One Cause At a Time – Archive

An Archive of Chicago Now One Cause at a Time Posts

Posts Tagged ‘book review

Book Review: SOCIAL WARMING and the Effects of Social Media

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[DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided for review purposes. All links are non-affiliate links, and all opinions are my own]

Over the past five years, social media usage has shifted away from communications and marketing and into darker areas. Two years ago, P.W. Singer’s Likewar: The Weaponization of Social Media outlined how social media has been used to drive dissension and division. However, Charles Arthur outlines how social media networks have facilitated this process in Social Warming: The Dangerous and Polarizing Effects of Social Media from Oneworld Publications.

In his book, Charles Arthur describes “social warming” as a gradual process that occurs over time and usually happens (in his words)

“…when interactions between people who used to be geographically separated and infrequently exposed to each other’s views are more frequently brought together, and kept in orbit around topics that will engage them and create addictive experiences”

Social Warming, p 4.

With social networks becoming increasingly accessible (and mobile devices/smartphones becoming more available), there are greater opportunities for network algorithms to amplify “engaging” posts. This amplification of posts encourages users to log in more frequently and for longer periods of time. Since this process is unregulated and unrestricted, users become gradually more accepting – and less critical – of social media content.

Throughout Social Warming, Charles Arthur highlights key examples of how unchecked social media activity has adversely influenced social media user behavior. For example, he sites social media’s over-reliance on algorithms to promote “engaging” content without context as a factor in swaying political and social thought. Arthur also notes how “scissor statements” (things said to deliberately spike controversy and division) have often driven further dissension. Social Warming also highlights how a lack of foresight and critical thinking on the part of social media networks drove a wide variety of political and social upheavals, with one chapter dedicated to issues around COVID-19 misinformation and conspiracy theory.

Although making similar arguments to the previously mentioned Likewar, Charles Arthur focuses on how the leadership and procedures within social media networks have frequently abdicated responsibility through relying heavily on algorithms, developing a laissez-faire attitude towards monitoring, and focusing exclusively on user growth. Arthur makes various concrete, practical recommendations for social media network leadership towards the end of Social Warming.

Like many other people, I saw social media as a unique way of connecting people across communities. As a professional, I worked to help smaller organizations and nonprofits (as well as larger brands) use social media in a healthy, ethical way. Although it is easy to make social media the ultimate cause of dissension and division, Charles Arthur’s Social Warming: The Dangerous and Polarizing Effects of Social Media makes a very strong case for that belief.

And thankfully, provides some solutions. Highly Recommended.

Please feel free to continue the conversation on our Facebook page, or leave a comment below.

And as always, thanks for reading!


Written by gordondym

September 7, 2021 at 8:08 pm

BOOK REVIEW: Star Trek – The Klingon Art of War

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Two things have kept me busy in the past few months: new employment and Star Trek. Reengaging with past Star Trek series (mostly Deep Space Nine and Enterprise) has reminded me how much the franchise has affected my life as well as inspired several Star Trek-themed blog posts). So I came across The Klingon Art of War (not an affiliate link), I was curious about whether it would be a similar-themed leadership guide for nonprofits and social enterprise as Wess Roberts’ Make It So: Leadership Lessons from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Although it is less didactic than Make It SoStar Trek – The Klingon Art of War functions as a smart, savvy reworking of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Organized into ten “principles” with related stories, Klingon Art of War serves less as a practical leadership guide and more of a metaphorical exploration into leadership strategy. (In fairness, author Keith R.A. Candido’s intention was focused on highlighting Klingon history and lore, not focusing on business leadership). However, recontextualizing Sun Tzu’s theories through a Klingon perspective provides an easier way to understand. (Especially given the high prevalence of “honor” in Klingon society which could easily be translated into “integrity” in our present times).


Even for those working remotely (like me) and dealing with COVID-19 related issues, The Klingon Art of War provides some strong ideas about personal conduct. Despite harsh-sounding phrases like “Choose Your Enemies Well” and “Always Die Standing Up”, Star Trek – The Klingon Art of War promotes a positive, straightforward approach to handling matters. Even the book’s main narrative conceit – a Klingon scholar describing his reaction to these stories – provides insight into how text can be interpreted and misinterpreted. As much as Sun Tzu’s The Art of War focused on strategy and winning every battle, Star Trek – The Klingon Art of War focuses on personal integrity and perceptions of situations. Although it isn’t a substitute for other resources, Star Trek – The Klingon Art of War provides a metaphorical exploration of living with integrity.

