Almost two weeks have elapsed since our last wall post, although Katherine wrote an excellent reply to Vanessa’s Valentine’s Day post on 25 February. So, to ensure the ‘consistency’ of our posting regime, I’m writing something now.
As a former General Editor, Assistant Editor, and author, I have some advice to share, advice which I hope has some tangential relation to Lukas or Knight: (1) expect to wait a *long* time for reviews to be returned; (2) before initiating the process of review you should secure from the author a seriously worded (though not legally binding) consent form; and (3) expect to ‘edit’ reviews before giving them to the author—believe me, some academics (especially of the ‘old school’) don’t believe in karma.
And now for a few points explicitly related to Lukas’ and Knight’s books … Lukas is right to praise Frank Luntz. Luntz’s work with focus groups offers a superb example of how to use focus groups effectively—focus groups allow pollsters to test campaign phrases, such as “climate change” (of Luntz’s coinage) instead of “global warming.” Best avoid adverbial lists, which Knight uses too liberally. In North America we prefer “First, Second, Third” to “Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly.” Although mental mapping is indeed important in the course of claimsmaking, it’s often best achieved subtly, unless you’re in a rush to write a blog entry!