Writing for Strategic Communication Industries
Jasmine Roberts, Ohio State University
Copyright Year: 2016
Publisher: Ohio State University Libraries
Conditions of Use
The book is moderately comprehensive in terms of topics covered, but very light in terms of the depth of each topic covered. Most chapters are only a few pages and the book would benefit from more examples and detail when describing each type of... read more
The book is moderately comprehensive in terms of topics covered, but very light in terms of the depth of each topic covered. Most chapters are only a few pages and the book would benefit from more examples and detail when describing each type of strategic writing. For example, there is a great model about the difference between PR, Marketing, and Advertising, but there is also a missed opportunity to unpack the various documents and strategies that could be used in each of these examples.
The book is accurate for when it was written. The book could benefit from an updated edition that takes into account the changes in the strategic communication world, specifically in social and digital media platforms.
The book is in need of an update. That said, the format and content of the book lends itself to an easy update, should the author choose to do so. I would recommend including more writing examples and expanding each example to include both traditional formats (e.g., print brochure) and digital formats (infographic). If a student read this book as is, in 2022, the student may not learn the most up-to-date best practices for contemporary strategic communication writing.
This book is very clear, very straightforward and largely lacks any jargon. In some ways, it may be too clear and simple to be useful for college-level readers. This book would be great for a short workshop at a weekend event, but would need to be supplemented for an undergraduate course.
The length of each chapter varies, as does the use of outside references. I do not recall seeing a traditional published book be formatted like this. In other words, other textbooks are generally overflowing with information, graphics, and outside references, but this book reads more like a brief. Due to this inconsistency, both among the chapters and when compared to other publications, I cannot give a higher number in this review.
The book's modularity is wonderful. Very short, concise chapters that can be read very fast. With this modularity comes a weakness, and that is the lack of depth. There are some parts (such as the discussion of media relations in one section and news writing in a different spot. It might make more sense to have media relations be a chapter that bridges news writing and public relations, as media relations is a combination of these two areas.
The book has average organization. Some of the chapters seem out of order (e.g., why does the ethics section split the sections of media writing basics and news writing basics? Or, why does advertising come after social media when it is originally mentioned during the public relations section?).
There is not enough information to distract the reader. If I compared this book to another Open Access book from 20 years ago, I would say it is pretty good. But, if I compare it to traditionally published textbooks in 2022, I would say this book lacks the depth and sophistication needed for an undergraduate textbook. The book needs more examples, more graphics, more discussion questions, more outside sources, and more content in general.
The word media is a plural noun. There are some errors related to the use of that word. Another problem is that one of the chapters is entitled, "What is media relations?" It should read: "What are media relations?" Other minor grammatical errors exist, which is problematic for a book designed to teach readers how to write.
Other than the ethics section, cultural statements are largely missing. The book would be vastly improved with more examples in general, and with more minority examples specifically. That said, there is nothing offensive or insensitive in this text.
I will be using the proprietary image the authors created that is posted on page 73 when I next teach Strategic Communication -- thank you for this comprehensive visual!
The text covers a lot of areas but it doesn't go into much depth for important elements of communications. For example, media pitching, press releases, media kits, blog posts, etc. Those are key communications tactics when it comes to strategic... read more
The text covers a lot of areas but it doesn't go into much depth for important elements of communications. For example, media pitching, press releases, media kits, blog posts, etc. Those are key communications tactics when it comes to strategic communications planning as well as writing. I think it's also important for the text to provide examples of comms strategies and when is it best to use these tactics. The text does a good job with laying out what goes under strategies but I think it needs to go more into depth about how strategies are created. Maybe more examples would be helpful. But I also think a key piece is discussing (in depth) the importance research plays in strategic planning.
The content is accurate but a lot of the hyperlinks which provide important examples for the context, are broken. That really needs to be updated. Also, there are a few areas that I think need to be reconsidered or discussed more. For example, in Chapter 3.14, I think the "reflection point" needs to be updated. Maybe it should include that many PR professionals offer free items to journalists in efforts to receive media exposure. That's not necessarily a conflict of interest unless platforms have their own policies against this.
While most of the content in this text is still relevant, I do think their are certain areas that need updating. The main thing is updating all of the hyperlinks in the chapters and sections. They mostly provide examples for the section but a lot of the links no longer work or are hidden behind a paywall. I also think the social media section needs updating, and more examples. I didn't see anything mentioned about a social media calendar or ways to be more organized with writing and posting social media content. Also, I think there needs to be better examples in the Ethics section.
The contact is clear and easy to understand. Provides some good examples but I believe they should be written and not hyperlinked to other sources.
The text is consistent in terms of terminology and framework. It is easy to follow.
The text is broken down very well. But if I used this text in my class, I could easily reorganize the chapters according to my syllabus without any issues. The information is very relevant.
The structure of the text flows well.
The main issues are the broken hyperlinks and links that are behind a paywall. Many of them are supposed to provide examples and resources to support the content. It's very important that those get updates ASAP.
Overall, the grammar in the textbook is fine. There were minor issues I saw like large spacings ans some misspellings.
I think the cultural references were vast and provided many examples that ranged between different races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. It will be relatable and understandable to students.
I really liked this textbook, and would like to use it for my class. For a text that was published in 2015/16, the information is still pretty relevant.
A true strength of this book is its breadth; it covers a wide variety of communication industries. Slightly more detail could be included in each chapter, but this is a useful survey text of the field. read more
A true strength of this book is its breadth; it covers a wide variety of communication industries. Slightly more detail could be included in each chapter, but this is a useful survey text of the field.
Based on my understanding of the field, the content included is accurate.
The most recent reference I found in the text is from 2016. The social media section, in particular, needs updating.
The writing style is clear and easy to understand.
Based on my understanding of the field, the text is consistent.
I find the headings and subheadings descriptive and helpful.
The text’s organization is obvious and helpful. I find the descriptive headings particularly useful.
As far as I see, there are little to no distortions.
As far as I see, there are little to no grammatical errors.
An effort is made to showcase diverse voices both in the examples selected and in the subjects included in interviews.
I teach a class that contains both journalism and non-journalism majors. The focus of my class is not on writing, per say, but the final project does require students to create a final news feature article. I assign certain chapters from this textbook as optional resources for students. It is an ideal fit for this purpose. This resource is quite valuable because it ensures that all students--regardless of if they are majors or not--have the background information necessary to successfully complete the final course assignment.