For Star Trek fans, The Klingon Art of War also provides some great background on Klingon culture and society within the series. Several appendices explain Klingon weapons, a practical application of Klingon principles, and understanding a historical context. Although it may seem frivolous to give meaning to tie-in literature, Star Trek – The Klingon Art of War cannot help but feel appropriate during this time. With several Star Trek series attempting to deconstruct Trek lore, The Klingon Art of War (published in 2014) reconstructs Klingon lore into a great mix of insightful tie-in literature and practical guide.

I highly recommend Star Trek – The Klingon Art of War for nonprofit and social enterprise leaders, Star Trek fans, and people looking for an entertaining diversion.

For now, though, I am now considering taking Klingon language lessons thanks to this book.

Have comments? Please leave them below or join the conversation on our Facebook page. If you wish to email me, use this contact form.

And thanks for reading!

Written by gordondym

September 1, 2020 at 8:11 am


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Like many startups, nonprofits, and social enterprises, many businesses are adopting a mission-driven philosophy of driving social good. For many organizations and highly prominent individuals, doing good should be “baked into” their corporate mission. As Anand Giriharadas argues in Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, this attitude can inadvertently perpetuate the very systems they are looking to change, and his arguments make Winners Take All a must-read for any socially-minded mission-driven organization or individual.

Despite the book’s subtitle, Winners Take All takes a well-mannered, thoughtful approach to its arguments. As Giriharadas explains throughout the book, many organizations and individuals taking a “business” approach to driving social good often rely on tactics and thinking that not only lack awareness of deeper systemic issues, but avoid engaging the greater community and can exacerbate certain problems. Many of the “social elite” (consisting of higher level businesses and individuals) focus more on superficial changes than handling deeper, systemic issues, and this approach “treats symptoms, not root causes; it does not change the fundamentals of what ails us” . Adopting problem-solving strategies that provide business-friendly results, those organizations and individuals looking to drive social change avoid acknowledging or addressing greater systemic issues…or even worse, remaining silent about acknowledging their own complicity and/or responsibility for addressing those issues

Winners Take All supports its criticism with some exceptional examples and well-reasoned arguments. Discussing a variety of issues ranging from philanthropy to new business models, Giriharadas provides sharp insights without ever descending into derision. With its matter-of-fact prose and succinct, descriptive manner, Winners Take All manages to highlight concerns without condemning those involved. One great example is how Giriharadas discusses the Sackler family’s involvement with philanthropy as they fostered the opioid crisis, as recently featured on Last Week With John Oliver:


Moving from the microcosm of TED Talks to the larger view of globalism, Winners Take All advocates a strong case against the prevailing belief that “what’s good for business is good for greater society.” In a business landscape that is becoming more focused on greater social benefit, there is also a greater need for introspection and honest self-exploration about their own potential complicity in fostering systemic issues. Such introspection and self-inventory, Girharadas argues in Winners Take All, is a critical step that needs to happen to ensure success…and that many organizations seem unwilling to take.

Many nonprofits, social enteprises, and mission-driven businesses – both within and outside of Chicago – should consider reading Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World as part of their strategic planning processs. Many individuals looking to drive social change should also read Anand Giriharadas’ book as well. Fostering social change is not an easy process, and Winners Take All provides an exceptional argument for self-inventory, introspection, and awareness. Highly recommended.

Further thoughts? Insights? Please feel free to leave your comments below or join the conversation via our Facebook page. Please feel free to join our Patreon community, or email me directly via this contact form.

As always, thanks for reading!

Book Review: LIKEWAR – The Weaponization of Social Media

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Once upon a time, social media was seen as an online ‘town square’ enabling a diverse array of opinions. Soon, it became a way for marginalized individuals and groups to have their voices heard. Now, in the age of Trump, ISIS, and “Russian bots”, social media has become a weapon for sowing dissension and division. If you’re seeking a thorough examination of how this happened, Likewar: The Weaponization of Social Media by P.W. Singer and Emerson Brooking is an indispensable guide for learning how this happened and provides great historical insight into the forces that shape our current online landscape.

