I can tell you that mistakes are a part of my life…and unless i am mistaken, a part of everyone’s life.
You can take all the precautions you like, but it’s like trying to stay dry in a rainstorm…you might be pretty dry, but some part of you will be wet.
It’s not all bad though…really, what it is, is harm reduction. The theory that life can’t exist without some sort of harm (you can’t even eat without destroying a life form, be it plant or animal)…but it’s up to each us to reduce it as much as possible.
The same theory applies to work. Be it farming, air travel, or municipal politics. We will all make mistakes…but the best of us have found a way to minimize it, preferably before someone else sees, and if they do see, a way to clean it up immediately.
In the radio broadcast industry (creative section), since it relies on a lot of opinion, there are more instances than normal, simply because some differences of opinion are mislabeled as mistakes. But there certainly are mistakes. And it can be exacerbated by the fact that a lot of us work in isolation due to the internet allowing us to work together, yet alone.
In the latter case, working alone brings the point of keeping an eye on one’s mistakes to a sharp focus. Working in groups always has the comfort of someone else watching your back…even if it’s for personal gain to be in the right: ‘hey dude, you said that totally wrong” as opposed to actually looking out for you. Regardless, the outcome is the same…less mistakes are let out of that production studio. But working alone, means you need to create a habit…a habit that forces you to go over once more what you have gone over so many times already while in the process of creating it.
I know when it comes to radio commercial production with me, if i am alone in the studio (and even when there is a team in here), i create ways to double check everything WHILE doing something else, so the double checking doesn’t drive one insane (after producing 100 spots). Case in point, this morning when i produced a spot, after rendering to an mp3 for delivery, i listen WHILE i put together the next template for the next commercial. This is my first draft listen. It can’t find small mistakes, but it CAN find big mistakes…such as a part being slid out of place accidentally, or something of the like.
Once that is done and the next template is up, it’s time for the second listen-through. This time I have the script up in front of me, while the spot is uploading to the clients FTP. I can read along with the commercial playing WHILE it’s uploading.
With these processes, no time or very little time is wasted. And if mistakes are found, i can stop the upload and fix it. No harm done…the spot is fixed before anyone heard it.
The third and last read through is not about the production itself, but the clients notes and instructions. All read BEFORE i started the production, BUT once again AFTER it’s done in case something was forgotten or missed. This is an extra step some might not feel the need for, but i have learned to always trust my mind, but not my memory…so for me, it’s well worth the extra 5 seconds to scan the instructions.
These are but a couple of the many ways i personally check and re-check my work before it heads to the client. There are others of course, when it comes to creating an email, billing procedures/invoicing, creating work orders for our own team etc…but explaining them all might be moot, since my solutions may not work for someone else.
The point is, if you find yourself creating, and NOT checking your work for mistakes, you are making a big mistake.
Overnight Radio’s team prides itself on catching mistakes before they ever leave our production studios. And when they do slip out, we do our very best to clean them up immediately…something i have been told by account executives that is appreciated by the sales rep out on the road, waiting for something to be corrected.
We ALL make mistakes, so for you to assume you don’t, well i don’t have to tell you twice, that THAT is a mistake.
No one should judge you on the errors you make…only on how you fix them.