So the table of contents includes the following sections: I. Chapter 1: Defining Strategic Communication II. Chapter 2: Media Writing--Conventions, Culture, and Style III. Chapter 3: Strategic Communication Ethics IV. Chapter 4: News Value V.... read more
So the table of contents includes the following sections:
I. Chapter 1: Defining Strategic Communication
II. Chapter 2: Media Writing--Conventions, Culture, and Style
III. Chapter 3: Strategic Communication Ethics
IV. Chapter 4: News Value
V. Chapter 5: News Writing Basics
VI. Chapter 6: Feature Writing
VII. Chapter 7: Public Relations Industry
VIII. Chapter 8: Media Relations
IX. Chapter 9: Public Relations Writing
X. Chapter 10: Social Media--Uses and Messaging
XI. Chapter 11: Advertising Industry
XII. Chapter 12: Creating a Writing Portfolio
There is no index/glossary for the book, but with CTRL + F, the students should be able to find topics they seek. I really love that the text is available online OR in PDF format to give students options. This way students with accessibility issues have a chance to still access the text at home.
I do wish there were separate sections for different types of social media. The way we write for some types (like Facebook) are different from others (like Instagram captions), so addressing in more depth different writing styles in social would be appropriate (and timely) in my opinion.
I also believe more of a focus on visual communication would benefit this book, but I simply supplement with additional resources. Not something that can't be overcome.
The book's accuracy is exceptional. I am grateful for a fairly modern text to use. So many texts, even with editions supposedly updated in strategic communication areas, are out of date so fast. Thus far, this text is still very accurate.
Relevance is central in strategic communications. While some areas of the content, like feature writing, are not as time sensitive, having information that is not up to date about social media (for instance, Twitter now having 240 characters) is important as this fundamentally shifts the way we create for this area. While I would like more breadth of information, the information is more timely than any other text I've found (that doesn't cost $300 for students).
This text makes complex, heady topics easy for students to understand. I also appreciate the clear, concise explanations and samples.
The text is well written, and the consistency adds value for students.
Especially with writing, we need to teach students the concepts and then give them chances to try writing. I appreciate the shortness of so many areas and the focus on process to aid them getting to the "try it" phase.
I do wish there were a few more introductory concepts (e.g., breaking down and writing to publics), and I wish there was less time spent on writing in journalism-focused settings, the organization pattern makes sense to me.
I love Press Books. Great text, and I REALLY love that when you open the breakdown of chapters, you get very specific concepts you can break out of the text to reinforce ideas or add to particular weeks. I love that you get that option!
I expect no grammatical errors in a textbook, and this book has none that I've found.
I don't see this text making a particular focus to include culture in meaningful ways. However, I did not notice instances where the text was insensitive or offensive.
I use this text in my Media Writing class. Students seem to find the book relatable and understandable, and I find students appreciate much more having cost-effective textbooks. I used a new textbook a few years ago and I still feel guilty about the $300 each student used on the class. This text, in combination with others, provides what I need for that class!
Roberts covers various forms of media writing, including news writing, public relations, advertising, and social media promotion, as well as discusses industry applications for diverse forms of writing. Each chapter is broken into multiple... read more
Roberts covers various forms of media writing, including news writing, public relations, advertising, and social media promotion, as well as discusses industry applications for diverse forms of writing. Each chapter is broken into multiple sections, and each section is articulate, well organized, and often links to outside resources. Each section is brief, which makes the textbook ideal as a guide for classroom discussions, and although there are opportunities for writing exercises, it is mostly on the instructor to extrapolate writing assignments or exercises from the reading. This text is a great starting point for both students who want practical knowledge about how to compose and apply different forms of writing in the workplace, and it is a great jumping-off place for teachers who are building their curriculum from scratch.
The book accurately defines different forms of writing for a variety of workplace situations.
The chapter regarding social media reads relevant to me, since the overall book is mostly interested in helping writers effectively engage diverse audiences—as a result the cultural impact of social media is only discussed briefly and generally. I predict, though, that the examples will have to be updated and the "impact of social media" section expanded in the future.
The chapters are split into short sections, and often the sections contain clickable links to outside information. Important terms are written in bold and well defined, so I believe this textbook could be assigned to and easily understood by students who are reading independently. However, because of the brevity of the sections, the case studies, and the clickable media that open up opportunities for discussions, I use the chapters as supplements to my class lectures.
The book is consistent throughout. My students were most engaged with specific case studies and linked videos, so I did notice when those elements were present in some sections and missing from other sections.
This textbook can be easily reorganized to fit different teaching styles and curriculum, as the chapters build upon each other without being dependent on one another. For example, I might use a majority of the chapters for my media writing classes, but I might only use chapters 5 and 6 for my magazine writing course.
Overall, the book is organized into thirds, starting with general or theoretical information about strategic communications, then transitioning to more specific forms of media writing, and then narrowing to different industry applications. The sections within the chapters also tend to move from the general to the specific. This, plus the “Creating a Writing Portfolio” section at the end, allows students to build a variety of practical skills out of theoretical knowledge.
The table of contents operates like a clickable menu, clearly organizing the book and making it easy to navigate online.
I did not notice any errors.
I did not read anything that was culturally insensitive. Roberts does reference instances in the media that deal with issues of racism and sexism, but these examples are employed more to discuss, say, ethical journalism than the prejudice itself. The instructor may wish to supplement the examples with further readings on a case-by-case basis.
The brevity of the content per chapter ended up complimenting my teaching style, as this book gave my classes overall structure while also allowing plenty of space for me to tailor my curriculum to specific topics or classroom communities. I enjoyed the flexibility and openness of the book’s content in this regard.
Writing for Strategic Communication Industries is comprehensive in many ways when considering the work's laser focus on "strategic communication industries" which author Jasmine Roberts defines as "an umbrella term meant to include a variety of... read more
Writing for Strategic Communication Industries is comprehensive in many ways when considering the work's laser focus on "strategic communication industries" which author Jasmine Roberts defines as "an umbrella term meant to include a variety of communication-related professions, such as public relations, brand communication, advertising, and more." Though the book may rely too heavily on journalistic practices for many, the other parts apply to a wide variety of workplace and professional writing areas. I teach a workplace writing course that serves as a core part of the curriculum of all business majors and I could see much of this book serving my students well. How well it would serve your students will depend on the subject of the class, but I think what matters more is your teaching style. While Roberts' text does cover many topics, many of these chapters are very brief and while she includes many links to outside articles and sources, I found several that existed behind a paywall. Once more, this book offers some examples, but few, if any, exercises for students to practice. Roberts does link to many free videos that can help students further think through concepts.
