Whether you’re using an online proofing tool or another method to manage your approval workflow, it’s common for those involved in a project to feel like they don’t have much control over the length of time the process takes. After all, you can’t stand behind every reviewer or creative and make them work on your content. But there are some steps that you can take to grease the gears.
- Only send reviewers content that’s ready
You don’t want to distract your reviewers with elements that don’t have any bearing on what you need them to review. For example, if you have copy for a webpage but haven’t discussed the design, don’t send a mock-up of the page. Simply send them the text. The design review can take place when your copy is finalized.
- Limit the number of reviewers
Think about who’s accountable for your project, what kind of feedback you’re asking for, and at what stage your content is in. Does the Sales Director need to see your marketing brochures? Do you need to have more than one person from legal check the same piece? Would it be better to get creative director sign-off on an advertising concept before you get somebody to proof your copy?
- Be clear about the type of feedback you expect
It’s helpful to tell your reviewers why you’re putting something else on their desk. They’ll appreciate the guidance and you’ll get more relevant feedback. In the early stages, you may just want a proof of concept. Or you may want opinions on design options. Towards the end of your approval process, you may be looking for spelling and grammar proofing, or simply for final signoff.
- Set deadlines
Aside from the obvious benefit of imparting a sense of urgency, deadlines can help your reviewers prioritize your project within the context of their other work. If you don’t communicate to your colleagues when their review is needed, you may find your timeline slipping away from you.
What steps do you take to keep your projects and team members on schedule?