Correction, I’m right

March 17, 2008

One of the most difficult things I found when I first entered into the PR industry was getting used to having work corrected. After several years in academia excelling in multiple essays, I was suddenly the class dunce when it came to writing documents. Whether it was pride, shock or simply embarrassment, I didn’t take it well. To begin with it really hurt my confidence and that was reflected in the work I did. I think it very much depends on how the senior member of the team dishes out the feedback, but no matter how it’s presented – someone is essentially telling you they think your work is toilet.

Early on I sat down with a colleague and asked them if they felt the same. They did and I was reassured that I wasn’t the only person suffering.

As time went on and I felt myself getting better at what I was doing, my work was still getting corrected. This time however it wasn’t silly mistakes like punctuation and grammar that was getting corrected, it was style and content. Many times I would look at my original press release and think: “fine, that looks good, I’m happy with it” only for it to be sent back with a massive amount of track changes. I scratched my head and wondered if I was cut out for this job after all, but I persevered.

Time went on and I grew in confidence due to my performance in other aspects of my job. Yet my written work was still getting corrected. Frustrating was not the word for it. I resolved to write the best damn by-lined article known to man and put my absolute heart and soul into it. Hours of painstaking drafting which, I ‘m embarrassed to say, stretched into the wee small hours resulted in an article which I felt was absolutely air-tight. With a pounding heart and sweaty palms I pressed send on the email with the article attached. As my manger ran the rule (well, ruler actually) over it, I found my eye creeping every time they got out their trusty red biro.

The article again came back and it was splattered with red – a massacre. My manager went through the corrections, explaining why they had been made and it hit me: “there was nothing wrong with the original; the changes were changes for the sake of changes!!!”

I looked over my version several times and was convinced it was strong enough without the corrections. Resigned to my junior position I made the changes and the article was sent.

But from that moment on, I never took that kind of criticism to heart ever again. When work is corrected now, I think to myself; “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and make the changes.

I also remind myself to look up the meaning of the word “justification”………………


One Response to “Correction, I’m right”

  1. yachi Says:

    “there was nothing wrong with the original; the changes were changes for the sake of changes!!!”

    Sometimes this is because of different writing styles or your manager wants to let it become better, I think.

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