If you are an instructor who likes to use a textbook to supplement your material, this book is great since many professional writing textbooks I find to be overwhelming to students. However, if you prefer a more thorough textbook that provides you with more material to work with then this book may not be as useful. Roberts has written a text that gives students a great starting point to then dive deeper through supplementary readings or lectures.
The book is accurate in how it describes and differentiates writing in different professional situations. The author offers detailed information and examples in the news-centered parts of the book which comprise roughly one-fifth of the book. While the information in the first parts (focusing on introducing the topic, general media writing, and ethics) is strong, it also isn't as detailed as the news-centered parts or the more focuses latter half of the book. In the final parts, the author provides many examples and explanations of how to write an email pitch, for example, if your business is offering a new product.
The author clearly understands her audience and offers examples to illustrate points using contemporary examples from social media and Twitter and email. While the book covers press releases and other material as well, Roberts' book is up-to-date yet not in a way that will cause it to be obsolete anytime soon. Additionally, Roberts organizes the book in such a way that each chapter stands alone to some extent, allowing instructors to pick and choose parts of the book that best fit their needs.
I found the text to be clearly written and would be appropriate for a sophomore-level class. Roberts provides enough context for the student to start thinking about a topic and she defines these topics well. When introducing terms, often the author places these terms in bold and provides a thorough explanation. Due to how brief these discussions are in the text, I do think instructors would need to supplement the information to help clarify concepts. That being said, several of the articles Roberts uses or references as well as the embedding of short YouTube videos on most of the topics help clarify concepts.
The text is internally consistent with the approach the author is attempting. Terms and concepts are aligned throughout the text and there is an obvious progression, or scaffolding, of information. The book begins with more general overviews of ideas that apply to many of these writing situations, before using the news writing-centered parts to help establish a groundwork to explore the more varied genres covered in the final sections.
While many of the chapters connect, few are written in reference to other chapters. The text could easily be reorganized to fit different instructor needs. For example, I could see using this text in my writing for the workplace course and skipping the news writing sections. I could also see using specific chapters from the news writing-centered section being useful for students without having to read the chapters in that entire section. Roberts seems to have tailored the book for such an approach since each chapter is numbered throughout the book (1-12) and each section of each chapter has its a consistent numbering throughout the book as well (1-71).
Similar to the internal consistency, the book is presented in a logical order. While it may seem out of order, it is clear to me that Roberts organized her book to begin with more theoretical sections so that she could then shift to news writing to lay down a framework for students. This foundational theoretical and practical material allows students to build on this information to the various topics such as public relations, media relations, and advertising that fill out the final sections of the book. The final chapter on "Creating a Writing Portfolio" could be helpful in most any professional writing class that covers a variety of genres.
I found no major interface issues in the text. Roberts embeds videos and images throughout and these appear on both the website version of the book as well as the "digital pdf" version of the book. One thing to keep in mind is that the "print pdf" version of the book wouldn't allow me to open links or videos on my device. Therefore, an instructor would want to stress which version students were supposed to access if the instructor wanted to make use of Roberts' supplementary resources.
I did not notice any grammatical errors in the text and the YouTube videos looked professionally shot and edited as well.
The text was culturally sensitive and not offensive. The author occasionally used examples that not only clarified points but touched on issues of sexism and racism as well. Again, these examples are not deeply discussed, so an instructor would want to supplement more material if they desired exploring these issues further.
I appreciate how clear the text is written, the inclusion of embedded links and videos, and that each chapter is brief. I am a fan of concise textbooks that I can use to supplement student learning but that provides me room to tailor the material to what I want to cover in my class. This book is written and structured in a way that I could use it to design a course yet not feel like the book was designing the course for me. I appreciate that approach.
The book has a heavy emphasis on journalistic technique and not the strategic aspect of how one either develops or communicates a strategic message. read more
The book has a heavy emphasis on journalistic technique and not the strategic aspect of how one either develops or communicates a strategic message.
What was communicated was well informed and accurate.
Much of what was included has been re-packaged; i.e., what is public relations??, how does it deffer from advertising, ......not new material.
Clearly stated. I thought that the videos were very clear, but the subject matter was elementary for this level of 'strategic' communication learning.
Yes, it is consistent. Language and ideas are accessible to the entry level student. Not sophisticated for a 'strategic' audience.
Yes, the text is modulated well. Some chapters are unnecessarily longer than others, while some do not receive enough scope.
I think that the organization of the text needs changing. The more general information is toward the end of the book and I would consider moving up front.
No issues in navigating the text.
Both written text and spoken text were free from grammatical mistakes.
No inappropriate boundaries were crossed. Text was geared to job type, not cultural distinctions.
As the title is about Strategic Communications, I feel that more attention should be placed on the team development of the strategic message as messages are shaped within an organization and not the creation or responsibility of a single writer. The team aspect of the message creation and the skill necessary to understand the focus of the organization were not developed to the extent that I believe was sufficient. Any writer, other than a sole proprietor, who is responsible for messaging needs to realize that they are part of the team whose job it is to reflect the values derived by that team for the desired audiences. The media and platform discussion is useful once the message and audience are designated.
Yes, the book covers a rich variety of areas related to writing for strategic communication industries, ranging from its conventions and cultures to its ethics and varying genres. It really presents a broad range of information. read more
Yes, the book covers a rich variety of areas related to writing for strategic communication industries, ranging from its conventions and cultures to its ethics and varying genres. It really presents a broad range of information.
The content is pretty accurate. The language can sound informal at times but this can possibly better relate to its intended audiences--which I'd define as undergraduate students up to junior level.
The content covers strategic written communication as it relates to a variety of print and digital platforms. Since these platforms (e.g., Twitter) are likely to remain in use for a while, I think the content will be useful for a considerably long time. Also, even if platforms change, the book includes content (such as, how to determine one's purpose for communication, define one's audience, etc) that will apply to most communication situations.
