Portfolio: Mark J. Sanderson


social media

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER at Mercy Brown Bag Program

With all the social causes and real needs that exist in the world, it can be an overwhelming challenge to feel like you’re pulling your weight in being a good neighbor. Luckily, I had the chance in the Fall of 2015 to participate in a four month effort to strengthen the social media presence of Mercy Brown Bag Program, a non-profit in Oakland, CA that has provided food to low-income seniors since the early 1980s.

The effort involved managing their Facebook page and seeing if I could build an audience. My focus in developing social media content was to establish a consistent brand that reflected their devoted, “in the trenches,” self-sacrificing efforts. I did this by establishing a consistent look in the content I created. This included using the same filter for all on-location photographs and telling the stories of their many long-time volunteers. Each week I would sponsor a post highlighting a volunteer. Their black & white photo framed by brown paper would be accompanied by a caption in their own words of “why they volunteer.” In addition, I would regularly post photos from various locations in Alameda County of their work in action.

Mercy Brown Bag_barbara

After four months, their Facebook followers doubled and their reach expanded as people engaged with the content — sharing it and leaving uplifting comments. People appreciated their work and many wanted to help out in some way. Perhaps more importantly, however, it served to generate excitement among employees and volunteers, as they received recognition from the community. Additionally, the brand helped to unify the program, build a sense of confidence, and establish a clear identity.

Looking forward, the effort is leading to a much needed update and expansion of their website and a further development of their brand. I look forward to helping them continue to tell their unique and pioneering story of caring for the needs of Bay Area seniors.

mercy brown bag christmas


CREATOR of Read October

Read October
“Every October drink a Leninade and read a book about the evils of Communism and the blessings/responsibilities of freedom.”

Ever since high school, I’ve had a fascination with the history and ideology of Communism and have read several books on the subject. A few years ago a friend of mine introduced me to Leninade, an artisan soda that is a satire of Soviet propaganda. Last year I had the real pleasure of meeting Danny Ginsburg, the creator of Leninade, who is witty and awesome. We became friends and have kept in contact via social media.

In October of last year, inspired by the book I was then reading, I had an idea for a way to promote both Leninade and scholarship about the realities of Communism. Why not drink a Leninade while reading a book about Communism during the month of October? ‘Read October‘ was born.

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER at A Man’s World Barber Shop

A Man's World Barber ShopShortly after moving to the Bay Area I set out to find a new barber. In Brooklyn, NY I had enjoyed frequenting a traditional barber shop, so I sought for the same experience in California. After floating around for a few months I discovered A Man’s World Barber Shop, a second generation barber shop and the oldest one in Walnut Creek. Darrell has been my barber ever since.

One day we got talking about how he’d like to diversify his clientele, so I offered to create and manage a Facebook page for him. It would serve as a cyber extension of his barber shop by keeping conversations happening between haircuts.

Our posts have included news articles about the barber industry, photos of interesting objects and happenings at A Man’s World Barbershop, and videos featuring Darrell where he discusses current events (a favorite was the last two years of the NBA Finals featuring his favorite team the Golden State Warriors).

It’s a lot of fun and we’ve been surprised at how much material we’ve found and how often barbering shows up in the news. Here’s our Christmas campaign from December 2015: “The 12 Days of A Man’s World Barber Shop.”

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MARKETING CONSULTANT at Westbench Publishing

The development of the internet in recent years has provided incredible opportunities for the self-publishing industry. In 2009, to publish his own writings, my dad started his own publishing label. Named after the street my parents live on, it’s called Westbench Publishing.

isaiah book cover

In the late 1990s my dad started a personal study of the Book of Isaiah. Ten years later his personal study had grown into a 650-page verse-by-verse commentary that he wanted to publish. I helped him by designing the cover, improving the fonts and format of the text, and getting the printed books placed in local bookstores. Later, I helped him secure a nation-wide distributor, which allowed the book to be placed in larger chain bookstores. In 2011, I made an e-book version for Kindle. I also manage a Facebook page and a blog to promote the book.


When my parents were a young married couple, my dad was sent to Vietnam for a year-long tour of duty. That year, he spent Christmas on guard duty at the perimeter of his Army compound. In 2004, a brief memoir he wrote about this experience was published on Christmas Eve in the Deseret News. In 2011, I thought it would be worthwhile to turn his story into an e-book and include several period photos. Carma Wadley, former Feature Editor and senior writer at the Deseret News, wrote the foreword for the e-book. Here’s a link:

ISAIAS_COVER The Spanish translation of Isaiah: The Times of Fulfillment was published in 2012. In December 2012 I made an e-book version for Kindle. The entire text is also available here.

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