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Editing in the marketing world goes beyond grammar and typo errors

By Bree Samani
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Despite originally wanting to work in computer science, Tyler Sprunk found himself copy editing for a small marketing agency, called Forgelight Creative, in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

Tyler Sprunk, co-founder and director of strategy at Forgelight Creative

Tyler Sprunk, co-founder and director of strategy at Forgelight Creative. (Photo courtesy of Tyler Sprunk.)

Sprunk grew up in Grand Island, Nebraska, where he was first introduced to writing, editing and advertising while he was a part of his high school’s yearbook staff. By his senior year, Sprunk became the head editor of his yearbook. He edited content, designed pages and managed the advertising in the yearbook.

When Sprunk began college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he initially studied business administration and computer science.

“I eventually decided that I didn’t like the computer science aspect of it. I didn’t like what the career options were there,” Sprunk said.

He switched from computer science to advertising and public relations, but kept his business administration major.

As his graduation grew closer, Sprunk found himself  hunting for a career just as two of his friends were starting a marketing agency.

“When I was in high school I had thought about starting an agency,” Sprunk said. The new agency  “would be an opportunity to do advertising, which I like, and work in an agency as an owner without having to work with people who are hard to work with.”

After graduating, Sprunk joined his friends and became co-founder for the creative marketing agency, Forgelight Creative.

As co-founder and director of strategy for Forgelight Creative, Sprunk does a lot of copy editing and writing for his agency. He works with various types of copy including ads, fliers, web content and social media. Forgelight Creative has a content writer who writes a majority of its content, but Sprunk edits it.  He looks for typos, grammar errors and a lot more. Forgelight Creative’s goal is to sell or promote something, so Sprunk edits in a way to ensure his content connects with the client’s target audience.

“We want to make sure it’s in the right voice of our client,” Sprunk said.  “We edit to make sure it sounds like our client.”

One of Forgelight Creative’s newest projects, called Cultivate, requires a lot of content writing and editing. Sprunk said the project is “a little journalistic in nature.” The purpose of Cultivate is to write about early stage start-up products and ideas that are happening in Nebraska. The stories are written in a feature style that starts with the person’s background and then leads into the actual business or product the person is working on. Cultivate publishes a story every week. Sprunk said the goal is to keep the stories around 1,000 words and to keep the focus on the person and his or her product or business.

“We don’t really plan to make money with it,” Sprunk said.  “It’s kind of just a way we give back to the community.”

Sprunk said he believes one of the most important things to edit in advertisements is the voice the advertisement is portraying.

“That’s one of the challenges of working for an agency, which is writing for other people,” he said.  “You could be writing 10 different pieces every week that need to match 10 different voices.”

Not only does Sprunk edit advertising copy, he also looks at the overall design of the advertisements, working with a graphic designer to ensure the design is suitable for the audience.

“The design editing is usually like, OK this text size is too small. Remember that the target market for this client is an older target market, the text size needs to be a little bit bigger,” Sprunk said. “I often say something like, ‘Hey this is off, what can we do to make it better?’ when it comes to design editing.”

Sprunk said he always makes sure anything the agency sends out is perfect.

“I am the last set of eyes that sees everything before it leaves the agency,” Sprunk said. “One of my biggest fears is sending something to the copier and copying hundreds of copies and then finding an error.”

Sprunk believes editing skills are crucial in the marketing world.

“Overall I would say I enjoy editing,” Sprunk said. “The hardest part is recognizing that you may have written something differently, but the way a person wrote it was still good.”

Sprunk said that just because an editor doesn’t like the way a person wrote something, doesn’t mean that the way that person wrote it was bad. He said that it’s always a challenge as an editor to try and not change things just because he doesn’t like how it sounds.

“It’s really easy for someone to hand you something and you to edit it in a way based on how you would write it,” he said.

Sprunk said editing for a marketing agency often goes beyond typos, and it takes a lot of strategy to know what to look for.

“I really enjoy the strategy behind editing. I ask myself, ‘Is this piece going to get somebody to buy or get engaged with the company?’ I enjoy the strategy of making sure the copy is doing that and making sure the copy is connecting with the audience.” 




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