The book is written pretty clearly. Any jargon/terminology used is defined and explained in a manner relatable to undergraduate students.
Yes, the book presents consistent language.
The book is provided in accessible, easily readable modules.
The book is organized pretty well.
The interface is usable. The content is easily readable in general. In order to read some of the captions/labels for graphics, it might be necessary to enlarge the page, when some text can be just a tad bit distorted and hard to read. But this is not a pervasive issue.
The grammar looks good.
I have not noticed any significant cases of cultural insensitivity. Of course, sometimes it's possible to find a cultural negation (for example, in statements with Western-centric implications) in any textbook. But considering the context for which this text is written and where it the examples will be used, the book doesn't seem to have significantly problematic content.
Effective written communication skills are essential to most professions, especially those related to organizational communication. This open textbook covers strategic written communication as it relates to a variety of print and digital platforms. The book presents some of the best practices in professional writing situations. Some real-world examples in the book are very useful, while some chapters focusing on different professional writing genres could use more models/examples. While using the book might still necessitate teachers to bring in their own examples, the book provides a good framework for strategic writing in general. Given that it is freely available and its language is pretty accessible to undergraduate students, I think it will definitely be useful to include this book as a resource for my upcoming Professional Writing and Organizational Rhetoric classes as well as my current Citizenship Writing class, which includes a "professional communication" component.
Communication industries is such a broad range of career fields and types. However, I was impressed with how the text organized them and ultimately placed some of the universal aspects together. For example, the portfolio is useful in many fields. read more
Communication industries is such a broad range of career fields and types. However, I was impressed with how the text organized them and ultimately placed some of the universal aspects together. For example, the portfolio is useful in many fields.
I believe the text to be free of errors, and accurate to the best of my knowledge. My only concern was that there may some biases when using only one source for supplemental information.
Mass Communication is a field in which information changes quickly. This information is still accurate, but will need to be updated quite frequently.
This text is very clear and quite concise. These attributes are important for the topic matter. Students tend to look for clear definitions and information presented in a straightforward manner. The author did a good job of maintaining this throughout the text.
This book is consistent in terminology and framework for an introductory level mass communication writing course.
Since there are a wide range of areas expound on in the text, it can be broken into other subsections. Covering one part of the text in a class builds for the next section, and does not take away from the order.
The chapters flow well, both in journalism and public relations sections. They are presented in a logical fashion and structured well.
There were videos that I had to hover over for them to be accessed. However, the content was well done. The videos were clear and professionally placed. There were no major interface issues.
To my knowledge, the text contains no grammatical errors.
Although, I did not see any culturally insensitive or offensive examples, as a person of color, I look for more diversity.
I am not currently using this text in my class. However, I am interested in developing an online course that adopts this text. My background is in public relations and although we do not offer PR at the university, this is a way to show a connection to other types of mass media writing. This text is easy to follow and understand. I recommend it.
I was skeptical at first that a textbook with such a broad scope could adequately cover writing practices across three separate fields. However, this book does an excellent job in terms of both differentiating between media, PR and advertising... read more
I was skeptical at first that a textbook with such a broad scope could adequately cover writing practices across three separate fields. However, this book does an excellent job in terms of both differentiating between media, PR and advertising (which can be something that intro students have a hard time grasping) and articulating and reinforcing the ways in which they interrelate. The conceptual overviews are briefer and more summary than the instructional "how-to" sections for each field, and there are very few student exercises, which would help students apply definitions and instructions to actual work. The final section on how to create a portfolio is especially useful across multiple disciplines.
The text is accurate, error-free and unbiased. My one issue is that the definitions of “media” and skills required to work in the media are fairly vague and brief. Not inaccurate per se but could be greatly expanded to add more precision and depth.
Both the conceptual frameworks and practical instructions will remain solidly relevant. Many of the examples used to illustrate best practices and pitfalls will become less engaging as they age out of students’ memories, but these could be updated from year to year without altering the overall organization of the text. The one area that seems both outdated and sparse is the section on social media, which only very summarily glosses over Facebook, Twitter and YouTube without going into current trends, differences between how these are utilized in various sectors, and contemporary examples.
The writing is clear and straightforward throughout. In fact I would prefer to see the inclusion and definition of more discipline-specific terms (ROI, nut graph, SWOT analysis, etc.) for all fields covered. Comprehension of and fluency with these terms could then be incorporated into writing exercises similar to the steps outlined in the headline section. However, overall, this text is definitely not obscure or overly laden with jargon.
Throughout the text fundamental definitions and distinctions such as the inverted pyramid are consistently made and reinforced. The chapters and sections reinforce the scaffolding of both concepts and practices in a way that builds logically across the entire text. On the other hand, the length of various sections and the depth and detail of coverage given to topics seems somewhat inconsistent. The sections that give an overview of media, media relations and public relations are quite brief compared to the more in-depth instructional sections on how to write in each field. Also, while marketing is addressed in a few sections it is not fully fleshed out and distinguished as clearly in relation to advertising and PR.
The division of chapters and sub-chapters is excellent. I appreciate the inclusion of ethics early on, as this is applicable in all fields addressed and is very often missed or glossed over in textbooks. The breadth and careful sectioning of the text lends itself to teaching a number of different courses, from news and feature writing to advertising and of course PR.
Sections on attribution and headlines are excellently detailed, as is the coverage of news and feature writing overall. Overall the how-to sections are particularly thorough, especially those on how to pitch a story and write a press release. The section on news values is great but would benefit from an update to include some examination of fake news and misinformation. The writing tips in the first chapter could be expanded to include more instruction on sentence structure. Instead of stopping at "use correct grammar:, it would be more useful to analyze parts of speech, particularly verbs and adjectives, to give students more tools to work with. It would also be nice to have more sample assignments throughout, not only in the final section on creating a portfolio, especially in the news/lead sections. The hyperlinks of articles would benefit from more follow-up explanation, discussion questions and activities or assignments.
The text including all links provided functions without glitches. One overall weakness is that it is quite visually bland and would be more engaging with more visuals—charts, images and “quick break” boxes—included. Also, many of the videos are somewhat wooden; it would be great to see more videos from outside of the Ohio State University included, to give a wider set of reference points.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
The text is culturally inclusive in its examples. It would be great to see inclusivity, cross-cultural competencies and messaging and types of bias specifically addressed in relation to media, PR and advertising. Also more examination of the expanding global contexts of these fields.
