Give Productive Feedback to Creatives
9. Use the "diamond and coal" approach to provide feedback. Diamonds are the sparkling qualities of copy with easily recognized value. Coal represents those elements that lack sparkle but can become diamonds by applying pressure over time. Even copy that misses the mark can be transformed through thoughtful revision. Encourage your writer or designer to take what they've done and use it as a foundation. No one likes starting over.
10. Offer two things you like about a piece, then two ways you think it could be improved. Balanced comments are more palatable.
11. DO NOT rewrite copy or redesign a piece, then tell the writer or designer to use what you've done—unless you believe you have no choice. Provide constructive feedback, then let the professionals do their jobs.
12. Explain your review and approval process before a project begins. This is especially important when you're working with a writer or designer for the first time. If your process includes two rounds of review and revisions—one for marketing and one for legal—disclose this at the beginning. Few things are more demoralizing than unexpectedly spending more time revising a piece than you did creating it.