Case Study: Mission Promise Neighborhood

A concise and inspiring website, video, and promotional poster with a new messaging strategy that resonates with San Francisco’s mission neighborhood

Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN) connects the entire city of San Francisco via partnerships with schools, colleges, community organizations, and community leaders, focusing on SF’s culturally rich Mission District. With so many roles and services, MPN was struggling to tell their story in a succinct and understandable way to maintain the funding and volunteer resources they need to continue providing great work.
We spent two days together facilitating workshops to help MPN zero in on their target market, develop key messaging pillars, and build an action strategy that would attract key resources. With a team of talented designers at the ready, we helped the core team at MPN craft the foundation on which the team could build a compelling website, informational video, and a poster for local schools and organizations.

How might we promote MPN to attract the right funders and volunteers to best support the economic and academic needs of Mission District families?


Through a partnership with Elefint’s 2016, we offered our Remix, facilitation and strategy services, to develop custom workshops for the MPN core team, while Elefint’s designers and copywriters moved the implementation of those strategies forward.
We developed our first workshop around MPN’s initial request to develop resonant messaging, utilizing customer development work, competitive analysis, and brainstorming exercises to come up with a solid messaging platform that attracted Mission District volunteers.
We created a second workshop to help them ideate around messaging strategies to get the word out about the work MPN does. We utilized Think Wrong exercises to create outlandish scenarios, then we directed that creative energy to consider realistic strategies the team wouldn’t have otherwise thought of. We uncovered serendipitous connections by running through a brand takeover exercise, and the team’s energy was raised and optimistic about exciting new ways to attract resources.
Finally, we created a workshop to help the team learn Prototype Thinking techniques, enabling them to rapidly prototype their new ideas, effectively test those prototypes, and iterate quickly towards even greater solutions.


Day 1:
+ Design Thinking kick off
+ Workshop 1: Messaging that Resonates
+ Lunch
+ Workshop 2: Thinking Wrong
+ Dinner
+ Work session
Day 2:
+ Workshop 3: Prototype Thinking
+ Lunch
+ Testing and iterating
+ Dinner
+ Final Presentations


1. Empathize
Who is the website’s most likely target audience? What are these people like, what do they do, how do they think? What are their concerns, questions, and needs?

+ Empathy Map

2. Define
What is MPN’s core value to that audience? How does MPN impact their life? What are the messages to center around that evoke emotion for that audience?

+ Competitive Analysis

3. Ideate
What is the language to use to communicate this core value to that audience? What is the foundation message and the messaging pillars to support it?

+ Prototype

4. Test
Does the messaging resonate? What first impressions are we leaving on people? How do we get the word out to reach our target audience in a way that will grab their attention?

+ User Testing
+ Iterate


This 2-day immersion worked so well because we worked alongside the MPN team while a diverse team of professionals added their talent and viewpoints to the core team discussions.
Facilitation & Strategy:
+ Marc O’Brien
+ Sarah Harrison
MPN Design team:
Andreina Prado
Angie Carlucci
+ Jason Agar
John Hanawalt
+ Matthew Scharpnick
Megan Malley
Phil Clark
Tyson Wischerath


The team delivered web and mobile mockups, a style guide, content strategy, and wireframes for the rest of the website. MPN took these assets and applied them over the coming months. See the results at

The team also delivered a lovely motion graphics video, with custom illustrations and a script in English and Spanish! The illustrations were also used in the infographic poster below.

That’s not all we did that weekend. For a full recap of the 2016 retreat, go backstage and see more in-progress work and collaborations with the other non-profit organization taking part that weekend called, The Last Mile.

Working on something awesome and need to get more eyeballs on it? Cool.