Overall this textbook does a good job balancing breadth with accuracy, precision and thoroughness. While the conceptual sections that introduce each field are somewhat brief, the instructional, how-to sections are satisfyingly detailed. Instructors can create assignments and exercises around these modules for a wide variety of communications courses. This is an excellent choice for some portion of an introductory level course in communications, media, journalism, PR or advertising.
The text offers a comprehensive look at the roles and responsibilities of professionals in the strategic communications industry. The index clearly outlines the topics covered, broken down by macro and micro subject areas. As an educator, I find... read more
The text offers a comprehensive look at the roles and responsibilities of professionals in the strategic communications industry. The index clearly outlines the topics covered, broken down by macro and micro subject areas. As an educator, I find this to be helpful when making reading assignments. While it’s not likely I would use this text in its entirety, I can easily spot and pull out the most relevant chapters. There is no glossary included in the text, but I have found terms to be well defined within the manuscript.
To the best of my knowledge, the material in this book is accurate and unbiased. As a journalist by trade, and a professor by choice, I appreciate the approach Roberts takes to the reliance reporters have on strategic communicators and vice versa. It is easy to make jokes about reporters or editors going to “the dark side,” but this book makes very clear the need we need for strategic communicators and that they need for us.
At the time of this reading, the book feels current and as though it has a shelf life. I do think that it will need to be updated with new examples in the next year or two, though, to keep the examples up to date. When we’re talking about the need for public relations and crisis communications, United Airlines and Facebook and Harvey Weinstein and the March for Life will prove to be more timely examples than Malaysia Airlines’ bucket list promotion, the Boston Marathon bombings or sexual assault claims against Bill Cosby. That said, I firmly believe replacing some of the aforementioned examples can be done seamlessly without affecting the structure, integrity or feel of the book.
Roberts walks the walk. The book has entire chapters devoted to the need for clear, concise and conversational writing and it’s written in a manner that reinforces that message. It is an “easy” read that can be easily comprehended on one or two passes. There is an appropriate amount of professional and technical jargon used throughout, but it is defined using laymen’s terms. The use of graphics and video help enhance understanding for learners who need a slightly different style to absorb the information. This text is written at exactly the level I’d want to use with first and second-year college students.
The book is consistent in terms of terminology and framework. The chapters are all constructed in the same way and offer readers an expectation of what will come in those that follow. There are no surprises in terms of structure.
One of the things that pleases me MOST about this text is its modularity. It can easily be broken down to fit into units within a course and/or to complement other reading materials. I really like how Roberts broke each main area of strategic communication into its own chapter – and did the same with writing, law and ethics. This could make this text incredibly useful in a combined survey course that looks at the professions of journalism and strategic communication. I love that it includes the importance of AP Style, news values and inverted pyramid storytelling. It succeeds in driving home the point that strategic communication and journalism are hatched from the same egg. Students need to see and hear that message.
I have only one comment on the structure. I felt like some of the chapters could have been grouped together differently. I would have liked to see the media relations chapter in closer proximity to the sections on news writing, news values and grammar and usage. That would have even further reinforced the notion of the symbiotic relationship between journalists and media relations specialists (and pointed out ways they could all work together better). I would have also considered putting the law and ethics sections toward the end. I think a student needs to have a clearer picture of the rights and responsibilities typical of a specific role before being able to work through legal and ethical dilemmas facing them. I like the idea of building a portfolio at the very end, but I also wonder how quick I’d be to use that chapter at the level I’d consider using this text. I might consider it a little early to begin producing a professional portfolio.
The interface is clean and clear. I downloaded the PDF version. The text was easily legible. Images appeared as I would assume they were meant to be (no stretching, distortion), and links to YouTube videos worked without problem.
There were no noticeable grammatical errors.
This text is a comprehensive look at strategic communication using culturally relevant examples, including brands, celebrities, locales and news stories that will be easily recognizable to most undergraduate students. As mentioned earlier, there will be a need to update examples in the near future to maintain that cultural relevance.
This is the first open textbook I’ve examined and I am beyond impressed with the quality of the materials. Students who consume (because they’ll be watching as much as they’re reading) this text will walk away equipped with a literacy-level understanding of media relations, public relations and social media. For many journalism/editorial students, Writing for Strategic Communication Industries might be the only exposure they ever have to strat writing – and it might be all they ever need.
This book not only covers news writing and writing for public relations, advertising, and social media, but also how writing functions within various industries. The public relations chapter could include more variety in public relations writing... read more
This book not only covers news writing and writing for public relations, advertising, and social media, but also how writing functions within various industries. The public relations chapter could include more variety in public relations writing formats, such as pitch letters or media alerts. The advertising chapter could also provide additional detail on writing for advertising. Early chapters on news values and ethics are important and the information provided here is comprehensive. This book could also be improved with the addition of writing exercises for students.
The content provided is accurate.
The social media chapter contains information that will likely remain relevant for a long time. Most recent social media information, such as platforms, would be useful here too and could be easily updated. Some of the examples will be need to be updated over time.
The content is broken into short, easy-to-read sections, but I suspect that students will skim academic research cited in the book.
The book offers several videos, but additional videos could provide more consistency in content. The ethics chapter contained a case study, and I would like to have seen more case studies throughout.
The book offers embedded videos, graphics, and images as well as links to additional content. Additionally, the content is organized into readable chunks of material.
The book flows through the content the way I usually cover it in class, starting off with an introduction to the field, followed by a discussion of ethics and news values, and then presenting journalistic writing. Finally, writing for the various strategic communication industries is presented.
The book is easy to interact with arrows to the next section and links embedded in the text. I would like to see internet content linked in the reference lists.
I did not notice any typos.
This book draws on some current examples to illustrate main points. I did not see anything that was culturally offensive.
