Editors: 10 ways you annoy your staff

1. You call or email on weekends

The occasional weekend call is excusable. Calling every Saturday or Sunday with questions about stories or comments on future projects is not. Save the suggestions for Monday.

2. Your office door is closed

Whether you’re constantly out to lunch or vacation or you’re just shutting your self out from the world, your staff will resent never being able to reach you.

3. You can’t walk the walk

There’s nothing worse than having your writing critiqued by someone who can’t write themselves. If you are commanding your staff to write or produce a story but can’t actually do it yourself, you will lose the respect of your staff.

4. You stifle creativity

True innovation comes from experimentation. If you insist that everything be written by the book and don’t allow room for creativity, you’ll end up with a very bored staff producing very boring work.

5. You don’t fight for your staff

Every once in a while, writers and producers will have a story that they are particularly passionate about. Don’t shoot down their dreams and ambitions by cutting these stories without justification or ushering them through the editing process.

6. You hover

Writers and reporters don’t like to be haunted. Avoid standing over their desks while they’re working or appearing out of nowhere and standing there silently.

7. You change facts without notice

If you notice something wrong in a story and alter it without consulting the writer or reporter, you may make an incorrect change that can affect the credibility of the entire story. Before you make any edits that alter the facts in a story, consult with the writer first.

8. You rewrite stories in your voice

Even more insulting than changing facts is changing writing so it mirrors your own voice and not the voice of the reporter. Changing grammar and sentence structure is one thing, changing the style of writing is an insult.

9. There are too many of you

Working with several editors at once is sort of like walking a pack of dogs down the street — every dog has an idea of where it wants to go and it’s up to the dog walker to keep everyone on track. Don’t be those dogs. Coordinate your efforts.

10. You don’t prioritize

Handing down too many “priority” tasks at once is a sure way to frustrate your staff.
If everything is an emergency, then nothing is.

Also on 10,000 Words:

10 Ways to make your editor love you
12 Things to tell your tech-impaired editor
9 Things You Didn’t Know About Newspapers
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Publish date: October 15, 2009 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/editors-10-ways-you-annoy-your-staff/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT