Going deep: An editorial case study

Not everyone realizes that proofreading is different from copyediting. If proofreading a piece of content involves a quick skim along its surface, then copyediting it requires a deep dive to promote clarity, consistency, vividness, and factual accuracy. Compare the versions below to see how a round of comprehensive edits can improve a challenging piece of copy.

The client

The client is a snack/beauty box company that curates select luxury products and markets them to Airbnb hosts and hotel managers for distribution to guests.

The edits

In this piece of content, the company promoted sustainable merchandise as part of its iterative product offering. Note that I edited product descriptions for clarity, factual correctness, and SEO interest per the website for each product.

Old version: [No title given]

My rewrite: Opening the box: Products for a healthier planet

Old version:

As regular humans in this developed world, we are constantly hearing the word “sustainable,” and “environmentally -friendly”, but what do these words really mean? And more importantly, why should we care? Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability, is to maintain and create the conditions humans and nature can live in productive-peace and support future generations. This is why the Travel Box team works hard to ensure that every product within our welcome kit is as natural, organic, safe, and as sustainably packaged as possible.

My rewrite:

If you furnish your Airbnb suite with an eye to safeguarding our planet, you’re not alone. You’re one of many consumers who purchase sustainable and environmentally friendly products in order to reduce the hidden footprint that travel leaves behind. Travel Box Company cares, too. We’re here to help you align your principles with your purchasing power and promote the world’s well-being—all of this while supplying you with a fun vacation box that’s customized to perfection. We work hard to make sure that every product we offer our hosts and guests is as natural, organic, safe, and sustainably packaged as possible.

Old version:

Below are our Spotlight Companies. They are a small sample of our many partners who have sustainability at the top of their priority lists. Check them out and see why we love them as much as we do!

My rewrite:

Below are spotlight companies that make an appearance in our welcome kit. They’re just a few of our partners—karma-conscious brands that have sustainability at the top of their priority lists. Check them out and see why we love them!

Old version: Spotlight Companies

My rewrite: Spotlight companies and sustainable brands

Old version: Skin-Care Products

My rewrite: Skin care products

Old version:

Daily Concepts Exfoliating Body Scrub. This environmentally, allergy-, and dermatologist-tested scrubber is beneficial in that it has a side for strong exfoliation and another side for gentle parts of the body. In addition, the product is environmentally friendly and has a soy-based material inside of the scrubber to create a rich lather.

My rewrite:

Daily Concepts. Pamper your guests with an exfoliating body scrubber from Daily Concepts. This allergy-, clinically-, and dermatologist-tested scrubber is suitable for strong exfoliation as well as more delicate application. Soy-based foam inside the scrubber helps create a rich lather.

Old version:

June Jacobs Facial Mist. June together with her daughter Rochelle, started the June Jacobs skincare line centered on highly efficacious, natural ingredients formulated to deliver long lasting healthy and glowing skin. Their facial mist is a toner that is enriched with neroli oil, extracted from blossoms of the bitter orange tree, known for its ability to stimulate cell regeneration. All of June Jacobs products are natural and preservative free.

My rewrite:

June Jacobs. The June Jacobs skin care line begins with highly efficacious natural ingredients that are formulated to deliver healthy, beautiful skin. The product we feature, Neroli Hydrating Mist, is a toner enriched with neroli oil, which is noted for its regenerative properties. The mist also contains antioxidants. All June Jacobs product offerings are preservative-free.

Old version:

MooGoo Lip Balm. MooGoo is an Australian company that has a large range of natural and gentle products that are made with effective ingredients. Their Lip Balm is a soft and edible moisturizer that contains zero chemicals. It contains rich emollient oils that condition and soften the lips and allantoin to help sooth cuts.

My rewrite:

MooGoo. MooGoo is an Australian company that offers a wide range of gentle natural products. The company’s edible Cow Lick Lip Balm adds moisture using zero undesirable chemicals. It contains emollients to soften and condition the lips, as well as allantoin to soothe irritated skin.

Old version:

Anne Marie Gianni Skin Care. Anne Marie and Kevin Gianni are a couple who started a skin care line in 2008 after a two-and-a-half year journey through North and South America. Their goal was to track down the best natural-care products. A few years later they launched their Skin Care line whose products contained hand-selected, natural ingredients infused in base oils and aloe juice. The result of their products is beautiful, glowing skin.

My rewrite:

Annmarie Skin Care. Annmarie and Kevin Gianni started their skin care line in 2009 after a 2 ½-year search for North and South America’s best wildcrafted products. The Annmarie line contains hand-selected natural ingredients infused in base oils and aloe juice. This magical combination helps produce beautiful, glowing skin.

Old version:

Ursa Major – The company’s Stellar Shave Cream minimizes nicks, cushions against razor burn, and naturally nourishes the skin.

My rewrite:

Ursa Major. The company’s Stellar Shave Cream minimizes nicks and razor burn while nourishing the skin so that guests can tidy up in comfort.

[Snacks header—no changes]

Old version:

Emmy’s Cookies. Is a cookie made from simple ingredients so that everybody can enjoy them. Emmy’s aims to avoid gluten, dairy and other irritants in their cookies. They also hope to lower their carbon footprint by making all their cookies in solar and wind powered factories.

My rewrite:

Emmy’s Organics. Did you forget to buy dessert for your Airbnb guests? Don’t worry—they’ll appreciate Emmy’s delicious cookies, which are made from simple ingredients so that everybody can enjoy them. Emmy’s aims to keep gluten, dairy, and other potential irritants out of its cookies. The company also minimizes the size of its carbon footprint by making all of its products in a solar- and wind-powered building. The cookies in airline snack boxes aren’t nearly this good!

