Businesses have been surviving quite nicely for decades without editors. Editors are usually thought of – when indeed they are thought of at all – in the context of traditional publishing of literature or academic works. We picture an austere person sitting at a desk, red pencil in hand, poring over a manuscript of the next great novel. Of course, this stereotype bears no relation to reality.
But businesses, too, have been issuing reports for decades. Innumerable pages of words are produced as companies try to convince potential customers to become actual customers, actual customers to become more satisfied customers and shareholders to not rock the boat.
Carol Fisher Saller addresses the need for editing in her book The Subversive Copy Editor. She notes, in a section entitled ‘Why we meddle’, that:
“It matters because inaccuracies and inconsistencies undermine a writer’s authority, distract and confuse the reader, and reflect poorly on the company… Discriminating readers look for reasons to trust a writer and reasons not to. Inelegant expression and carelessness in the details are two reasons not to.”
We edit (or meddle in) your business reports because accurate reports mean increased trust in your company. We “meddle” with your marketing materials so that your potential customers are given accurate descriptions, with words which resonate with the people with whom you are trying to establish a connection. We edit your blog posts so that you don’t hang your head in shame the next day because of that well-intentioned, but completely unforeseen, clanger.
We meddle to make it better.