You’ve got to be fast and you’ve got to be accurate. The right people have to get their eyes and their stamp of approval on the right marketing materials during your content review process.
But you’re busy–so the temptation is either to rush the review process or let deliverables languish in limbo because your team doesn’t have the bandwidth to keep following up with stakeholders who are tardy with providing feedback. In the former case, you end up creating content that isn’t as strong as it would be if you received an in-depth critique and in the latter case, you’re producing work much too slowly and dealing with frustrating bottlenecks.
Fortunately for you, there are ways to accelerate and streamline your marketing content review and approval.
Here are 7 tips on improving the process for reviewing and approving content:
1. Don’t email documents back and forth
Whether you work in Google docs or Office 365, there are simply too many wonderful technologies that can give everyone access to one draft at the same time (and provide a real-time record of edits and changes) for you to be wondering whose email has the latest version.
2. Ask clients for access to their documentation
Can they show you internal branding guidelines or other process documents? If you know what their content review process is internally, it will help you work together.
3. Discuss the process with each stakeholder
Set expectations at the beginning of a project so your reviewers and approvers understand when content will be coming to them (and how), what sort of feedback is required, how many rounds of revisions will be done and when final sign-off is needed to meet any deadlines.
4. Use dashboards to visualize the process
You can build these in your project management software to show you where the bottlenecks are and who you’re waiting on.
5. Have alternate point people
Life happens. If someone is out sick or on vacation, who else can give approval at their level? This person needs to be selected and documented as the alternate point person before the main point person gets the flu.
6. Make it easy for reviewers to find what they need to do
Give each person who needs to approve an easy, up-to-date filtered list of projects they have to review. Don’t make them hunt for who is waiting on what.
7. Make sure everyone understands expectations
When do they need to have reviews back by, and what draft is this? Are they giving developmental feedback, copyedits, or proofreading for the final publication? Nothing is worse than when you’re circulating something for final approval and one stakeholder suddenly decides they have strong feelings about color choice or text placement that was agreed upon weeks ago.
These tips might take some time to implement and some effort to get all stakeholders on the same page and bought-in to your process, but in the end they will accelerate content review and approval, making it easier to deliver high-quality work quality and effectively.