I appreciate the breadth of coverage of this book, to focus on news writing (hard & feature news), as well as strategic writing in public relations and advertising. I could see adopting this for a Media Writing class that covers both... read more
I appreciate the breadth of coverage of this book, to focus on news writing (hard & feature news), as well as strategic writing in public relations and advertising. I could see adopting this for a Media Writing class that covers both newswriting as well as strategic communication areas. The one area that wasn't in that lineup though was any focus on broadcast writing--the newswriting focus is toward print media. Ch. 5 on News Values applies to both print and broadcast, while Ch. 6 seems to only address print news. So to use this text for that type of class, one may still want to supplement with some readings about broadcast news, as the storytelling style, use of attribution, etc., are different than in print news.
No errors found. The chapters have a wide range of timely examples to support the points made, and no bias is apparent.
The text is very timely in its examples, and media context for the areas of writing in it. Media convergence continues to change, so I think the longevity of this type of book is always going to be a challenge. For example, Ch. 10 on Social Media seems quite up to date, but now that Twitter is permitting tweets longer than 140 characters, that might need updating. I would hope that in the online open textbook world, such updates would be fairly easy to do. I think updates to this text would be quite straightforward. The examples used to discuss media ethics were also quite up to date--I don't think it needs to go so far as "flavor of the month" timeliness, because there can also be a timelessness to some ethics cases. I still talk about ABC News vs. Food Lion (1996) and the use of hidden cameras in investigative reporting when discussing media ethics
I thought the text was very accessible. The media writing class I teach and might use this type of text for is a lower division undergraduate course with no prerequisite course. The use the industry jargon, from public relations or advertising, was appropriately defined and explained. That helps students understand the industry, and "talk the talk" in possible internships.
Given that the chapters focus on different types of writing, some more strategic than others, I don't think the chapters can be, or should be, too formulaic and "cookie cutter" in their style and organization. Having said that, the chapters are fine in terms of consistency. There are none that are overly long or developed in minute detail compared to others. My only suggestion about consistency would be to have examples to demonstrate the different types of writing in each chapter--otherwise, an instructor might need to find some to present when covering that reading in a class. I'm not sure, for instance, if there were examples in the chapter on advertising, but there were examples in the chapter on public relations writing and the chapter on social media messages.
The chapters all seem quite self-contained within themselves. I rarely follow the order of chapters in a textbook, and this can be an issues when making that change. Good use of subheadings too--helpful to direct the reader, but not overdone.
Even though I've just noted in the previous category that I rarely assign chapters in the order they appear in a textbook, Writing for Strategic Communication Industries has a logical organization overall, as well as within the chapters. For this type of book (and class), to cover some of the basics of news writing makes sense before addressing public relations writing, because much of the style in PR writing is influenced by news writing practices.
I appreciated the examples overall, the visuals included (photos as well as charts), and the links to videos. I think one of the video links wasn't active--p. 107 (on social media writing). I'm not sure if there is a way to change the visual appearance of those links--perhaps more like the "further reading" box on p. 93 to call the reader's attention to them.
No issues or concerns noted while reviewing this text.
No issues or concerns. Good range of examples and cases incorporated in the chapter.
This book is very accessible to students, covering a broad range of writing areas that are relevant for a writing in strategic communication course. If I was to adopt this text for a media writing class, I would supplement it with some content on broadcast writing. Other textbooks in media writing often include some exercises at the end of chapters, which can be good material for in-class activities; that might be helpful to add if this text is revised into another edition.
The text is a wide-ranging overview of the key topics in strategic communications, ranging from the conceptual ("Defining Strategic Communications") to the practical ("Creating a Writing Portfolio".) It is a short text at 126 pages, and the... read more
The text is a wide-ranging overview of the key topics in strategic communications, ranging from the conceptual ("Defining Strategic Communications") to the practical ("Creating a Writing Portfolio".) It is a short text at 126 pages, and the topics are supplemented with video interviews by experts in the field. The treatment of each topic is a little light, and sometimes the videos carry the weight of the explanation. Taken as a whole, the text and videos provide a good framework to launch a more in-depth lesson, but teachers will have to supplement content and create their own exercises. The text is relatively recent and provided real-world examples.
There is no index or glossary, but the chapter subsections are quickly scannable, and the terms are internally defined.
I did not note any factual errors, though the author surely could have found a better example for a victim of defamation than Bill Cosby.
The content is recent and relevant, and included examples of PR efforts that backfired, such as the 2015 Starbucks "Race Together" effort that fell flat, or the Malaysia Airlines "Bucket List" campaign that launched not long after 500 people died in a Malaysia Airlines crash. These examples will inevitably become dated, but will still be illustrative.
The links to other content are in danger of becoming obsolete if they are not constantly checked and maintained. There is a dead link to a webpage in the PR section, and a non-functioning link to a video in the social media section. The author should archive the webpage and link to the archived version. This can be done at archive.is.
The writing is very clear and accessible. The author defines industry jargon and refrains from academic lingo.
The structure and framework are consistent, with the main themes clearly stated, and references at the end of each chapter.
The chapters have similar structures and the order of topics can be moved around, as each topic is self-contained. The subsections are clear. A good deal of content is contained within the videos, however, and that content is not indexed or described in detail, so a teacher must watch the videos to know what they contain and how to supplement them.
The organization is intuitive, starting with a broad overview, and narrowing the focus to specific topics. The structure is consistent. I wished there was more depth on? several of the topics. The content was pretty cursory in some sections, and relied on links to outside sources. I didn't check for fair use of the outside sources, like Business Insider and The Washington Post, but assume that the publisher has approved the links for educational fair use.
As noted earlier, there were two dead content and video links in the textbook. Otherwise, the word-based interface was fine.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
The text hit all the main points, and was written recently enough to be relevant. The speakers in the videos represented people of color and both men and women.
Overall, the text was a useful, quick overview, but a bit thin on detail and depth. Some sections felt dashed off -- the example of a feature lead was particularly disappointing, as there are so many examples of riveting or suspenseful anecdotal leads. There was one page addressing writing skills, and the points were all fine, but one wonders how the author selected that handful of specific skills. The text is a good jumping-off point for teachers or for students who want a cursory look at Strategic Communication.
As a professor who focuses on public relations (as opposed to advertising or marketing), the book provides a good general overview for the areas relevant to students in the courses I teach (in particular, my principles of PR course, or as... read more
As a professor who focuses on public relations (as opposed to advertising or marketing), the book provides a good general overview for the areas relevant to students in the courses I teach (in particular, my principles of PR course, or as ancillary material for my PR writing course). I would say that this text has been more useful for me in my courses for its examples and how concepts are illustrated and applied, rather than for its theoretical foundations. I've been using this text in conjunction with another text to fill in the gaps in theory.
