How The Company Adopted A Stutter: Qquality

Overheard in the editorial department (2012):How The Company Adopted A Stutter: Qquality image QqualityHow The Company Adopted A Stutter: Qquality

“Hey Jody, can you edit this real quick?”

“Real quick?”

“Yeah, I gotta get it to the client in like 30 minutes.”

“How long is it?”

“Like 20 pages.”

I don’t know how we got into the mindset of thinking of quality like it was some sweet topping that could be added to a deliverable in a quick dollop. Quality is a core ingredient that affects the entire piece of content. So, as a company, we’re adjusting our mindset. In order to do that, we had to start by defining our terms.

First, we separated quality from Editorial. While related, the terms aren’t synonymous.

Editorial: to alter, adapt, or refine to bring about conformity to a standard. So, the function of an editorial department is to decide what quality is and alter our content to conform to that standard.

So, what is quality? A couple of things.

Quality: a peculiar sense of character (referred to as “Big Q”).

When it comes to clients, projects, or even singular deliverables, they all have their own character because they all have their own intents and purposes. Some client content may be conservative and data-driven and meant to inform a specific community. Other client content may be artful and funny and intended to drive sales or help earn a client’s brand a certain kind of reputation. When we talk about “Big Q” around here, we want to make sure we’re honoring a brand as well as honoring the intent and purpose of the content. And everyone around here is responsible for “Big Q.”

quality: a degree of excellence marked by being error-free (referred to as “little q”).

Here’s where editorial comes in and acts as a guardian of good grammar, spelling, and other content mechanics. Because clean content is essential for clients. It’s tricky to edit for both Quality and quality in just one pass, so separating these and focusing on them one at a time ensures Qquality.

That wasn’t a typo. When a deliverable has both kinds of quality, it’s got the full gussy and is ready to go. So, if you’re in the office and you hear someone say, Q-quality, it’s because we take our quality so seriously, one q isn’t enough.

Image credit: Wikimedia.org

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