The Bureau Briefing

The Bureau Briefing

The Bureau Briefing is a podcast by the Bureau of Digital, an organization dedicated to giving digital professionals the support system they never had. Each episode, we talk to a member of our community doing awesome, inspiring things.

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    Episode 091: From Inbound to Outbound: 20+ Years with Electric Pulp

    Electric Pulp came of age in the early days of the web, back before Y2K, smartphones or civilization as we know it today. Back then, it was like the Wild West: few competitors, few rules…With more work than they could handle, Electric Pulp left it to businesses to come calling—and call, they did. From Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to the global rebranding of Ford, Electric Pulp was scoring huge projects based on word-of-mouth marketing and a simple elevator pitch: “We build websites.”

    Aaron Mentele, Co-Founder at Electric Pulp, looks back on those early days, and says they didn’t need to pitch, or talk about the work they were doing. They were just launching cool stuff. Fast forward to today, and it’s a different story. Now, they're launching work that’s improving businesses. And that changes everything.

    Take a trip down memory lane, and revisit the web industry past, while learning how agencies are adjusting to the present and planning for the future. We’re talking PR, spec work, RFPs and all sorts of dirty little words that may turn you off—or may just change how you do business.

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    Episode 090: Andrei Bernovski

    At some agency, somewhere, right now, someone is crunching numbers. “I’ll need John, Amy, Jason…20 hours here, 10 hours there, buffer 20 percent…” Looking back at similar projects, they may add a few hours here, pare back scope there, carry the one…And then, voila, a tidy little estimate that’s sure to strike gold.

    Until it doesn’t.

    Project estimating and budgeting is both an art and a science. One Andrei Bernovski knows all too well. Working in project management and operations at agencies such as Tribal DDB, Razorfish, Sapient and boutique firms, he’s seen his fair share of what-if scenarios and projects gone good and bad.

    Inspired to solve his own personal pain points, Andrei co-founded Price&Cost, a project financial estimation and financial management tool. Hear how he set out to right estimating wrongs and how it’s better to adapt the budgeting wheel than try to reinvent it.

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    Episode 089: Staying Curious

    For some, the clear boundaries of an organization can be a comfort. For others, there’s something exhilarating about the great unknown. How do you bring curiosity and a sense of discovery to any situation or workplace?

    Nathan Paterson has worked for organizations of many different shapes and sizes, in boutique settings, leading creative teams for the likes of Disney and now at IDEO Tokyo as a Senior Design Lead. His career orbits around creative pursuits he finds fascinating: theatre, film, musicals, cutting-edge tech, cross-disciplinary design. When Disney came calling, Nathan thought he would give it a year, and ended up staying for nearly ten. Curious about other industries, he transitioned to IDEO, a playground of nearly every industry, sector and organization under the sun.

    Nathan joins us to talk about his journey, and how different organizations and industries inspire in different ways. Hear how ambiguity and optimism help him to stay curious, and what excites him about what’s to come.

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    Episode 087: End-of-Year Tax Strategies for Digital Agencies

    The new tax law ushered in some big changes, leaving many business owners confused over the best way to make the most of their returns. If 184 pages of tax law sounds like a snoozefest to you, you’re in luck. Today, we have David Danic, CPA and Director of Tax Services at Summit CPA Group to clear things up. David’s sharing his notes and highlighting some important tax savings strategies to work on between now and the end of the year.

    From 4K TVs to buying season sports tickets, pre-selling services, team bonuses, parties and in-office lunches, some ideas will help you maximize deductions, while others will not. Find out what the new tax law means for your business, why consulting language in contracts might be a bad thing and how to maximize your spending, retirement plans and R&D activities to save come tax time.

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    Episode 086: Inside the New Mailchimp

    What do you do when your product has outgrown its name, and is going through crazy changes? That’s the dilemma Mailchimp faced as the platform expanded beyond email to include Google and Facebook ads, landing pages, physical postcards and more.

    Newly hired as Mailchimp’s Director of Marketing and Brand Design, Brandy Porter joined Mailchimp as the company was initiating a full redesign of both the Mailchimp brand and its digital experiences. Seeking to understand what made Mailchimp “Mailchimpy,” Brandy and her team pored over data and user interviews, producing user flows, personas and key suggestions to ensure nothing was lost in the redesign.

    Fast forward to September 26, 2018, and the new brand went live to rave reviews. The culmination of months of work from the internal design team, partner agencies and a dozen different artists paid tribute to Mailchimp’s past while giving the brand plenty of space to grow. Hear the story behind the redesign, what’s new with Freddie and what Brandy would do differently if she had to do it all over again.

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    Episode 085: A Look Ahead to 2019

    So where are we headed in 2019? A simple truth: we need more diversity in the tech industry. Diversity of gender, ethnicities, beliefs, abilities—all of it. This will be a focus for us going into 2019. We’re already planning the next Women’s Leadership Camp and kicking off a new event, Digital Diversity Days at Seer.

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    Episode 084: Can Account-Based Marketing Work for Service Shops?

    This time about a year ago, Greg Bear and Travis Caldwall at Bear Group were venturing out on a new sales strategy. They decided to add Account-Based Marketing (ABM) to their mix, whittling down a large list of prospects to just a handful of very specific targets. Researching and planning, they hired a sales development rep, then began crafting personalized campaigns for each prospective account.

    Initially, their efforts seemed to work. But as the hours added up building assets, they wondered if ABM was worth it. They found organizations were either ready to embrace custom web development, or they weren’t. And they wouldn’t know until they had invested a significant amount of energy. Fast forward to today, and Bear is on a different course. Find out what they’re up to, why ABM didn’t work for them and why relationships are everything in this business.

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    Episode 083: Design & Parenting: Experiments, Ego & Shared Values

    If life imitates art, can life imitate work, and vice versa? Scott Welliver, Design Manager, Experience Design at Comcast, is a design leader, starting writer, husband and amateur dad to three kids. In many ways, Scott approaches his work and family lives in the same fashion. Whether he’s changing diapers or devising a UX solution with his team, he’s constantly working to adjust and take the ego out of things to really center in on the people who are involved.

    Scott joins us to talk about repeating values at home and work, and meeting everyone—family member or team member—at their unique place. As he says, “We're all common together, but you're unique and I want to meet you where you're at.” Tune in to hear about Comcast’s core value of experimentation, how the company is entering a new era of thinking and why it’s important to connect with people who make you better at work and at life.

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    Episode 082: Finding Strength in Community

    In the little town of Dayton, Ohio, you’ll find a cool, creative arts community that The Scenery calls home. The product agency’s team took up residence there in June 2017, passing a quiet six months in the new space before heading out for the holidays. Four days after Christmas, in the early morning hours, Dayton fire crews were dispatched to the building on reports of smoke. A restaurant kitchen fire had spread throughout the building, damaging—and effectively closing—the businesses inside.

    Carla Hale, Partner and Director of Client Services, was just waking up when she got the call. As she says, you make a lot of contingency plans as a business owner, but an office fire is not something that most people plan for. Without an office to go back to, Carla feared The Scenery might lose clients or even employees. Fortunately, the local community rallied together, with Sparkbox, a fellow Bureau alum, opening its doors to The Scenery team. Carla joins us to talk about that snowy winter morning, how the fire impacted business and how the team emerged stronger than before.

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