Frustrated with colleague changing my work

(30 Posts)
Wenchaboo Thu 23-Aug-18 04:26:53

I write content marketing for a business, and a colleague publishes my work. She changes the content before it goes live. It is great to have a fresh set of eyes to pick up typos etc. She's re-written an entire post, changed an introduction, changed a conclusion, changed a headline, changed wording when it's really down to preference. The precise topic that I planned is all muddled.

I have marketing goals so I need to create messages that are useful to specific audiences. She takes out product benefits. I explain why the phrases are important, and she ignores my requests. I've had to chase her for a few days to put the phrase back in. The campaign goes live without the changes. It's very frustrating. I've explained my concerns to her and our manager. And it hasn't made a difference to date.

What would other people do?

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daisychain01 Thu 23-Aug-18 04:55:51

I can understand your frustration, why does this person feel the need and the right to change your work!

I would cut out the middle man and own my own publishing. Do they have to be your filter? Is that the approved process (you write, they publish);or can you change the pattern by doing it yourself.

If that has to be the process, I would ensure that before they publish you book a meeting, 30 mins each time, and agree any changes. Then you update the draft, send to them to publish and any changes after that, you can evidence they've made further unapproved changes.

Do you think they do it (a) for positive intent or (b) to show you up and big themselves up?

daisychain01 Thu 23-Aug-18 04:57:54

btw, definitely spell check and grammar check your work, not typos! That would be their "get out of jail free" card if they can point the finger .... but you work was 'full of mistakes' etc

Wenchaboo Thu 23-Aug-18 05:16:28

Thanks Daisychain01. There aren’t any typos. I was looking for a positive angle to the whole thing.

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Wenchaboo Thu 23-Aug-18 05:19:29

I have asked to publish to a seperate website. So hopefully this will help. I think she doesn’t have much to do and I think she wants my job. But she doesn’t understand marketing. There’s a real power dynamic here as well, in the way she doesn’t listen.

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Lunaballoon Thu 23-Aug-18 06:53:45

Can you insist, as the author, that she should send her edits back to you and your manager for final approval? I would be furious if my carefully crafted wording was changed without consultation.

Wenchaboo Thu 23-Aug-18 07:25:54

That's exactly my situation Lunaballoon. It's infuriating because it takes forever to research and read all the material, find an original angle, and then write the piece in a way that appeals to the audience. And in one sitting, she rearranges the whole thing. Is that what people do? Insist? I think that might be the way to go. There is no reasoning with her.

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Lunaballoon Thu 23-Aug-18 07:55:17

I work in a similar editorial role and always run any changes I make by the author, mainly out of courtesy, but also to cover myself in case I’ve misunderstood something and my input comes back to bite me!

Wenchaboo Thu 23-Aug-18 08:29:32

Thank you Lunaballoon, yes it’s the courtesy part that’s missing. What if she misunderstood something? Because she hadn’t spent 6 hours researching and reading the material. It would make sense to check.

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daisychain01 Fri 24-Aug-18 07:37:28

It is great to have a fresh set of eyes to pick up typos etc

I wasn't saying that you did the typos but rather that if there were any, then she'd possibly use it as her excuse.

I sensed she had an agenda! It's your job, so if she thinks she's that great she can go and apply for her own vacancy not try to nick your job smile

Loopytiles Fri 24-Aug-18 07:44:28

Is her role editorial? If not, then I would ask her explicitly, in writing, not to make editorial changes.

FairyAnn Fri 24-Aug-18 07:48:48

I've been there @Wenchaboo! It's so frustrating!

Is there any way you can get her access or logins to the publishing platform you use revoked? Then she won't be able to publish without you seeing it. Depending on which system you use, you can also restrict access to Read-only

Wenchaboo Fri 24-Aug-18 07:55:05

Actually, thank you, @Loopytiles, her role isn't editorial. So that's a good point. I have ownership of a particular customer communication channel, and I'm the author, and she's the caretaker of the only publishing platform. I can ask for logins to that platform, or suggest I publish to a different one. That makes a lot of sense. :-)

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picklepost Fri 24-Aug-18 07:55:08

Ugh so unprofessional. I think if the boss does nothing, I'd leave for a better job where you're actually able to do what you're there for

daisychain01 Fri 24-Aug-18 08:02:40

Why should the OP have to relinquish her employment over this

Surely it's the meddling colleague who is extending her involvement from 'publish' to 're-edit without permission of author then publish' who should jog-on

Wenchaboo Fri 24-Aug-18 08:24:28

I know! I love the work otherwise. I feel I'm making a real difference. I can't believe a work would colleague interfere with my work like this. It's such a shame.

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Wenchaboo Fri 24-Aug-18 08:27:37

Thanks @picklepost. I do feel I'm unable to do my job! It's really ridiculous.

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Loopytiles Fri 24-Aug-18 10:51:43

Take it up with your boss again, point out the colleague’s role isn’t editorial, the risks that she makes changes that worsen quality or reduce impact with the target audiences, and ask them to have a word with her.

Wenchaboo Fri 24-Aug-18 11:03:59

Thanks @loopytiles. I will give it another go.

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LadyLapsang Fri 24-Aug-18 18:19:19

It would appear odd that your boss hasn't backed you up on this. When you review her edited versions of your work, would you consider she makes some positive changes? If not, maybe she is just trying to avoid the uploading role and is nudging you towards doing it yourself to retain control. I think an honest conversation with your manager is needed.

picklepost Fri 24-Aug-18 23:21:05

No one is saying the OP should have to leave but the reality is it's the healthiest option for her well being and career if she does not have the support of her boss.
Good luck OP! The assistant is being a twat. You however will go on to better things.

KeiTeNgeNge Fri 24-Aug-18 23:23:03

Take over the publishing yourself and get those logins

daisychain01 Sat 25-Aug-18 05:35:13


I think if the boss does nothing, I'd leave for a better job where you're actually able to do what you're there for

I do not agree with your recommendstiin that the OP should be the one to have to leave for a 'healthier' working environment. It is far from the best option to relinquish her service history, disrupt her career path and possible income stream just because a colleague doesn't respect the authority level of their role.

Doing that every time someone oversteps the mark (and let's face it there will always be difficult people like that who want to meddle and interfere) makes your CV look a mess. It's akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water.

picklepost Sat 25-Aug-18 08:03:02


As I already said (see below) she doesn't have to, why keep repeating that? No one has made that recommendation.
I said its what I'd do. Do you understand the difference?

Honestly you're being a but thick here, naive too

Wenchaboo Sat 25-Aug-18 08:31:27

Thanks @picklepost. Her changes generalise the piece. I include mini case studies, but she glosses over them with a couple of long sentences. It loses impact. I know my audience would want the details. It's a 'How to article'!!

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