The content in this text seems to be right on track with what I would expect in a strategic communication text. In my reading of this text I have not noticed errors (other than some missing content in a couple of places, though I've reached out to the author about those issues directly and she has indicated that she is working on correcting those). So, other than errors the author has already corrected, I believe the text is well written and accurate.
I've marked this text as 4/5 on relevance/longevity because it is relevant and timely right now - but will cease to be within the next couple of years if it is not regularly updated. This is the challenge with this type of text, of course - part of its value is the up-to-date, timely examples. it will need to be updated every couple of years to maintain its relevance.
The text is clear and concise. If anything, there are points where it's more concise than I would like it to be! Author does a good job of defining terms.
Book style is extremely consistent. Well done on this.
Each chapter can be broken out as its own section, and within each chapter there are individually labeled and indexed sections on specific subtopics. The text could reasonably be split out into 12 independent min-texts on each subject (again, as ancillary material in many cases rather than as comprehensive content presentation) - but the modularity is quite helpful. Compared to the other text I'm using in my classes right now, the modularity and indexing of this text is much better.
This is mostly a result of my bias as a PR professor, but if I were building the text for my own classes I would restructure it to suit my individual course needs. Aside from my own bias, the flow of the text works well. The flow is logical and reasonably builds as the text progresses.
Other than small errors mentioned previously (that have, to my knowledge, been addressed), the interface is quite functional. In several months of use neither my students nor I have had problems with the interface.
I have noticed no errors in the text, it is well written.
The author uses a wide range of examples from a variety contexts in the text. I have noticed no strong bias toward or away from any particular perspective, and I've certainly not seen anything culturally insensitive or offensive.
As should be clear for anyone who has read my entire review, I'm currently using this text in my class (I'm using it as ancillary material in my PR writing course). I'm also using a Saylor OER titled "Mastering Public Relations" - the two texts together work quite well for covering both the theory needs of my courses and the practical application to help my students make sense of the content/context. I'm actually planning (in the future, maybe as a summer project), to integrate content from the two texts to create one cohesive text for my courses. This is, of course, the beauty of creative commons.
I'm really pleased with the text, and will continue to use it. Thank you for your work, Jasmine!
I appreciate the macro to micro organization of the chapters, especially the section on social media. I felt a chapter on risk and crisis communication would further enhance this work. I felt information about PRSA and PRSSA would be helpful when... read more
I appreciate the macro to micro organization of the chapters, especially the section on social media. I felt a chapter on risk and crisis communication would further enhance this work. I felt information about PRSA and PRSSA would be helpful when discussing ethics.
The author uses both industry and academic sources. I felt the content was accurate.
I appreciate the organization of the material. This text is relevant and has longevity. The section on social media channels will obviously have to be updated, but that is with any text, open or not.
The material is easy to read and engaging. It is much more reader-friendly than the book I am currently using.
I feel the book is structured consistently and I appreciate her use of industry and academic sources.
The sections are relatively short, but I would bolster the chapters with interactive media...I did really appreciate the videos.
Excellent. I can use this text for my introduction to integrated communication next semester.
There are a few open pages at the beginning of the PDF, but that isn't a deal breaker.
I did not notice any grammar errors.
I appreciated the attempt to address diversity, but it could certainly be it's own chapter.
I plan to adopt this for my Intro to Integrated course.
This textbook covers most areas of journalism and public relations writing and covers the basic introductory principles needed in strategic communication writing . It does not cover the strategic communication skills needed in advertising writing... read more
This textbook covers most areas of journalism and public relations writing and covers the basic introductory principles needed in strategic communication writing . It does not cover the strategic communication skills needed in advertising writing and skills needed to conduct comprehensive and effective strategic campaigns.
The content is accurate, hover all of the video examples are from the Ohio State University. Also the references are mostly from the internet and do not include references from the most prominent textbooks that are utilized in the strategic communications industries in public relations and advertising. These main sources are excluded in the textbook. It seems to be very biased.
The content is only relevant up to date to 2016. There are many out dated sources used in the references. There should be more social media included as the strategic communication field is constantly changing with the technology and relevance. I believe this text will become obsolete. Also, it is solely based on Ohio State videos and outdated examples . The Malaysia incident happened years ago. Many things are happening now and there needs to be more current.There needs to be more ways to stay current. As I said, this is a basic introductory level for types of writing for journalism and public relations. It is a writing book. Not for advertising at all.
The text is written very clearly. The chapters are short and concise. It is easy to understand. It is an introductory level. It is very basic and easy to follow.
The book is consistent. It is something that would be used in a 100 or 200 level. It offers all the basics for an Introductory journalism writing or public relations writing class. I would not use this in an advertising copywriting or campaigns class. The new buzz word for these writing classes is now called strategic communications. However, this is very basic and introductory in nature.
I would break this into two modules. One clearly for Journalism and one for Public Relations. It does not warrant a third module for advertising. There is not enough information. It merely skims the surface. It does not even give an introductory level of advertising.I am not even sure I would call this book strategic communications writing.
The topics for journalism and public relations are presented in a very clear and organized manner. The chapters flow and have structure. They are presented in a manner that is easy to understand for the beginning student in this field.
This text is simple to follow and use. It is easy to connect to the videos that are used for examples. The videos are clear and short. The reader should not get confused with any examples that are related to the content.
The grammar is correct and basic. The examples given for mistakes are common with most students and clear to follow. The grammar is simple and word choices are easy.
There are no offensive or insensitive cultural content utilized in the content of this text. It is politically correct and non biassed. There are no stereotypes .All examples are clear and relevant.
The book is clear and easy to follow for an introductory level writing course in journalism and public relations writing.
As a broad, basic primer on communication in news, public relations and advertising the text provides a solid overview of contemporary rules and guidelines in these fields. Devoting a whole chapter to ethics is a bonus. What a teacher would have... read more
As a broad, basic primer on communication in news, public relations and advertising the text provides a solid overview of contemporary rules and guidelines in these fields. Devoting a whole chapter to ethics is a bonus. What a teacher would have to add is how to do it, and do it well. For example, writing clear, simple messages to an audience is a main theme; just how the student is supposed to do that, such as using words of a single syllable as much as you can, isn't spelled out.
