check they’re all doing well and understand any feedback they’ve had from the morning edits (some writers are paranoid that the real intention is to distract them from the ‘On This Day’ quiz at 2pm).
14:00 - The ‘On This Day’ theme tune rings out (usually sang by SEO man Douglas), and the entire Curated team has a go at guessing what a calendar bought for a Secret Santa deems to have been a notable event on that day in the past. The first person to get this right wins bragging rights. The editors often get pipped by the writing and social teams, who are a bit quicker off the mark…
14:05 - The senior editors and marketers discuss long-term strategies and projects currently on the go, as well as audits they’ve carried out for assessing the content needs of new or existing clients.
15:00 - Fika/teatime break. The editors crash the writers’ attempts to enjoy a peaceful tea or coffee and cake.
15:15 – Check-in with the writers, seeing how they’re getting on and providing any feedback on earlier work.
15:30 – Back to the editing slog and checking second drafts (with fingers crossed that the writers’ artistic temperaments haven’t prevented them from following instructions). It’s usually around this time that the editors hit stage four of John Davis’ five stages of life as a copy editor.
16:50 – Content is given a final once-over, ready to send to clients for review or to go to the social team for a sprinkling of SEO magic before uploading.
17:00 - As the writing staff head for the exit, the editors ensure that everything is looking good before packing up and going for a well-deserved glass of red.
So there you go – the editors provide those all-important second pair of eyes and change of perspective that make sure that the high standards at Curated Towers are maintained. And while they can occasionally be fire breathing, it’s only because they care.
If you would like some help to nurture your own content, Curated Media can help. We work with lawyers and law firms to help fulfil their online content needs. Our team of experienced writers, editors, online marketers and web developers have the practical knowledge to curate, as well as create. We specialise in creating high quality legal content for law firms and can make your site stand out from the others. To find out how we can help you generate more enquires through your content, get in touch today using our online contact form.