7 ways to give good feedback

There might be lots of people in your organisation who’d like to give feedback on content. But should they? 

Content feedback failing to land? Follow our insider tips to make sure your constructive criticism gets results.  

As a content marking agency, we get lots of feedback on our copy and creative work. And that’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s realistic to expect content to be right on target first time. But with most content creation there’s an element of collaboration, and getting constructive criticism is part and parcel of delivering work that hits the mark.

Plus, feedback is a learning process that, done well, can lead to better relationships and better understanding between agencies and clients.  

But giving and getting feedback can be frustrating when wires get crossed and neither side – content creator or client – feels they’re being understood. So, here’s how to give good feedback that gets the job done. 

1. Sort out the basics  

Before anything else, agree a brief with the agency. If you haven’t got time to write one, get them to do it for you and sign it off when you’re happy. Without a brief, content creators have little chance of getting it right first, or even second time, and your feedback may end up being a request for a complete redo.  

A brief is your set of instructions for exactly what you want and should set clear parameters for what’s going to be delivered. And you can see how content measures up against it when the time comes to review.  

Also agree on the number of rounds of feedback, and when and how they’ll be delivered before work starts.   

2. Decide who’s going to give feedback 

There might be lots of people in your organisation who’d like to give feedback on content. But should they? Sometimes, feedback confusion comes down to a case of too many cooks. So decide on who really needs to have work run by them.  

It can be useful to get representatives from different areas of the business: product, marketing, legal and compliance, to review. But ask yourself whether you really need more than one person from each department. 

3. Keep reviewers in their lanes   

You don’t want compliance commenting on tone of voice or marketing making legal points. So make clear at the outset what each reviewer needs to look at. And let reviewers know that, just because they’re invited to give feedback doesn’t mean they have to. If they’re satisfied with the work and don’t feel they have anything to say, then that’s fine.  

4. Keep feedback collated 

It’s not very high-tech, but when it comes to copy, we’ve found that feeding back in tracked changes and comments in a single Word or Google doc works a treat. And keeping it all together means responses won’t get lost and reviewers are less likely to contradict each other. 

5. Be clear

When reviewing copy, you might be tempted to say something like: “It doesn’t sound right”. But while you know what you mean, the writer may not. So be as specific as you possibly can and let the writer know exactly what you want changed and which words and phrases you do and don’t like. 

Make sure your feedback is actionable.

6. Be practical 

Make sure your feedback is actionable. Are the changes you’re requesting on brief? Do they need to be done as a separate task? And are they really right for your business, your tone of voice and your messaging?  

7. Make it constructive 

You may be under pressure and feel frustrated if content isn’t completely up to the mark. We get that. But criticism that’s polite and constructive will be the fastest way of getting things put right. And let writers know what you like as well as what you don’t. That way, they can keep doing it, helping you end up with content you’re completely happy with. 

Let us help

If you’re looking to produce content with an agency that understands the value of good feedback, get in touch.

Email us now 

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