Why an Expert Editorial Team is Your Brand’s Best Investment
An antiquated impression of the “proofreading service” persists among many corporations and agencies. From an offshore, low-hourly-rate shop for the odd print project to the “we handle those things in-house” mentality, the editorial/proofing department is the rare segment of corporate/agency partnerships that seems to have lagged behind the evolution of next-gen, forward-thinking marketing. At BNO, those views couldn’t be further from reality.
Many of our clients realize the incredible value-add that this seasoned team offers on a daily basis—with some having averted potential patient, financial, and/or PR mishaps, and others appreciating the partnership that comes from dedicated individuals with a mastery of their clients’ brands and the complexities of compliance. Often, in pharma and healthcare, this partnership began with a brand launch.
A reputation built on consistent quality
BNO’s VP of Editorial Matt Dubno, along with CEO and President Trista Walker, has seen the team grow and become more relevant over the years, despite—and even due to—the onslaught of automation.
“Editorial and proofing were foundational to the business from the start,” said Walker. “And based on our reputation for quality, we got requests to take on quality control in areas like prepress package design and pharma editorial services. As a result, Janssen became our first client for stand-alone, enterprise pharma proofreading services.”
Dubno weighed in with the emphasis on editorial in describing what his team brings to the table. “I think of us more as editorial, not because we’re actually editing and rewriting copy per se, but because we provide so much more than proofreading,” he said. “What really makes these client relationships so strong is that value-add, that flexibility in helping them hit deadlines, becoming part of their processes and their teams—as opposed to a one-off service. That’s how we’re able to provide the quality we do.”
Having worked with healthcare marketing agencies prior to her 10 years at BNO, Walker agreed. “I’ve not experienced the level of integrity of the editorial/proofing discipline that we have at BNO,” she said. “And because of the volume they manage, they know the brands extremely well—so well that many of our clients rely on us to be the stewards of the brand guidelines and see us as the content experts. Matt also mentioned the flexibility and quality at speed we provide, so it’s worth mentioning that client evaluations show us as the fastest step in their approval processes, a major point of pride for our team.”
Editorial and proofing with demonstrable ROI
Quality, partnership, trust, and reliability are all valued assets in an agency relationship, but Dubno also spoke of budgets and bottom lines in proving ROI to CFOs. “Look, there are potential situations that—having made it past a less-experienced or familiar team—could cause embarrassment and credibility gaffes. Can you afford that if you’re a medtech surgical instrument company with a mislabeled manual? Then there are the potential errors that could cost a company an amount that could dwarf the yearly cost of an entire editorial/proofing budget, be it recalls, reprints, or mistakes that could lead to lawsuits.”
After 15 years with BNO, establishing and evolving the editorial team, Dubno has seen clients’ employees come and go, along with changing corporate structures, which could see a corporate team shifting responsibilities to an entirely different group.
“Instead of seeing this as the cost of doing business,” Walker added, “our clients consider it an indispensable strategic service. When you’ve been stung with a warning letter or worse, you realize you can’t take quality for granted. And the best measure we have at BNO is that clients continue to recommend us and expand our footprint within their organizations, which shows they value this greatly.”
Guiding the brand across multiple agencies and corporate departments
“Different people are looking at the brand over time,” said Dubno. “You may have multiple agencies working on a brand—one says one thing, and another says it a subtly different way. Our team knows that brand’s voice. They know how it’s evolved over the years because of our longevity with the same staff shepherding that brand—sometimes since before its launch. It’s that extra layer protecting the brand as well as knowing that particular industry inside and out to make sure that consistency is there. That’s what you’d never get with a proofing service.”
Adding even more context is the fact that the editorial department sits within a greater 70+ person agency made up of account managers, creatives, and social media strategists, as well as media and analytics experts, who deal with these same or similar-vertical clients daily. Far from working in a vacuum, the editorial team finds this constant symbiosis feeds their knowledge bases while building on industry and brand expertise.
“We support many brands end to end at an AoR level,” said Walker. “As we grew, this meant an evolution to a centralized editorial and quality control/quality assurance focus. Matt’s done an incredible job scaling and expanding both the scope and the capability of the team’s work as a result. Moving forward, particularly with the emergence of AI, that broader quality assurance/quality control focus will be even more important.”
The emergence of AI escalates the need for experience and context
With more corporations experimenting with AI for a variety of communications needs, it becomes even more critical for the human element in a thorough analysis of brand voice and tone, and fact-checked or referenced claims, while keeping up with modern, diverse, and inclusive language.
“Certain social media posts might have a very quick turnaround from conception to corporate approval,” said Dubno. “Was it AI generated? Are there language biases? We need to be flexible. We might need to be on call 12 hours a day. We must know how the social voice differs from the brand voice in a broadcast spot, but it still must pass editorial quality and brand equity standards. But when it comes down to it, no matter where it came from, the team puts it through a rigorous process, producing a product that we are proud to submit and the client is proud to publish.”
If your communication and marketing needs could use the peace of mind that the BNO editorial team can supply, reach out today. We’d be happy to discuss exactly how the ROI could be justified with your brand.