If you’re looking for a breezy, easy-to-understand guide to social media and online warfare, Likewar is not that book. Singer and Brooking provide a dense, thorough examination of how social media and online communication have morphed into an abstract battlefield. Starting with Trump’s first Tweet in 2009, Likewar provides a great overview of how many entities have adopted the principles of digital marketing and social media engagement (like controlling the narrative) to engage users.

But more damning is the central idea that many social media algorithms, with their emphasis on “likes”, provide an opportunity to make false information “viral”, allowing it to remain within a conversation and create an ideological echo chamber for the user. One of the points that Singer and Brookings make in their book is that these strategies are not created by hackers experienced in technology…but people with marketing strategy and insight into online engagement. Think of it as the dark side of “clickbait” and “viral memes” – online information designed not just to engage, but to sow dissension amongst users.

Individuals and groups are using these techniques to enable others to fight in a new kind of social media-based warfare, and Likewar provides a field guide to how these conflicts are waged.

In light of the recent federal shutdown, Likewar provides not only a strong historical context but an almost uncanny prescience. We are already seeing some of these tactics used by the right around the Covington Catholic incident. Consider online conversations about Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) comments about algorithms despite some research backing her claims. With the Department of Homeland Security issuing a directive in response to DNS attacks, we are seeing a rise in Internet-based strategy and warfare. Knowing the changing landscape can help many individuals and organizations adopt and prepare…

Consider Likewar: The Weaponization of Social Media your must-read book of 2019. Informative, insightful, yet also cautionary.

Please feel free to leave comments below or join the conversation on our Facebook page. If you wish to contact me privately, please reach out via this contact form.

And as always, thanks for reading!

Written by gordondym

January 24, 2019 at 11:03 am

Book Review: DISRUPTED by Dan Lyons

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I’ll admit, I went into Disrupted (written by Dan Lyons) with a knowing familiarity; like him, I entered the startup world ten years ago, having just moved back to Chicago. Like many other reviews, I enjoyed the book’s slightly snarky take on startup culture….

But in light of that recent Google memo and various responsesDisrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons reads less like a satiric jab at technology, marketing, and startup culture and more of a clarion call for greater diversity and inclusion…as well as a rallying cry against ageism and elitism.

Let’s be clear – Disrupted is a very funny book, and Dan Lyons provides some scathing insights into startup culture. After all, having been involved in journalism for over 25 years, Lyons (then in his early 50s) decides to work for Hubspot.  From there, he receives a very gradual introduction into the more absurd aspects of Hubspot culture: the unusual language of HubSpeak (which requires a wiki to understand), the emphasis on personal politics over accomplishments….after all, Lyons only wanted a job where he could learn marketing, and then more forward in his career. It wasn’t meant to be anything serious…

But things begin to turn for the worse. Granted, Lyons is unsparing in assessing his own behavior (after all, he’s not a writer for HBO’s Silicon Valley for nothing), but he also notices some strange things. Insisting on buying free candy for employees rather than, say, paying them a higher wage. Noticing a preponderance of young, white dudes (in a particularly damning move, Lyons publishes a group photo and asks the reader to point out people of color. SPOILER ALERT…there aren’t any unless you count co-founder Dharmesh Singh). In short, the story continues on a nice, snarky path, but then….

Things begin deteriorating to the point that by the time you read the last chapter of Disrupted, you would swear that Dan Lyons shifted gears and wrote a paranoid techno-thriller. It’s hard to describe without spoiling, but Disrupted manages to make serious points about the nature of technology/startup/marketing culture – a tendency towards homogeneity and lack of diversity, emphasizing “dudebro”-style culture and self-aggrandizement over accomplishment and status. (As well as address blatant sexism, ageism, and other -isms that you can name).

(One particular damning fact: according to Disrupted, HubSpot has never made a profit. In most corporate cultures, that’s a bad thing, but in many startups, that’s considered healthy).

I don’t want to paint all startups with the same broad brush, but having worked with several in my professional endeavors….I’ve found several that have a sincere lack of self-awareness and a belief that they are doing “wonderful things” without justifying why they’re so wonderful. (Yes, I’ve also worked with startups that focus on results). With recent conversations about women were “genetically unsuited” for tech jobs, and with the increased need for more diverse populations in technology….Disrupted ends up making some serious points through a snarky, sarcastic attitude.

As I was planning to write this review, I would have said, “Read Disrupted by Dan Lyons for a fun, satiric look at tech culture.” Now, in light of recent events, Disrupted by Dan Lyons feels more like a call-to-arms….and either way, it’s a great read.

