It’s time for editors to decide what you want more: readers who like them, or executives who respect them
For the last month or so, I’ve been on the road with my pal, Jim Ylisela, head of Ragan Consulting, teaching the Advanced Writing & Editing seminar.
We usually average about 60 people in each city—corporate editors, mostly, with some communications managers mixed in. There’s an ongoing debate happening in the seminar that you should know about. Here’s how it goes down:
Jim and I will put an example of an “employee profile” on the screen. The editor of the piece has done what many editors do: They ask the employee a couple of “business” questions, and then shift into “personal” mode. They start asking questions such as:
OK, I made that last one up. But you get the idea. These questions have nothing to do with work and, in the example that Jim and I show, they make up 90 percent of the Q&A.
Well, Jim and I do a pretty good job of ridiculing these profiles. If you’re going to Q&As with employees, we insist you need to stick mostly to business-related questions. Questions like:
OK, I made that last one up again. But you get the idea.