Mixing Board 1.0
In late January, the Mixing Board community of comms and brand experts was introduced. For the first time, organizations could tap the experience and perspective of some of the best minds in the industry — at the same time — on issues or opportunities they’re facing. We brought together all-star teams of Mixing Board members on all types of projects — from quick consultations to workshops to two-week sprints to helping high-profile organizations navigate inflection points for multiple months.
We wanted to see how it would all work and what people would want from Mixing Board before we could take this perspective and solidify a product set. In this process, it became clear how much excitement there is for a reimagined way to get advice and support. At the same time, new approaches require a simple, direct and easy way to use them. And this is where we put our focus.
Enter Mixing Board 1.0. This is our analog phase — our acoustic offerings. From here, we will take iterative steps toward going electric and providing a more digital version of ourselves so that accessing the best advice from a group of the smartest experts in the world is only a few clicks away.
The offerings we are launching today are nimble products that work at the speed and operating rhythm of both the dynamic organizations that work with us and our members who are now happily facing a 2021 that feels like it’s on the way to something new. On this path, they want to collaborate on challenging projects and learn from others that they admire. Making this process well-defined and ensuring that it meets our members where they are at is important, too.
While we can always create off-menu custom programs, Mixing Board’s near-term focus will be on the following offerings that can be provided in any combination or à la carte:
Sounding Board. This offering most succinctly symbolizes what Mixing Board is and does. A literal complementary board of Mixing Board members who curate and hold quarterly meetings/workshops with a client to help pull the organization out of the tactical day-to-day; provide strategic and creative infusions; brainstorm approaches to new opportunities and challenges; and, consider new issues or trends that are popping up outside the organization. This also includes monthly check-ins with a lead advisor. Plus, it’s cool that a sound board is an analog mixing board.
Opportunity Workshop. Before you start an important comms or marketing effort, take a brief step back and look inward to get to the core of what your true goals are, ensure that your team is aligned around them and get expert feedback on the best way to reach them. In the center of a two-week process, members host a workshop that’s followed by tangible recommendations.
Strategy Sprints. When an organization faces a critical inflection point or big moment, it’s not like extra time is afforded to deeply consider it. Quite the opposite. In roughly a month, multiple expert members come together to run a series of well-planned workshops and discussions that efficiently uses your time and gets you suggestions on smart strategic paths forward, how to sharply position yourself, and recommendations on actionable next steps.
1:1s. Expert advice for when working through an urgent issue or you simply need fresh, outside perspectives. Packaged in bundles of three video conversations with one or multiple members.
Community-Sourced Recruiting. When recruiters are looking for ideas for a new senior role, our members are constantly asked for their two cents and given no cents in return. We thought why not make a product out of this reality? We provide feedback on role definition, how to approach the market and then crowdsource candidate recommendations from Mixing Board members. If a suggested candidate gets hired, we equally share the financial reward with the member who made the suggestion. Via word of mouth, this offering already has fast momentum.
Roundtable. A deep dive session into an emerging topic conducted by Mixing Board subject-matter experts. For example, topics could include looks into climate action and corporate accountability, internal culture meets Gen Z, employees and political speech and so on.
Insights. Quantitative and qualitative surveys to test ideas or creative concepts, get a gut check on a strategy or garner quick outside feedback on emerging issues among a robust sample of our members.
Mentorship. Coaching and professional development support for comms and brand leaders and their teams. We are currently building out this capability and curriculum.
We now have 100 Mixing Board community members to participate in these efforts and share knowledge with their fellow members. We are adding more at a thoughtful pace. Our members have run communications, run marketing or run multiple comms functions, brand, policy, content, community, innovation, research, growth, events, product marketing and beyond at places like Nike, Airbnb, Oatly, Twitter, Instagram, Intel, Dunkin’, LinkedIn, Slack, LVMH, Uber, Adobe, Glossier, the Obama White House, Google, Vox, Workday, SXSW and lots more interesting organizations where powerful experiences and learnings were had.
If you are interested in learning more about working with the Mixing Board community, feel free to fill out this inquiry. Thank you.
For More on Mixing Board
What our members think:
- Katie Dreke (former Nike brand and innovation leader) on the Modern Brand & Human Connection
- David Swain (former Instagram head of comms) on Starting and Staying Strategic in a Big Comms Job
- Obama Comms Aide Eric Schultz on ‘Going Direct’, Liars, WH Briefings & More
- Todd Hansen (former head of programming and strategy at SXSW) on the Future of Events and the Next SXSW
- Bailey Richardson (early Instagram employee) on Building Communities With Intention
- Amanda Atkins (head of internal comms and culture at Slack) on a New Era for Internal Communications
- Cody Keenan (President Obama’s chief speechwriter) on taking risks and embracing controversy
- Member survey and advice on comms and brand strategy entering 2021