Please feel free to share your thoughts below or via our Facebook page….and as always, thanks for reading!

Written by gordondym

August 6, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Nonprofit Leadership Lessons from STAR TREK

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Books on nonprofit leadership often run the gamut from very high-level treatises to more down-to-earth entries like The Mission Myth and Who Says It’s A Man’s World? However, in an increasingly complex field, transitioning into nonprofit leadership (as well as social enterprise and other mission-driven leadership) can be a challenge. In fact, for many, it’s a challenge to boldly go where they have not gone before.

Thankfully, there is such a book….and it uses Star Trek (celebrating its 50th anniversary) as a metaphor.  Although written around general business leadership, Star Trek – Make It So: Leadership Lessons from Star Trek: The Next Generation by Wess Roberts, Ph.D and Bill Ross (available in softcover and Kindle) provides some excellent insights and practical guidance for mission-driven and nonprofit leadership.

(As many long-time readers of this blog know, I’m more than willing to use television and pop culture – especially Star Trek – to discuss issues around social change. In addition, I recently participated in DePaul University’s Celebration of Star Trek in May, and I’ll be on WBEZ’s Morning Edition on Friday, July 8th to discuss the franchise…NOTE: You can click here to listen/download the segment.)

Written from the perspective of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Make It So provides scenarios taken directly from episodes of Star Trek: the Next Generation. For each scenario, there’s a description of the issues, followed by a list of “Observations” then “Lessons”. By placing these Star Trek episodes within the context of leadership lessons, Make It So provides the reader an opportunity to explore critical issues with greater perspective. (After all, isn’t Star Trek noted for its ability to handle stories that “reflect on the human condition”? It’s a rather easy-to-read book that provides a simple point-of-entry for exploring the key responsibilities and values behind professional leadership).Picard

(For those interested in nonprofit leadership, the humanistic tone of Make It So will be especially appealing with its less aggressive, more humanistic tone. Unlike other books on leadership, such as perennial classic The Art of War or Roberts’ own Leadership Secrets of Attila the HunMake It So makes the most of its Star Trek framework, presenting high-minded ideas in a much more realistic context. Rather than make the reader feel less than capable, Make It So makes the case that leadership – especially mission-driven and nonprofit leadership – are lofty goals for anyone to strive towards. This more positive tone, as well as its use of Star Trek as metaphor, is that gives Make It So particular resonance for mission-driven and nonprofit leaders).

To be fair, I’ve not only read Make It So, but I’ve also used the book for guidance in my own efforts in nonprofit leadership.  Having grown up with Star Trek, I find many of the show’s values and morals very compatible with my own. I’ve used Make It So as a leadership touchstone – a way for me to think differently about various situations. Although other books about leadership take on a more formal tone,  the tone of Make It So provides greater resonance for those entering leadership positions. (For nonprofit leadership, navigating new responsibilities can be challenging, and Make It So makes the process much easier).

With Star Trek celebrating its 50th anniversary, it is easy to focus on television and movie content. But one of the remarkable aspects of Star Trek is how it tells stories that reflect a multitude of human experiences.  Star Trek – Make It So: Leadership Lessons from Star Trek: The Next Generation by Wess Roberts, Ph.D and Bill Ross provides an excellent example of how Star Trek philosophy can be applied towards other endeavors – most notably mission-driven and nonprofit leadership.

It’s definitely a book worth reading.

Do you have any thoughts about Star Trek‘s impact on nonprofit work and social change? Do you have any great book recommendations that impact the Chicago area social change community? Please feel free to let us know via the comments section below, or join us in further conversation via our Facebook page.  If you want to reach me privately, simply use this “Contact Me” form or any other method listed on this blog’s About page)

And as always, thanks for reading!

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Written by gordondym

July 7, 2016 at 8:43 am


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C Now Vaynerchuck

To be honest, the past few weeks have been rough for me personally – family health issues have kept me busy, resulting in sudden changes in my schedule that have made it . At one point, I was fortunate enough to carve out some time to “sharpen the saw”, as it were, and keep up on my professional reading. Knowing how many Chicago-area nonprofits and social enterprises are relying more on social media as a communications channel, I thought that reading a book that was highly recommended to me – Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab. Jab. Right Hook: How To Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World – might be a great diversion.

