What is proofreading?
Let’s address the elephant in the room. What exactly is proofreading? For individuals in communications, digital marketing, publishing and other companies whose end product is content, listening to ‘proofread it before you send it out’ is very common to hear.
Proofreading is reviewing the final draft of a piece of writing to ensure that there is consistency and accuracy in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting. When most people refer to ‘proofreading’, they mean it in the context of just checking for any superficial errors in content. Proofreading is much more than that. It is about finding errors both small and large, which were missed or were introduced during editing. A proofreader ensures that the document’s final draft is completely flawless, free from any grammatical errors,, incorrect word choices, improper punctuation and incorrect spelling, along with making sure that the document adheres to the chosen style guide. You can read more about the job of a proofreader here.
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is basically the practice of obtaining goods and services from a foreign supplier. But it has come to mean a host of other things, one of them being getting freelancers to work on a contract basis for different kinds of projects. Outsourcing has opened doors to a lot of opportunities, especially in regards to acquiring a skillset that you may not have access to in your company or is too expensive to keep full-time.
Outsourcing proofreading work gives companies access to ‘specialists’, who bring in-depth experience on a variety of projects. Although in-house teams know the structure and functions of their company, outsourcing work to a proofreader might provide with a fresh perspective, and can provide a skills or a knowledge boost. They can also provide inputs regarding the overall content plan and editorial management.
Outsourcing proofreading becomes a viable option. You pay none of their expenses, except the project costs. The rest is taken care by the team, whose proofreaders work out of their own office and use their own resources. As opposed to full-time proofreaders, freelance proofreaders and the team that you outsource work to don’t incur the burden of benefits (insurance, medical expenses, etc).
There is an additional benefit to outsourcing proofreading. It becomes much more feasible to outsource specialised work to an proofreader instead of recruiting full-time proofreaders, who might have to be trained for this.
Often, as a company, you have to train your editing and proofreading team for at least 2-3 months. There is a substantial amount of resources that you have to invest; training material and salary. There is also the added pressure of impeccable performance that is expected of them, because during their training, they are supposed to work on projects assigned to them, which may be of regular clients. In this case, outsourcing work to a professional and experienced editing and proofreading team unburdens you of that responsibility, and at the same time, lowers your fixed costs by a considerable margin.
And there you have it! Outsourcing your work to a professional editing and proofreading team rakes in many benefits, the most important one being the substantial reduction of your company’s fixed costs. To understand what parameters to look for in an editor, you have to understand your needs and your client’s needs and according to that, settle on hiring the right kind of proofreader.