Book Review: There Is No Secret Sauce – Adam Metz

I first encountered Adam Metz as a co-speaker at a San Francisco networking event empowering the unemployed to advertise and market their way into new positions. His workshop that day, “The Def Leppard Guide to Networking,” provided fun, pragmatic strategies for engaging people offline. People out of work became resourceful innovators pioneering new approaches to meet challenges, rather than victims or irrelevant dead weight. The new book There Is No Secret Sauce takes on the same task for online organizational social media, enlivening and equipping employees to spark their firms’ interest in joining the next space for conversation.  

                At seventy-five pages, perfect for busy workers’ train and bus reading, No Secret Sauce possesses high readability without sacrificing big-picture or specific information. A ‘Lemonade Stand’ plan for inexpensive, workable social media fits the style and needs of smaller organizations, while larger firms can find the detailed specifics they seek through Metz’ second set of options. The clever titles grab attention and the piece reads like a series of blog posts, informative while humorous and chatty.

Metz intersperses basic human values – honesty/transparency, professional courtesy, humility and helpfulness to others – amidst the technical information. Public relations crisis management involves pro-actively acknowledging a problem, taking responsibility, and keeping users updated on efforts to fix it. Social media (blogs, Twitter, online groups, etc.) should incorporate free useful content and one should not blast one’s own message all over other online networks without contributing to the community. These human values, and the plain-English accessibility of the software descriptions, make No Secret Sauce useful for those with varying familiarity levels with online networking tools.

                Metz works his acknowledgement that not everyone has experience with social media into this user guide, developing an action plan for selling one’s company on the idea of responsive Internet communication. Readers learn how to effectively persuade organizational leaders to experiment with new ventures through gently asking questions, suggesting how to meet identified needs, doing research and providing information, and incorporating everyone into the input and decision process. This method sounds good for introducing a wide variety of innovations, not just social media – and the emphasis and specifics on inspiring organizational creativity fill a real need as worldwide industry adapts to globalization and the changing economy.

                Adam Metz’ There Is No Secret Sauce approaches new technology with interest and optimism, encouraging firms and their ordinary employees to embrace not simply Internet communication, but a new model of transparency and dialogue based on human values. I would heartily recommend this piece and encourage him to produce a similar guidebook to interpersonal networking.

                Metz provides social media consulting and may be contacted here:

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