Comprehensiveness rating: 3 read less
This text tackles a broad array of topics related to the evolving strategic communication industry. Because the range of topics addressed throughout the book is so extensive, the authors often provide only imprecise references to major concepts and theories relevant to professionals in professional communication fields. This book would benefit from more nuanced discussion of the foundations of strategic communication theory and practice.
At more than 400 pages this is a hefty read. I would also like to see a glossary of key terms and index to assist in navigation of the book.
Accuracy rating: 4
This book is well-researched and the information provided is accurate. That said, the references to media theory are vague and provide only basic information about the application of major theories in the practice of strategic communication.
Relevance/Longevity rating: 3
This book is written from an industry perspective with a strong focus on the use of case studies to illustrate key concepts. The reliance on industry examples and case studies does tend to date much of the material in the book. This book should be updated to include references to more recent technologies and current information regarding social media tools. The segmented nature of the book chapters, with separate sections that expand on examples or provide mini-case studies, make it easy to update. However, it does not appear that the authors have addressed outdated content at this time.
Clarity rating: 5
The authors of this text avoid the all too common practice of lapsing into convoluted academic speak. Industry terms are clearly explained and references to professional practices that may be unfamiliar to readers are elaborated on appropriately. I appreciated the straightforward prose of this text and believe students would find if an easy read.
Consistency rating: 4
The consistent structure of each chapter makes this text easy to navigate. The inclusion of learning objectives, key takeaways, and hands on exercises build a clear framework that is maintained throughout the book. The use of graphic elements, although a welcome addition to the text, vary substantially in design and would benefit from a more uniform style.
Modularity rating: 3
The book is divided into a coherent chapter structure, each of which is further subdivided into content areas. However, the use of a single case study throughout the text would make it difficult for an instructor to realign readings. The text is clearly meant to be read from beginning to end in a linear manner.
Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 3
In an interesting departure from typical strategic communication textbooks, Launch! Is organized around the process an advertising agency would engage in during the course of a campaign. The book chapters cover such topics as the client pitch, research, audience identification, tactic development, and assessment. This promising method of presenting information appropriate for a survey course in strategic communication campaign development falls short of expectations. The overarching case study related to the msnbc.com campaign appears intermittently but does not coherently tie the vast range of material presented in this book together.
Interface rating: 5
The text is well designed and no significant interface issues are evident.
Grammatical Errors rating: 5
The text is well-written and no grammatical errors were identified.
Cultural Relevance rating: 4
This text is not culturally insensitive or offensive, but it also does not use examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, classes, or backgrounds. The book was written by representatives from both academia and industry. Many of the examples and case studies in the text appear to be from accounts that SS+K, the agency partner that participated in the development of the text, worked on. The book focused on for-profit clients and business campaigns. It would benefit from the inclusion of other types of strategic communication case studies such as from nonprofit, advocacy, political, and healthcare industries.
The links to sources, which were included both within the text and in the works cited sections at the end of each chapter, represent a wealth of great resources for students in strategic communication. This is obviously a well-researched text and the authors should be commended for their efforts.