Written by Liam O'Hara on Thursday 5th November 2020
We asked Alice Pitfield to give us an insight into her role as a Senior Editor at OPEN Health.
A typical working day begins with resourcing and prioritising projects both within accounts and across the editorial team. We review the booking sheets, determine what projects are due in and decide what is most pressing. After that, we start editing, which typically involves reading and formatting several different materials each day, ranging from a manuscript or slide deck to a video or website.
It might seem like an obvious answer, but the aspect of the role that I most enjoy is editing—taking a piece of work and perfecting it. I also enjoy the science, getting stuck into a scientific article or presentation, while also learning about a disease or therapy area. Furthermore, I like the variety—we typically work on several different project types across various therapy areas every day; in short, it is never dull.
The challenges an editor typically has to manage are tight, and often conflicting, timelines and at times, a heavy workload, as we work across all accounts and multiple teams. Because editing is often one of the last steps in a project, it often gets pushed; therefore, we frequently have to turn jobs around quickly to meet strict deadlines, while maintaining high quality. There is also the added pressure of making sure that no mistakes slip through the net!
What makes OPEN Health great is the people—having colleagues who are always willing to help, who you can rely on and who work well together as a team. Not only is the editorial team great, but everyone across the company is appreciative of the work we do, especially when we go above and beyond for a last-minute project that a client has sprung on us or a proposal for new business, which ultimately makes it all worthwhile.
For anyone considering a career as an editor, my advice would be to ensure you have a good understanding of grammar and that you are familiar with all Microsoft programmes, including Word and PowerPoint. Knowing how to use these programmes well and being aware of tips and tricks can make life easier by allowing you to edit more quickly. For example, being proficient in formatting slide masters and using keyboard shortcuts (e.g. the miracle F4 button!) can speed up making global changes, leaving more time to focus on the content.
To find out more about what it's like to work in medical communications, please get in touch https://www.openhealthgroup.com/careers