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Proofing: why it’s so important to get feedback and approval on creative projects

Let’s take a minute to remind ourselves of why marketing and creative teams have been doing this whole proofing thing since records began millions of years ago.

One of the worst things in life is being accused of something you didn’t do. It’s horrible. Or learning you have been tagged or mentioned into supporting something without your knowledge.

As far as human emotion goes, you can bet these are right up there in the blood boiling charts.

Here lies the importance of communication and awareness.

Why would you let corporate, marketing, financial, legal, medical, advisory messages that represent your brand in such a public way go out into the wild without sensible vetting?

Yes, trust is incredibly important in any team and should rightly be used to build powerful relationships.

When pitched correctly, trust creates an even deeper level of employee understanding and peer respect without causing a backlash in friction or discord that in some cases can go viral across your team.

It just makes things better. And here lies our proofing purpose.

We’d all love to sit back and ass|u|me that everything will be done correctly, on time and exactly how we would expect it to be done if we did it ourselves.

As we know, our human nature makes this almost impossible because we are all (thankfully) different.

So, we must turn instead to positive team collaboration. 

GoProof team proofing and collaboration
Teams can connect from anywhere and use rich creative review tools to inspire each other to produce amazing work

Online proofing software platform GoProof has the power to bring anyone into the creative circle to contribute to the greater good of the project – and make it more spectacular than ever.

It helps you get people involved in engaging and joyful ways without making you feel paranoid that your colleagues think you are incapable of making the decision yourself, which is another natural human push-back experienced by many people.

The GoProof platform is easy to use and removes all the annoying technical barriers to smooth team working, openly welcoming new people and departments who may never have been part of the creative proofing process before.

This simplicity is the key to happy proofing. 

Collaborating in GoProof is just as easy for first-timers as it is for seasoned proofing legends. 

That helps a lot.

OK, so how do I manage the proofing process without causing friction?

The simplest way to build an inspiring proofing circle is to assign collaborators with specific roles in the review cycle.  It’s one of the real kick-ass features we developed as a priority right from the start.

These roles are totally flexible on each proof version, project and client, so you can customise them however you want, whenever you want.

For example, let’s take a standard workflow where the proof senders will share their document or video proofs directly to those people who have requested the creative from them. 

There is a choice of three types of roles that can be assigned to collaborators. This is normally assigned by the proof senders (licensed GoProof Publisher users) when they send the work out – but it can also be done by specific collaborators themselves during the process, as you’ll learn shortly.

Firstly, there’s the Observer. This is basically a read-only profile with no commenting ability, so it’s perfect for those people who just want to drop in, take a look and know everything’s under control and nothing outrageous is going on. 

Seniors and Cs for example. If there’s any big or strategic issues they’ll deal with away from the proofing process.

The next profile is the Reviewer. This is for the majority of team members and stakeholders who have been invited to make proactive contributions to the process. 

Reviewers can make comments and markups, ask questions, share images, create threads and more and are active movers and shakers in the final creation, although they don’t have the power to sign work off.

GoProof collaborator roles
Choose from the collaborator profile options to help manage your team engagement and workflow

The third profile is the one that’s assigned to the main decision maker or makers in the proofing process, called the Gatekeeper. These collaborators make the call on when to send work back to the designers, producers, managers or whoever has shared the content for review.

This call can be for a new version to be produced based on all the feedback – or to formally give the go-ahead for the work to be signed off for publishing. And they are the ones that can add new collaborators during the reviews.

Having this role-based culture in place plays to everyone’s strengths. It allows flexibility on each project, so different employees can have the opportunity to show their leadership and creative influence talents in the same space as their mentors.

It builds that trust in a friendly, mutually respectful atmosphere that brings the best out of everyone, especially now as many employees are working remotely. 

This is something that’s close to our hearts.

And equally as crucial, it gives birth to the best creative projects that have ever been produced by your team.

It’s a proud moment for the entire squad that each member will want to repeat whenever they can, as it gives that feeling of accomplishment, along with the self-confidence that they are a key part of the team’s success.

That, when rolled up, is why proofing is so important.