The author's done her homework. It's clear that she did a lot of research and made sure the text had no miscues.
Most of the case studies come from the past 1-2 years and are relevant to the topics being discussed.
Clear, simple language shows up throughout the text. No inside baseball, nor long-winded academic mush.
Very consistent. The main themes stated in the opening overview are referenced throughout the text.
Each chapter is about the same length, has the same number of pages and sections, with lots of subheads. A teacher could also move modules around; each is self-contained, yet still consistent with the main ideas and themes. It is a short book to base an entire semester on, but could work as the focus of the first quarter or half of a semester.
The progression works well: from broad overview of the field of strategic communication to the specific disciplines focused on different messages for different audiences.
The charts and other graphics are comprehensive but not too busy. The links to supplemental materials opened smoothly. One video in the copywriting section was missing. A couple of the videos that had music beds needed better balance, I think, with the voice track; the music tended to overpower the narration and was somewhat distracting.
No grammar or spelling issues appeared.
The images, videos and examples showed diversity, though most of the video commentary comes from people at the author's university or the immediate area.
More examples of good writing...and bad!...would be of great help to any instructor who might use this book. Some suggested exercises would be handy as well. But it's a very effective piece of work, a text that would give communication majors a solid foundation in strategic communication.
The information the author has included is very good, especially augmented as it is with videos. However, it is described as "a practical writing guide for those interested in a public relations, marketing communication, or advertising career" and... read more
The information the author has included is very good, especially augmented as it is with videos. However, it is described as "a practical writing guide for those interested in a public relations, marketing communication, or advertising career" and there is no chapter dedicated to marketing communication. The ethics chapter lacks information on protecting privacy and I think there should be a chapter on web writing. Also, in Chapter 11, the copywriting page still has "insert video" instead of the actual video.
The content appears to be accurate, error-fee and unbiased. It also seems to be very current.
The content is relevant and up-to-date, especially with its chapter on social media messaging. Necessary updates should be relatively easy to implement.
This is actually one of the book's best features. It not only describes how to write well, but also exemplifies how to write well.
Both the text and layout of chapters are internally consistent. The reader finds exactly what s/he expects to find.
The text would be easy to assign as smaller reading sections during the course.
There is definitely an internal logic to the organization/structure/flow to this text. It is clear and coherent.
The text is free of interface issues (with the exception of the mission video I mentioned previously). The navigation is simple and logical. Charts display beautifully.
I did not find grammatical errors, nor would I expect to with a writer of this quality.
I was impressed with the cultural relevance of the text. There is one example of Starbucks' campaign to initiate conversations about race and how the public reacted to that. Another example regarding Malaysian Airlines offered some international cultural relevance.
I would use this book for online strategic communication classes. I like its contents (though I would like to see more on marketing communication), its presentation and its videos.
This text is a brief introduction to the professional standards for and types of strategic communication careers. It covers a few of the most essential aspects of public relations and advertising to give students a sense of what they will need to... read more
This text is a brief introduction to the professional standards for and types of strategic communication careers. It covers a few of the most essential aspects of public relations and advertising to give students a sense of what they will need to know and be able to do to be prepared for these careers. I would like to see a bit more discussion of the important role that data plays in writing for PR, marketing, and advertising as well; perhaps outline and define the types of data professionals collect, analyze, and report in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of campaigns.
The content is accurate and incorporates some of the recent scholarship on PR and advertising and highlights recent industry trends.
The text makes use of recent examples, such as Trump's campaign and Volkswagen's emissions scandal. If the book is updated regularly, then it will remain relevant.
The book is well-written for undergraduate students in an introductory communication course. It is also written in a style that reflects the conventions and tone of professional communication.
Throughout the text, the content is presented using consistent format and voice. It would have been helpful to have activities or discussion questions more consistently throughout the chapters.
This textbook is organized into brief segments and each chapter is a clear, self-contained explanation of a writing style or career option. Thus chapters could be reordered or omitted to meet the needs of a given course.
The book is well organized in its current format, moving from essential specific writing skills to different career paths.
I appreciated that the book included links to examples, links to additional resources for more-indepth reading, and videos from professionals. One of the videos that covered copyrighting was missing at the time of this review (p. 65).
I did not see any grammatical errors.
The textbook covered a range of professional ethics violations, current events, PR successes and failures in different platforms, celebrities, and products as examples.
This book would be a good read for students in their first week or two of a PR, media relations, professional communication, or strategic communication program of study. It would be useful to students who are considering a career as a communication professional to help orient them to the skills they will need to develop throughout their coursework and internship experiences in college.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Defining Strategic Communication
- Chapter 2: Media Writing--Conventions, Culture, and Style
- Chapter 3: Strategic Communication Ethics
- Chapter 4: News Value
- Chapter 5: News Writing Basics
- Chapter 6: Feature Writing
- Chapter 7: Public Relations Industry
- Chapter 8: Media Relations
- Chapter 9: Public Relations Writing
- Chapter 10: Social Media--Uses and Messaging
- Chapter 11: Advertising Industry
- Chapter 12: Creating a Writing Portfolio
About the Book
Good writing skills are important in today's competitive work environment. This is especially the case for communication-related professions such as public relations, brand communication, journalism, and marketing. Writing for Strategic Communication Industries emphasizes practical application of academic inquiry to help readers improve their writing skills. This book gives readers:
- Straightforward chapters that use real-world examples to illustrate key points.
- Discussion of different writing styles and techniques.
- Examples of communication materials such as press releases, creative briefs, feature articles, and more.
- Embedded videos of insights from communication professionals.
- Tips on pitching to the media.
- A collection of popular sources for further explanation.
About the Contributors
Jasmine Roberts is a strategic communication lecturer in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. She teaches classes in public communication campaigns, writing for strategic communication, persuasive communication, and public speaking. Roberts earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies and Spanish at the University of Michigan and her master’s degree in communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has experience as a marketing and public relations professional for nonprofit, entertainment, and banking industries in the United States and Spain.
Roberts is also the contributing author of “Effective Public Speaking–A Top Hat Interactive Text.” Her current pedagogical interests include project-based learning and global education. She specifically enjoys assisting undergraduate students in applying theories and skills to real-world projects and problems.