Approvals process – 

self assessment

Two key areas to think about

Communications can get stuck in approvals for two quite different reasons – which can sometimes get in each other’s way.  So people will often be disagreeing at cross-purposes about:

  1. the content of what’s being said
  2. how that content is being expressed

If your approvals process is going to be DFVP, you need to untangle these two issues and be able to address each successfully.  Scroll down to assess how fit your  approvals process is…

1. Conflicts over content

A. The common blind-spot

If you have people disagreeing about the subject matter after it’s already been written, it’s because the approvals process has started too late.

Anyone who’s in a position to object to the very content being included should have been given an opportunity to sign off the brief. 

Then the production and sign-off of that content can be as smooth as possible. 

B. The consequences

If people are still arguing over the subject matter at the approvals stage it creates two problems.  

Firstly it means the first round of approvals will have wasted people’s time, because they will effectively have to start afresh with new content.  (And of course the IC Specialists will have wasted some of their time too.)

It increases the risk of approvers arguing at cross purposes about the same pieces of text – one of whom doesn’t like how it’s written, and the other who believes it shouldn’t have been written at all.

C. The self-assessment

Does your organisation’s approvals process ensure the brief gets signed off – by everyone who’s in a position to demand changes to the subject matter – before any copywriting or design work is done?


2. Getting stuck on the style

A. The common blind-spot

When people are reading anything, they are engaging in at least five mental processes of which they’re only partially conscious (at best).  Each of these:

    • Can be done in different ways
    • Will affect that individual’s gut reactions to the words in front of them.

The chances of any two people doing all five processes identically are vanishingly small.  The bigger the approval group, the greater the likelihood of disagreements.

B. The consequences

When approvers are  unconscious of how they’re processing the words in front of them, they’re more susceptible to unnecessary knee-jerk reactions.  And perfectly good copy can end up being rejected.

Not only does this needlessly waste everyone’s time, it may threaten the delivery deadline and result in clear wording being fudged.  In short late, lower quality communications arriving late or costing more to produce.

C. The self-assessment

Have your organisation’s approvers agreed a common approach to managing their reading processes, to avoid time wasting and counter-productive compromises on language?

If not, and you’d like to save your approvers’ time, improve your clients’ reputations, and help employees feel better  connected to the leadership team, you can…

…Find the solution here