Big Shoulders: Melissa Anderson, Co-founder and President of Public Good

| Adam J. Hecktman

Sometimes I will read an article on a news site that is either so gut wrenching or so inspiring that I just want to take action right away. Then I read the next article. And I’m into that story now and want to help. Until the next article. See where I’m going with this? I genuinely want to help, but I am inundated with everything else and can’t help but move on. Frustrating for me, frustrating for an NGO who is doing good work around the topic, and could very much use me taking my action right away. If this challenge sounds familiar, it is because it is the same challenge that well-funded commercial enterprises have struggled with for years – getting you to take action (in fact, a field has grown up around it – we call it marketing).

How can non-profits gain your support, get you to take action, at just the right time? That is what Public Good is all about. To quote their mission: “Our goal is to make moments of inspiration into inspiring action. We want everyone to be able to make a difference and encourage their communities to do the same.” Public Good gives readers a way to take action right on the page, right on the article that they are reading. No waiting for when it happens to cross your mind again. If I am reading a story on my favorite news site that raises my adrenaline, I can act on it by clicking on a widget, right then, right there.

Obviously, this is great for both the non-profit and the reader. The non-profit reaches an audience at exactly the right time, and the reader gains a way to engage deeply. This turns a difficult story into an inspiration, a moment to act, and an experience that drives impact and change. Quite simply: readers have an easy way to make things better. It is also provides opportunities for the media hosting the “take action” widget. Readers on, say, a news site will spend more time on that site. Readers will have a new way to engage with the site, and allow them to turn a negative into a positive. It also opens new revenue opportunities from cause-based sponsored content.

So just how does Public Good do all of this? I think the answers may surprise you. Please join me in my interview with the wonderful and inspiring co-founder and President of Public Good, Melissa Anderson. And while you are thinking about it, head to Public Good’s website here.

Adam J. Hecktman

You may recognize Adam. He’s a regular on TV, you can hear him on the radio, he’s penned numerous articles and is the co-founder of the Chicago City Data Users Group. But some of Adam’s most important work is done behind the scenes in his role as Microsoft’s Director of Technology and Civic Engagement for Chicago. Tech giants, universities and government leaders turn to Adam for guidance on all matters technology, and he happily obliges, helping Chicago overcome challenges and capitalizing on new, exciting opportunities.