“Disruption” and “innovation” seem to be key terms businesses are using in this modern era, and yet do you find your organization is still communicating with the dreaded “reply all” email?

There are a few interesting ways your organization can optimize communication using collaboration and crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing is described as a way that large groups can work together using the Internet to create and design projects, collaborate on ideas and work toward a common goal. The word “crowdsourcing” is a mashup or a portmanteau of the words “crowd” and “outsourcing”.

The biggest benefit of crowdsourcing is that ideas can come from anywhere. Instead of only receiving ideas from a single source, multiple people can brainstorm and/or submit their insights for the common good.

One of the most well-known forms of crowdsourcing is Wikipedia, which is a free online encyclopedia, written collaboratively by the people who use it.

First, you must decide your goal, and how you’ll measure success. Then, decide how you will disseminate the information and collect the results.

To optimize communication and collaboration in your organization, you will want to:

#1: Identify your in-house resources: Who are the internal people who can help you with your goal(s)? Ideally obtaining at least one representative from each department of your company will give you a well-rounded overview and holistic perspective.

#2: Decide which platform(s) will you use to connect: Some companies use Intranets or communication tools such as Yammer (Microsoft), Slack, Google Docs. If this isn’t feasible, perhaps you can set up your own company Wiki (ask your IT department for assistance). Whatever process you choose, keep it simple.

#3. Provide clear instructions: Post the information with how and when the material (information/products/services) needs to be submitted.

#4: Ask your target audience for their insights: Use your Social Media channels to ask your audience “What do you want to know about?” or “What’s your idea?” One of the best examples of this is MyStarbucksIdea.com. Not only can you submit your idea, but the collaborative masses can also share, vote and discuss the ideas submitted, which saves time and money on research and development.

#5: Reward contributors: Sometimes just recognizing the person/team who submitted the winning idea is reward enough, but having a contest is also a great incentive! For example, Doritos’ “Crash The Super Bowl” contest invited users to create their own 30-second advertisement. The grand prize winner has their video featured as the official Doritos Super Bowl ad, along with receiving $1 million prize money, a job with Universal Studios to work on a major motion picture and tickets to that year’s Super Bowl.

Don’t expect a silver bullet the first time you put together a crowdsourcing project. There are many lessons you’ll learn along the way as you continue to tweak and evolve your communication and plan.


Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Optimization Specialist, Professor of Social Media, Corporate Trainer, Principal of PUNCH!media and author of “CREATE. CONNECT. CONVERT”

Leslie was called a “Social Media Guru” by CBC Radio and was featured on CTV’s “The Social” discussing how to manage your digital identity. Leslie has been working in digital marketing since 1997 and founded PUNCH!media in 2009.

PUNCH!media clients include The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and TVO.

PUNCH!media’s goal is to empower through education and help executives gain confidence in their online presence so you convert higher-paying clients.


Want more LinkedIn tips to PUNCH up your presence? Sign up to our newsletter at www.punchmedia.ca