Saturday, September 20, 2008

Book Review: Taking On the System; by Zuniga

It seems that the main points of this book are straight from standard public relations texts, marketing texts, and politics how-to texts. Not sure there's really anything ground breaking in his main points. There seem to be many times that he makes a point and then contradicts himself. But here are just a few quotes I thought were interesting.

Foundational rule of the book: "Without the media, little can be accomplished." Yet he says that direct communication with people is better and that individual bloggers can accomplish more than main-stream media.

"Shape public opinion by making your voice heard, your ideas clear, and your cause visible." But he seems to flip back and forth between putting pressure on the traditional media vs creating your own media outlet. Influencing the gatekeepers vs bypassing the gatekeepers.

"Drawing in collaborators to reach a critical mass depends on the crucial ability to articulate a vision that is shared, and to create a narrative with a story that inspires, motivates, and lays out a path to change."

"Effective leaders draw people into their cause by creating powerful stories, with clear distinctions between good and evil, hero and villain." Yet when he was made into a villain, he says that the tactics used against him were unfair and evil.

"Values all Americans cherish - fairness, opportunity, and tolerance." Yet he slings a lot of school-yard name-calling of those who don't agree with him, and shows very little tolerance.

"When evaluating the work of your allies, don't criticize effective tactics merely because you find them distasteful or feel they have crossed your own self-defined ethical lines." Yet he criticizes successful tactics against the "War on Christmas" and calls them intimidation tactics.

"Lasting change in the world is built on one-to-one relationships and small actions. Be proud of what you can do for your cause, even if you can't move a mountain alone." I found some of his points instructive of how my conservative activism can be more effective, and I look forward to using his ideas to promote conservative causes.

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