And after I finished reading, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook was a worthwhile read….but I have some ambivalence about fully recommending it.

On the plus side, Vaynerchuk’s book has some really strong ideas that any organization should adopt as part of their social media strategy: focusing on benefits rather than selling; telling a cohesive story; and understanding how placing strong content in the proper context can work wonders. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook‘s central metaphor – providing relevant content that meets an audience’s needs before going for an overt sell – seems a bit more belligerent than helpful. (It’s not just about promoting a product or service…it’s also about driving engagement with an audience, and finding those opportunities to build community). Perhaps my own bias is showing – I am so used to working in this field that many of these recommendations may be geared towards someone who is new to social media engagement, or who has not “seen and done it all”.

(In other words, I may not be the target audience – or in the right frame of mind – most receptive to Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook)

Although Vaynerchuk has many great “best practices” of consumer brands using social media, much of the book feels more hype-driven than practical. For many mission-driven organizations like nonprofits or social enterprises, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook‘s examples may seem out of reach, and the book’s tone may be a bit overwhelming to casual readers. (For some examples, you may want to check out Vaynerchuk’s YouTube channel). The book has some very strong recommendations, and provides insight into how to engage audiences in our current media climate….but much of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook feels a bit too overenthusiastic, almost bludgeoning the reader into adopting every single recommendation as working policy.

Still, I am giving Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook a very qualified recommendation – it’s a great introductory book for nonprofits and social enterprises on how to approach social media strategy. However, checking Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook out of the Chicago Public Library is a good strategy to read the book….and you can decide later whether to add it to your bookshelf.  

Your thoughts? Leave them in the comments section below. We also welcome you to  join us on  Facebook. (Both blog and Facebook comments are moderated). You can receive updates via e-mail (instructions below), or contact me personally via the About page.

And as always, thanks for reading!

Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.


Written by gordondym

December 23, 2015 at 6:31 am


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Review: THE ECONOMY OF YOU by Kimberly Palmer
Many people involved in nonprofit careers (whether transitioning into or out of the field) find it hard to survive in our current economy. Many are taking “side gigs” or smaller jobs to either bring in extra cash or – perhaps – spin their efforts off into a new career. For those wishing to adopt a “side gig” as a way of transitioning into (or within) a nonprofit career, let me suggest reading The Economy of You by Kimberly Palmer, published by AMACOM Books.

Available in both hardcover and Kindle editions, The Economy of You focuses on establishing a “side gig” while working on full-time work. However, many of Palmer’s recommendations would also work with those who are freelancing and/or trying to find smaller gigs. (As a freelance consultant/writer myself, I found many of the recommendations helpful). Palmer takes a very practical approach, providing guidance and insight which would easily fit well within low-resource-but-high-resourcefulness environments (like nonprofits), and provides enough motivational content to empower people to move forward in pursuing a separate business effort.

In fact, one of the strength’s of Palmer’s The Economy of You is that its focus is on much more attainable goals. While many books of this type focus on more high-end thoughts, Palmer’s primary focus is on a secondary source of income. Never coming across as over-the-top, Palmer’s book has a nice, realistic feel, and something that would not be out-of-place on a “Nonprofit Career” bookshelf. (With several nonprofit and other professionals getting involved in the social entrepreneurship/social enterprise field, this is a great how-to field guide for making preliminary efforts). The Economy of You provides some hands-on guidance and exercises for moving towards developing another field of endeavor.

One of the best features of The Economy of You sits within the appendices at the end of the book. It is a list of the “Top 50 Side Gigs” which contains brief outlines of such work (like blogger, life coach, and pet sitter). The main advantage (and one which sets The Economy of You apart from other guides), but also some great “first steps” towards identifying potential matches and initial networking resources. By providing this, Palmer provides an easy resource for people to begin exploring (and much more practical than similar, self-published guides found elsewhere).

For many people planning to transition into – or out of – a nonprofit career, finding a “side gig” that can provide economic and personal freedom can seem daunting. In The Economy of You, Kimberly Palmer provides a relatively straightforward guide to exploring options, building initial efforts, and progressing forward. As more people take on multiple positions in “the new economy”, The Economy of You becomes an even more invaluable resource.

Any thoughts about freelancing, nonprofit careers, or taking on “side gigs”? Please feel free to leave them in the comments below (and comments are moderated). In addition, you can contact me privately via any of the resources on the About page, or follow us on Facebook.

Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Written by gordondym

January 17, 2015 at 10:49 am


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C Now - Time BanditOne of the many resources I use as a nonprofit writer/consultant/blogger is NetGalley, a site that features new books from publishers for review purposes. Every once in awhile, I’ll check out a random book – mostly for my own reading, but often to find something that can benefit nonprofit workers.

Edward G. Brown’s The Time Bandit Solution: Recovering Stolen Time You Never Knew You Had is such a book. Available in both hardcover and Kindle formats, The Time Bandit Solution is an easy-to-understand guide  that provides direction and insight into how to better manage – and block – time.

Much like David Allen’s Getting Things Done, Brown’s book is a plain-English, very thoughtful guide to understanding how to be more productive. Unlike Getting Things Done (which focuses on work process and work flow), The Time Bandit Solution provides insight into blocking off time, establishing appropriate boundaries (or in Brown’s framework, avoiding interruptions) and establishing proper perspectives. For Brown, having “quiet time” (in which people reflect on projects and allow themselves the opportunity to gain perspective) is just as important as Time Blocking (which allows them to accomplish a great deal).

For many in the nonprofit arena (including myself), this is a very critical time of year. Assertive fundraising efforts, end-of-year paperwork, and higher client demand often results in greater demands on time and effort. Thankfully, Edward G. Brown provides some real-life examples from his own career and experience, and it’s a pretty solid, easy read.

This holiday season, there are many gifts you can give yourself – why not purchase The Time Bandit Solution? At the very least, it’s a critical tool for those of us working in social good: an easy-to-understand manual that helps us better use out time, set appropriate boundaries, and most importantly – accomplish the very work we’re setting out to do.

Any other resources you can suggest as nonprofits/social enterprises enter the holiday season? If so, please leave them in the comments below. You can also follow us on Facebook, or contact me directly – information found via the About page.

And as always, thanks for reading!

Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Written by gordondym

November 14, 2014 at 3:57 pm


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C Now - Little Book of Big PR


NOTE: A complimentary copy of Ms. Witter’s book was provided for purposes of review

As I was writing last week’s post, I came to a very subtle realization – throughout my career in nonprofits, I have had to take on what might be called “guerrilla” public relations tactics. Working with media, getting the word out, engaging the public – all of those were key skills that I needed to cultivate in order to move programs forward. For many Chicago (and other) nonprofits, having an easily understandable reference for public relations is paramount.

Thankfully, Jennefer Witter’s Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Quick Tips to Get Your Business Noticed, published by Amacom Books in both softcover and Kindle editions, is a great primer. Although geared primarily towards small businesses, there are enough practical, down-to-earth tips for nonprofits, social enteprises, and other mission-based organizations to gain benefit.

The Little Book of Big PR focuses on small – yet practical – tactics for building overall capacity. It’s a brisk, easily comprehendable book that contains various bits of advice, as well as examples from other businesses. Covering a wide range of topics – from public speaking to self-branding – The Little Book of Big PR provides useful advice that is geared towards business growth. (And yes, there is a chapter on cause-related marketing, but don’t let that fool you – the other chapters are also extremely practical). It’s the kind of book that really deserves to be part of any nonprofit/community organizing reference library – along with The Mission Myth, Organizing for Social Change  and Everyday Entrepreneur, Ms. Witter’s book provides a great way to channel more business-oriented thinking into nonprofit activities.

Many smaller nonprofits and community organizations often lack staff dedicated to marketing and public relations. In fact, many smaller organizations rely on grassroots mobilization and community organizing to gain traction and (hopefully) exposure. One of the great advantages of The Little Book of Big PR is that it is written in simple language, and many of the tips are easily implemented. Ms. Witter does a great job in fostering the idea that public relations isn’t necessarily about “spin”, but that it’s a way for small businesses (and by extension, nonprofits and community organizations) to grow and expand with a minimum of resources.

Simply put, I enjoyed The Little Book of Big PR. It’s a small, easily affordable book that is a must-own for anyone in the nonprofit/social benefit sector.

Are there any must-own books that you can suggest? Please feel free to leave your suggestions – and any other comments – down below. You can also subscribe to this blog in e-mail (just look for the “Subscribe by E-mail” button), or follow us on Facebook. If you want to reach me directly, information can be found via the About page.

And as always, thanks for reading!