Collaborative Working Tips

by Clare MacQuarrie & Grainne McAlister | Communications & Engagement Unit, Department for the Communities NI

It was great to hear how others collaborate to extend their reach and get their information out there at low or often no cost.

The top tips we took away from the workshop were:

• Think about collaborating – it allows you to share your knowledge and expertise and gain from others as well as sharing resources • Plan and develop a systematic approach to collaborating
• Identify your priorities
• Carry out a detailed stakeholder analysis – who would be an appropriate partner? Could a third party help to support or generate trust in your message? Make sure you chose the right partners
• Communicate, communicate, communicate – have regular catch ups with your partners. Face-to-face if you can. It might sound obvious but this will definitely help build relationships and help identify any potential problems early
• Make partnering as easy as possible – prepare videos, packs, infographics, etc that your partners can use
• Don’t forget to review regularly and evaluate your activities! Many of the suggestions above may sound basic but without these simple steps communicating with colleagues or stakeholders may not be so easy.

Our time at the event was packed full of variety in terms of ideas and suggestions on how to work collaboratively to develop a cost effective advertising campaign, how to take your campaign to a global level and how to evaluate your work to show value for money and highlight the effectiveness of your campaign.

The morning had a great mix of networking, sharing experience, encouraging creative thinking and of course allowed time to get answers to those really important questions. Collaboration plays a big part in our day to day lives both inside and outside of work, we collaborate with friends, with family, with colleagues and with stakeholders.

Sometimes we collaborate without even thinking as it’s just a natural part of engaging with others, however the CIM event took a closer look at what it takes to collaborate.

The four important parts that make up this important activity are – Information Sharing, Participation, Co-operation and Collaboration. So, if you are already working in a communications or marketing environment, or if you just have a keen interest in getting the best out of your existing skills why not have a look at the full range of CIM events.

Photocaption : HMS Caroline's image of their role in the #missing type campaign - one of the examples of best practice highlighted at the CIM/Cabinet Office event.