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Running Your Business

Drafting our Editorial Policy

If you're crazy enough to launch your own newsletter you should put together an Editorial Policy or steal ours.

By Susan Rov

•3 min read

As our team expanded, we started attacking the endless list of overdue Asana tasks. One of them was to create our official editorial policy. If you're crazy enough to launch your own newsletter or other publication online, you need one too.

🤖The Gist by ChatGPT: Editorial policy is a set of guidelines and principles that are used to govern the content published within an organization. It sets standards for accuracy and quality, as well as guidelines for topics, language, and tone. It also sets standards for ethical reporting, including guidelines for conflicts of interest, privacy, and fairness. The editorial policy also sets out procedures for handling complaints and corrections to published content.

The "Why"

It gives our readers a transparent view of how we choose what to write about. Our partners and sponsors can use it as a clear starting point when interested in collaborating with us. And it helps explain where we stand to job candidates and the press. Everybody wins.

But before you start hyperventilating about the process, here's our playbook on how we did it.

The Inspiration

We're not going to pretend that everything cool we come up with has been brought to us by a stroke of divine genius. We have creative minds that need inspiration. And this time it came from this enviable Editorial Policy by Elevator. We read it and immediately thought: that's some good good $#!t!

The Juice

That—together with single-origin Kenyan coffee—got Susan's creative juices flowing. She took the main idea from Elevator and inserted our personality, values, process, and mission. She added a bit about affiliate links and how we plan to work with sponsors.

The Scrutiny

The first draft was scrutinized by our merciless editorial squad. Because, the work gets better with every new pair of eyeballs.

We ran it through Hemingway App—which told Susan she was trying to sound too clever #StoryOfHerLife. To solve the issue, we cut the clever until the readability score clocked in at Grade 5. Then we improved the flow while making sure that the edits preserved the initial juice. Dayyum!
Finally, when we all agreed that we "love it", we were ready to rock.

More Eyeballs

We uploaded the final–final version to our internal documentation system and announced what we've been up to in Slack. It keeps everyone in the loop. Then, in line with our idealistic commitment to sharing knowledge, we gave you the whole process here. Lucky you!

The Result

We put a link to this editorial policy on our website and newsletter footers. Check it out here. Then reply and let us know what you think.

Susan Rov

About Susan Rov

Susan traded cocktails and lattes for words that move. As a copywriter on a mission to end boring, she brightens brands and makes an impact. Number 463 on the list of fiction readers left standing, you'll find Susan at sunrise—running, writing, and wondering how to change the world next. That drive led her to become a founding team member of BRIL.LA.