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Q&A with editor Paul Bowman

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Here is Shannon Lee’s interview with Business Wire Minneapolis Editor Paul Bowman:

Q1) What does a typical day at work look like?

A typical day for me is mostly spent receiving and processing press releases from our clients. Upon receipt, we let them know we have their press release, confirm which media points will receive it, and when they want it distributed. Their chosen distribution includes geographic circuits (with or without translations) as well as relevant trade and industry media. We review the release for potential errors (punctuation, grammar, spelling) and add optimization keywords to assist search engine crawling. After that process is done, we either schedule the release or wait for the client’s final approval. The final approval is often given by top management at the company we are distributing for. After we have distributed the release, we confirm that it has posted at the appropriate media points.

 Q2) What is your favorite or most fulfilling aspect of the job?

The most fulfilling aspect of my job is having a part in global news distribution. We process the press releases of 3M, Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, and Target (and many other regional companies, both privately- and publicly-traded). We are the final filter before the media receives our clients’ news and that’s a constant affirmation of how important my job really is.

Q3) What are your biggest challenges on the job?

The biggest challenge I face daily is making sure the press releases are appropriately coded for related media points while maintaining a standard of review. If I find a number of errors within the copy, it often distracts from the technical aspects of the distribution. This has a direct effect on publication of our clients’ stories/topics. If I am distracted by glaring errors, they may miss out on a keyword that would have sent their release to a hundred or more other publications. Along with this comes the stress of dealing with clients’ expectations. Occasionally our clients’ stories are not reported on by the media they sent them to. It is then our job to explain to them that every press release sent through us is not covered by the media.

Q4) What do you think are the top three skills or attributes of an ideal editor?

An ideal editor would have the following qualities:
*attention-to-detail: Typos and other errors have always caught my attention. I thought they stood out to everyone! I often remark to others with a similar talent that they should consider editing.
*confidence: If you aren’t confident in your abilities, your clients/writers/readers/employers will quickly lose confidence in you as an editor.
*broad knowledge/interests: In my experience, being an editor requires a large breadth of interest and knowledge. If you aren’t understanding (or intrigued by) the copy you’re reviewing, it is very difficult to give appropriate feedback.

Written by jour3155fall2012

April 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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