Old version:

Munk Pack. Gives back to the community that helped start it by giving back to many different camping groups such as Appalachian Mountain Club, and the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center. Inspired by nature, Munk Pack proudly sources all kinds of superfoods from farms and mills ensuring their product is of the highest quality.

My rewrite:

Munk Pack. Inspired by nature, Munk Pack offers a selection of protein cookies and oatmeal fruit squeezes that outdoors-minded travelers will appreciate. The company gives back to the community that helped start it by donating to camping groups such as the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center.

Old version:

Bear Fruit Packs. They take real ingredients that grow on trees and fields and bake them gently at temperatures no higher than 106.7 degrees Fahrenheit and then are hand cut. This is unlike Bear Fruit’s competitors who make all of their fruit snacks from concentrated fruit juices and gumming agents boiled to high temperatures and then that paste is then extruded out of a pipe to be cut.

My rewrite:

Bear. The company’s healthy snack packs begin with actual fruits that grow on trees and in fields. Unlike most of its competitors, Bear doesn’t work with concentrated fruit juices or extrude the resulting paste. Instead, it bakes whole fruits gently and then hand-cuts them.

Old version:

Bellucci Olive Oil. Allows you to follow the olive oil that you are using. Using the tag on the packaging of the bottle and the Bellicci app you can track and see how the oil you are eating got to your hands. This ensures that the oil that you are eating is scoured from a real olive.

My rewrite:

Bellucci. Headquartered in Italy, Bellucci offers extra-virgin olive oil with a difference: Its app lets you track the hidden footprint of its product. Play detective by cross-checking the tag on the packaging against the information in the app. The company’s cooperative milling and bottling process ensures that the products it offers come from real olives.

[Toiletries header—no changes]

Old version:

Auromere. Auromere started as a small community-owned business that was among the first to introduce Ayurveda, an ancient Vedic system of well-being and rejuvenation, to the U.S. Auromere’s products range from dental care, skin care, and hair care. They are natural and free from saccharine, artificial sweeteners, propylene glycol, artificial preservatives, alcohol, paraben, fluoride, gluten, sulfate, GMOs, and are cruelty-free and vegan. Auromere works closely with Indian suppliers in an effort to ensure quality and authentic products and to provide employment to the locals in the villages in which they operate. Travel Box Company proudly features Auromere’s mouthwash in our welcome kits.

My rewrite:

Auromère. Auromère was among the first businesses to introduce Ayurveda, an ancient Vedic system of well-being and rejuvenation, to the U.S. Auromère’s product specialties range from dental care to skin and hair care. The company’s products are natural and free from artificial sweeteners and preservatives, alcohol, fluoride, gluten, sulfate, and GMOs, and they’re cruelty-free and vegan. Auromère works closely with Indian suppliers in an effort to ensure the manufacture of high-quality and authentic products and to provide employment to residents of the villages in which the company operates.

Old version:

Panier Des Sens. Panier Des Sens can trace its beginnings to the south of France, in the Provence region. Its products are wide-ranging and include bath products, skin care products, and fragrances all imbued with the French essence of elegance, quality, sensuality. Product formulas are suffused with natural ingredients and essential oils and are free from preservatives and other chemicals such as paraben, phenoxyethanol, silicone, aluminum, and more. Their formulations respect the skin as well as the environment. It is committed to its local economy and gives priority to local harvesters based on a network of strong partnerships. [Product featured in welcome kit]

My rewrite:

Panier Des Sens. Panier Des Sens can trace its beginnings to the Provence region of southern France. The company offers bath and skin care products and fragrances imbued with the French essence of elegance, quality, and sensuality. Products are suffused with natural ingredients and essential oils and are free from preservatives, silicone, aluminum, and other undesirable chemicals. Panier Des Sens is committed to respecting the environment and gives priority to local harvesters.

Old version:

The Laundress. The inspiration for the Laundress came from two fashionistas who were faced with the problem of having a large wardrobe, typical of fashion lovers, and keeping their collection in the best possible condition. The products they provide range from detergents and fabric-care products to products for the little ones in your life. The ingredients used are eco-friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable, plant-derived, and are all manufactured in the United States. [Welcome kit product featured]

My rewrite:

The Laundress. The inspiration for The Laundress came from two fashionistas faced with the problem of having to keep their wardrobes in the best possible condition despite the demands of everyday life. Their solution was to design a range of laundry products that would meet the needs of fashion lovers—and of new parents and pet owners, too. The ingredients used are eco-friendly, nontoxic, biodegradable, and plant-derived, and all of them are manufactured in the United States.

Old version:

Travel Box Company is doing its part to make sure that Earth is a sustainable and safe place to live in now and in the future by collaborating with organizations that share our shared vision whether these organizations make sure that their product is biodegradable once you use it, harvested in sustainable ways, or made in wind or solar powered power plants. We hope that you will join us in our future endeavor of being a safe and sustainable company.

My rewrite:

No matter where you host, you can be confident that we care about the sustainability and safety of our planet. We’re doing our part by working with companies that share and live our vision—whether by creating biodegradable products, harvesting them in environmentally friendly ways, or producing them in facilities that use solar or wind energy. We hope that you and your guests will join us in our efforts to promote greener living around the world.

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Do you need help with writing or revising content? Is my editorial approach what you’re looking for? If so, please feel free to contact me.

Categories: Uncategorized

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