Dow Jones teams working together in Slack
Collaboration

Dow Jones levels up cross-functional collaboration with Slack

The renowned publishing firm’s marketing and sales teams streamline teamwork with Slack channels and several key apps

Author: Lauren JohnsonDecember 3rd, 2020Illustration by Giacomo Bagnara

When it comes to delivering financial and business news, Dow Jones is a behemoth publishing firm with a roster of household names, including The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. Behind the brand, a cross-functional team of content strategists drives campaigns and streamlines internal communication in Slack, the channel-based messaging platform.

“Slack was clearly born to be a productivity tool,” says Rossa Shanks, former chief marketing officer at Dow Jones. “When I look at Slack, I don’t just see messages. I see people. I see teams. I see projects and conversations and communities. It’s a messaging tool, virtual corridor, water cooler, town hall and meeting room all rolled into one.”

To see how Dow Jones’s content marketers harness the power of Slack, marketing team leaders gave us a tour of their Slack workspace and shared which channels and integrations are integral to their daily work.

Rossa Shanks, Chief Marketing Officer, Dow Jones

“When I look at Slack, I don’t just see messages. I see people. I see teams. I see projects and conversations and communities.”

Rossa ShanksFormer Chief Marketing Officer, Dow Jones

Freeing up precious time with three key Slack integrations

To streamline tasks and reduce context switching, the teams at Dow Jones rely on a suite of integrations that connect tools and services right in Slack. This gives them the flexibility to use their favorite tools directly in Slack channels, a single place to share files and messages.

“Slack makes it easy to integrate tools and leverage other apps that we use on a daily basis,” says content strategist Julia Lancaster. “It brings everything together in one central place.”

Boosting teamwork between marketing and sales with Drift

Hannah Kranich, the director of demand generation at Dow Jones, shares how her team uses the Drift app for Slack to qualify sales leads and engage with potential customers.

Dow Jones’s business-to-business sales team relies on Kranich to deliver high-quality leads that are eager to explore the firm’s offerings. The Dow Jones website is the top source for identifying leads, but manually pulling reports based on website data is tedious and time-consuming. That’s why the demand generation team relies on Drift, a conversational marketing platform, to automate gathering and sharing metrics, and then route them straight to Slack.

“As salespeople, Slack makes our lives easier by consolidating everything into one place. This includes the Drift integration.”

Nicole BorgiaNew Business Sales Executive, Dow Jones

“Drift automatically pushes key data directly into Slack, which saves us time,” Kranich says.

New business sales executive Nicole Borgia agrees the Drift integration in Slack is crucial for the Dow Jones sales team: “As salespeople, Slack makes our lives easier by consolidating everything into one place,” she says. “This includes the Drift integration, which helps us keep track of stats, notifies us when prospects are engaging in real time and allows us to see who’s online.”

The Drift app for Slack also helps Dow Jones:

  • Alert the sales team about updates across the entire sales funnel, from new conversations and emails to meetings with prospective customers
  • Keep the marketing and analytics teams in the know with consolidated reports

Managing assignments and deadlines with Asana

Marketing professionals are responsible for enticing prospective customers with engaging content. For Margo Connolly, the senior marketing coordinator at Dow Jones, that means managing a full calendar of multimedia website content, virtual events and digital marketing campaigns. Connolly’s team tracks deadlines with Asana, a web- and mobile-based project management app.

“I’m not always checking Asana, so when I see that notification in Slack, it means I have something to review,” Connolly says. “This is a huge win because I constantly have too many tabs open. I love that I have one less platform to visit.”

The Asana app for Slack helps Connolly’s team:

  • View assignments and comments in Asana without leaving Slack
  • Open linked documents, reply and manage deadlines right in Slack
  • Create and update assignments using shortcuts provided by Asana in Slack

Directing account executives to the content they need with Highspot

The Dow Jones content marketing team saves sales account executives invaluable time with the Highspot app for Slack. Colleagues from the content team can drop useful information in Highspot that the sales team can easily find and use to engage prospective customers.

“We use a quick shortcut in Slack to pull up all the Highspot content we need,” Lancaster says. “When we were all in the physical office, the marketing team sat near sales and we’d overhear conversations and learn what they needed. Slack helps us re-create those conversations.”

“When sales and marketing folks are looking for a piece of content, the first thing they do is look in Slack,” says Lancaster. “If it’s not there then they go to Highspot directly.”

No matter what app the teams at Dow Jones are using, Slack serves as the central command center.

Julia Lancaster, Content Strategist, Dow Jones

“When we were all in the physical office, the marketing team sat near sales and we’d overhear conversations and learn what they needed. Slack helps us re-create those conversations.”

Julia LancasterContent Strategist, Dow Jones

Creating a cross-functional content strategy in channels

Before Dow Jones adopted Slack, the internal communications teams shared content, campaign updates, sales wins and other updates via a weekly email newsletter. “If you missed the deadline to share your news, you’d have to wait until the next week, and by then the update wasn’t as relevant,” Connolly says.

Now, teams have an internal comms strategy connected by Slack channels. Bigger, all-team news goes in #pib-announcements, while targeted team updates are reserved for location-specific channels.

For example, let’s say someone from the Americas-based team requests an attendee list for an upcoming event. “The point of contact can answer right in the #pib-sales-amer Slack channel and everyone else will see the answer as well,” Connolly says. “It’s a more open, two-way communication compared to before.”

Dow Jones's internal comms strategy in Slack channels

The marketing team organizes channels by product line, campaign and region, so colleagues know exactly where to find the information they need. Some high-traffic channels include:

  • #risk-demand-gen, where the risk- and compliance-specific marketing team connects regularly with the demand generation team
  • #pib-sales-randc-reasonstocall, where sales and marketing actively share reasons to call prospects and customers
  • #abm-knowledgeshare, with helpful tips, how-tos, stats and more to reference as the team shifts to account-based marketing (ABM)

“Without in-person office interactions, it’s harder to keep up with other departments,” says Kaitlin Gisolfi, the marketing manager of newswires and financial audiences at Dow Jones. “So it’s a morale booster to hear about major wins in other parts of the business in Slack.”

Marketing also relies heavily on freelance partnerships to create written blog content. For onboarding new writers, synching on stories and holding weekly check-ins, the design team uses the #creative-pool channel in Slack Connect, the secure way to communicate and collaborate with outside partners. “Instead of going back and forth on emails, the team can work quickly and collaboratively right in Slack Connect,” Kranich explains.

“Slack doesn’t just make communication easier. It fosters relationships in a way that email simply cannot and does not,” Shanks says. “It’s the social glue that binds us together and keeps us connected at a time when connection is needed more than ever.”

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