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Essential Editorial Services to Polish Your Marketing Materials

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The quality of the content and marketing materials your company produces is a window into the overall quality of the products and services you provide. Therefore, in order to build your brand’s credibility and gain the trust of your audience, editing your materials before your audience sees them is a smart move. But what is involved in the editorial process?

Here are the steps that 5 Star Marketing & Distribution takes to ensure print marketing materials and web copy and content are error-free.


Content Editing

The aim of content editing—also known as substantive editing, comprehensive editing,  or heavy editing—is to improve the document’s overall content, style, and formatting. A content editor ensures all text is understandable to the reader, in a logical order, and organized. If the content editor needs input from the writer in order to resolve the issues that are discovered during this stage, there may be multiple rounds of content editing before a document is ready for copy editing. On the other hand, if a document is short and sweet, presented in a straightforward and simple format, or if the writer is a strong self-editor, content editing might be skipped as a formal step.

It is best to complete content editing in word processing software (such as Microsoft Word) before the text is laid out as an ad, brochure, book, or magazine page because edits that might be quick in Word are much more time-consuming in publishing software such as Adobe InDesign. Also, Microsoft Word has a Track Changes feature that allows different users (such as the writer and editor) to easily see what changes have been made to the document.



Once the major organizational issues are taken care of in content editing, it’s time for copyediting. Like content editing, copyediting is performed before the text (at this stage, it’s called the manuscript) is laid out as an ad, brochure, book, or magazine page, for the reasons stated when we discussed content editing.

Copyediting looks at the manuscript at a more granular level. A copyeditor ensures correct and consistent spelling and style of words and phrases (this includes capitalization, hyphenation, use of diacritical marks, and so on) throughout the entire ad, article, magazine, or book. The copyeditor corrects grammar errors and checks to make sure proper names, dates, URLs, and facts are accurate. He or she makes sure photos are referenced and captioned appropriately and that all materials that should accompany the text are accounted for. The copyeditor keeps track of all style decisions—that is, how spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, numbers, etc., are treated throughout the document—in a style sheet.

Ideally, the Track Changes and Comments features in Microsoft Word are used to make visible any changes that have been made to the document and to communicate with the writer about any questions or missing information. And the writer ideally has the opportunity to resolve any issues and accept the changes that have been made before the document is laid out in Adobe InDesign or other publishing software. That way, there will be no surprises or major changes to make once the document is laid out in its final format.



After the document has been laid out as an ad or page proof, it is time for the proofreading stage. There are a few different types of proofreading, including a cold read and a word-for-word read. A cold read is proofreading without referencing the manuscript. A word-for-word read is proofreading against the manuscript to make sure everything appears the same way in both documents. Both of these types of proofreading aim to make sure there are no typos or noticeable errors.

The proofreader works with the copyeditor’s style sheet in hand to make sure all style decisions have been adhered to throughout the proof. He or she also checks the formatting—including the appearance of the font sizes, styles (such as italics and boldface), capitalization of headings, and punctuation. A proofreader makes sure nothing is missing or in the wrong place.

The proofreader is your last defense against typos and errors before your marketing material is printed. Customers and leads often lose their trust in brands because of small things, like spelling mistakes. So if you want your marketing material to reflect positively on your brand, proofreading is a must.

Did you know that 5 Star Marketing & Distribution offers content editing, copyediting, and proofreading as part of our overall design, production, and publishing services menu? We also offer them as standalone services on projects, big and small.

Don’t let a typo stand in the way of your company’s reputation your sales goals—call (715) 453-4511 or email info@ today to get started.

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