Dow Jones BRI

Project Details
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Dow Jones
Project Description

Dow Jones Business Relationship and Intelligence (BRI) delivered business intelligence and personalized intelligence platforms. It was a new department of BRI, based on its acquisition of Generate in March, 2008. The technology solved the fundamental challenge of acquiring essential business, profiles, executives and relationships in a single view.

Dow Jones BRI featured Dow Jones g2, technology created by Generate Inc. which allowed users to move beyond the information they discovered online into making connections with relevant individuals. G2 illuminated a clear connection path by using relationship maps—through work, personal, board and school affiliations, plus integrated Outlook, LinkedIn and other contact systems. G2 showed the individual user and their entire organization how they connected to other companies and executives. You could start with a reference to information, such as a press release on venture funding at a certain company, and within 10 minutes, find out if someone in your company knows someone there.

For Dan, working at a startup company like Generate was like being a member of a select crew on a sailboat heading upstream. Everyone had multiple roles—it’s was a tightly integrated team—and the smallest efforts mattered. After we sailed our boat upstream for 30 months, the acquisition of Generate by Dow Jones and Company was like having the QE2 pull up alongside our little boat and hoist us all up onto its huge deck. It was shocking, but it was also exciting to know that we could build and market our ideas with a big engine pushing us upstream.

I immersed myself in an established brand and determined what aspect of Generate’s brand would continue forward. I would also be collaborating with a lot of new colleagues. I would need to expand the creative department to many more parallel projects than ever before. I was now at the controls of a much larger creative engine, driven by a vastly larger enterprise.

With a large team, my goal was to produce creative that is delivered on time and within budget and to be explicit about job status by communicating clearly. Creative was delivered online for a very virtual team.

There were so many projects! Most were online and print advertisements that required landing pages, HTML e-mails, and support collateral. I collaborated with the director of global advertising to produce metaphors and messaging for ads that were both online and in print, in The Wall Street Journal.

Creative management was combined with hands-on design work to produce:

  • Creative briefs
  • Data sheets
  • Corporate Web sites
  • Reference materials
  • Print and Web ads
  • Landing pages
  • HTML e-mails
  • Online newsletters
  • Message concepts
  • Illustration
  • Creative resourcing
  • Event banners
  • Product demos
  • E-book design
  • Logo and icon design
  • Stock photo purchasing
  • Animated presentations
  •  Style guide development


Advertising in The Journal

Our new group at Dow Jones, Business and Relationship Intelligence, advertised extensively in the Wall Street Journal print edition as well as on several business Web sites such as,, and

For the Wall Street Journal, it was important that a theme be developed for consistency among different ads. Dow Jones g2 was a product that would help businesspeople break through a tough economic climate. The ads featured historical figures who were identified for defying convention—in these cases, Thomas Edison and Charles Darwin. The stippled art was commissioned from Kevin Sprouls, the originator of the Journal’s famous pen-and-ink drawings. All ads included an online landing page where an e-book could be downloaded upon registration. I conceived of the headline and the theme for these pieces.

E-book design and promotion

E-books are an excellent way to convey expertise and value to the marketplace. And they’re a great way to build prospects because acquiring an e-book requires registration. E-book projects involve many professionals—the ghostwriter, the marketer, the illustrator, and the designer. I was involved in the design of all aspects of e-books, which were published as PDF downloads.

E-books were promoted in multiple channels. Most often our target audience was online, where we ran advertisements. We also promoted e-books directly to our growing prospect e-mail list.

Getting the Web out!

After the acquisition we needed to upgrade the Generate Web site ASAP! The Generate design was scalable, so the rebranding was quickly accomplished. The “Phase 2” Web site design featured interactive tools to allow visitors to test-drive Dow Jones’s extensive business data network.

Later, the website was redesigned to be more in line with other Dow Jones online properties.


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