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Review Content

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Each set of drafts you receive from your writer should go out for content review. Delivering it in batches will make it easier for your advisors to review the material, especially if they also need to read scripts or view the accompanying programs.

Your advisors can review the sample unit for content and structure, and you can then use their comments to revise the structure of the overall piece and guide the writer's continuing work. After this stage, the advisors should focus on content.

If your writer is creating background essays or including factual information, it's a good idea to run those by your expert reviewers as well.

Collect advisors' comments in person, in writing, or over the phone. Convening your advisors as a group can give you and the writer the opportunity to probe further and get broader feedback on any substantive changes the advisors suggest. Written comments require more work on the advisors' part, although some prefer this method. Phone calls can also work, particularly with out-of-town advisors.

Comments can be incorporated by the writer, by an editor, or by you. If others will be incorporating the comments, review them first to indicate which are most significant.

If there are additional producers working on the broadcast, ask them to review the manuscripts once advisors' comments have been incorporated. They should focus on the accuracy of the content and on the portrayal of their particular program.

You may want others to review your revised manuscript as well.

  • The PBS Ready To Learn staff can help you make sure your materials will be most useful for RTL coordinators and target audiences.
  • Other educational outreach staff can comment on how well the print piece serves your target audience or how best to use it with other educational outreach materials.
  • Your Web site producers can suggest how they might incorporate the content into the Web site or how you can incorporate Web content into the print piece.
  • Designers can start thinking about how they will treat the copy. You may also consider taking the sample unit your writer created early on, and having your designer create a sample design.
  • The legal department can make sure that trademarked names aren't used inappropriately (e.g., Kleenex® vs. tissue), that funders are credited as promised in the contracts, and that none of the activities could lead to lawsuits (as a result of injury, etc.).

Let reviewers know several weeks beforehand when to expect the manuscript and how long they have to comment. Overall, make sure you give them enough time -- how much will depend on the size of the manuscript. A week is generally enough; don't allow more than two or three.

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