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2024 trends report

8 key priorities for execs and comms leaders

Key insights and strategies from conversations with 90 of the nation’s top communicators

We're about to enter another tough year.

At the end of 2023, Mixing Board convened 90 top communication leaders whose current or former roles span Johnson & Johnson, Intel, Google’s Moonshot factory, Volkswagen, Bain Capital Ventures, StubHub, Airbnb, Meta, Procter & Gamble, Peloton, Audible, and more.

Together with Axios HQ, they led an important conversation.

  • The question: Next year is going to be as critical as it will be complicated. What can we anticipate and help each other get ahead of now? 
  • The outcome: Eight key topics came into focus. Our experts developed unique, strategic advice for each one to help any leader succeed.  

We hope this report, and the insights inside it, helps you get ahead of what’s to come — and leverage smart strategies to come out even stronger.

A preview of what's inside

For communication leaders, there’s no better time than now to start talking with your CEOs, your Chiefs of Staff, and other top leaders about the playbooks you have on hand — and how to execute them. 

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2024 Presidential election

Every cycle brings up difficult, sensitive, hot-button issues, and the uncertainty of who will lead our nation — or what policies and protections may change as a result — can be deeply unsettling to staff. 

Employees will turn up the temperature on their leaders, expecting them to once again stand up, speak out, and advocate for the people who follow them. Edelman’s 2023 Trust Barometer may show teams trust their organization more than the media, government, and other organizations, but it is a trust that is heavily scrutinized, hard won, and easily lost.

→ We share five essential strategies to succeed.

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Re-prioritize your spending

In 2023, budgets got tighter, headcounts got smaller, and most organizations had to grow with fewer resources. That will ease in 2024 — with many executives saying they expect better balance and buying power.

With every department stretched, though, it will be critical to have a plan for if, when, and where you offer relief — and how you communicate those choices. Deloitte’s year-end projections show a reassuring “soft landing” of our economy and low risk of recession. So it’s time to plan spending.

→ We share four essential strategies to succeed.

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... plus six other pressing priorities for leaders

Truth and trust will have an amplified impact for organizations. And in any moment when your toughest critics — the employees who expect you to lead them well — feel that what you're saying does not match what you're doing, we will hear it loudly. They will look for you to…

  • Earn and uphold their trust. You cannot draw on what you haven’t built. 
  • Create a communication routine. Repetition is key in times of change.
  • Guide them openly. They must hear from you and also feel heard.

Get the full report today

In collaboration with Axios HQ, Mixing Board captured the insights in this report at its annual live event. The event, where 90+ communication and brand marketing leaders came together, was in Austin, TX, in October 2023. 


About the report creators

  • Axios HQ is an internal communication platform powered by Smart Brevity® — a data-backed communications formula. Rooted in years of research, Axios HQ’s tools, templates, and AI make it possible for any communicator to distill vital information in less time, and deliver it to staff inboxes. 
  • Mixing Board is a curated community of 325+ influential communications and brand marketing leaders. They are heads of comms, CMOs, brand strategists, social and content specialists, community builders, policy veterans and speechwriters at the world’s most recognizable brands. 

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