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How To Collaborate To Make The World A Better Place

Have you ever stood back and asked how your work can improve the lives of others?

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Have you ever stood back and asked how your work can improve the lives of others?

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How To Collaborate To Make The World A Better Place

Have you ever stood back and asked how your work can improve the lives of others?

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Whether on a personal or industry level, co-founders of international media and marketing platform, The Drum, and husband and wife team, Gordon and Diane Young, know a thing or two about collaboration and trying to change the world.

From starting The Drum as a small operation in Glasgow, it has gone on to spread globally across three continents and their latest initiative is Do It Day, an annual day to change the world through marketing.

Teams gather to solve briefs for the world’s largest brands, compete against each other, and then donate their skills and time for the resulting social cause campaigns activated on a certain day.

Gathering some of the largest corporations and charities around the globe, Do It Day provides a huge opportunity for improving the world and learning from the amazing collaboration between tech, creative and marketing experts from different levels and backgrounds.

Delete your titles

When collaborating on a project, everyone’s ideas are valid, no matter what department or role, everyone sees something from a different perspective. Juniors can come up with fresh ideas from a different perspective, so throw away the titles and forget the hierarchy.

During Do It Day, problem solving under pressure was a great leveller and team member name badges did not include titles. Students worked together with senior directors on the same briefs - all ideas were judged on the ideas themselves as opposed to the seniority of the person making the suggestions. Shake things up and the results might surprise you.

Good ideas are no respecters of seniority

Good ideas are no respecters of seniority

Outline inputs and outputs

When collaborating, it is vital to agree your mission and each party’s input and output. This means you need a simple brief so ask yourself if it can be summed up in a hashtag or 140 characters.

When it comes to strategy, make it straightforward, allocate actions to parties and be prepared if the partnership or campaign really takes off… ask who will be maintaining the work, if needed, after your initial launch. Time and role boundaries are vital to keep things moving and keeping the process fair – Do It Day campaigns came to fruition thanks to around 400 volunteers across three continents.

Be Conscious

Has your industry got a bad reputation or environmental impacts you could help offset? Could your company donate a small amount of skills or time to truly improve lives of other? The key thing here is making sure you actually DO something. Never mistake talk for action.

Even a small thing can have a big impact if you exploit the digital and social tools that are now available. For example, Do It Day achieved campaigns shown in Times Square and Piccadilly Circus, national newspapers and two TV commercials.

Setting up a wifi scheme in Africa and helping 100 apprentices find work are just two examples of what was achieved with some voluntary hours. If a group of people each apply a day or two of their time, you can truly make a change.

As small as mentoring, employing an apprentice or having an annual charity day, be sure to keep giving back and impacting society for good.

world pic

Small acts can have a global impact

Ask how yourself and peers can drive your industry forward

This is a key point. It is incredible what can be achieved when an industry pools its skills and resource to crack common problems. The power of being able to combine, for example, tech businesses with creative firms, or charities with those who have access to media channels.

Together we’re stronger, but so many don’t take it that step further, lending a hand and creating those conversations. Is there a company you’ve been meaning to introduce yours to? Go ahead and do it, it might be the greatest decision you make.

Think locally to globally

The world is more connected than ever. Do it Day is a festival of collaboration that crosses borders. Using digital we can connect people in Africa with firms in London, for example.

It is amazing how people in the first world can empathise with people in the third, but also interesting how much the first world can learn from the third. You might be happy with what you’re doing on a local level, but ask yourself if it will translate globally, do some research, seek out people to collaborate with and go for it! Make what you’re doing contagious.

To enrol your own company next year for Do It Day or to find out more information visit http://doitday.thedrum.com/.

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How To Collaborate To Make The World A Better Place

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