It was like watching a live mash-up of musical eras, as hot new a cappella group Pentatonix crooned early MTV classic “Video Killed the Radio Star” in the studio that TRL once called home.
Such was the scene at Viacom’s Party with a Purpose last week, a shindig in the company’s Times Square studio that followed a day-long strategy session among its Corporate Responsibility leaders. The reception invited Viacom’s pro-social partners – ranging from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to The College Board to UN Foundation and MSNBC’s Keli Goff – to toast their combined efforts on the ground, around the world to tackle the issues that mean the most to our audiences.
Pentatonix, winners of NBC’s The Sing Off and strong supporters of leading anti-bullying organization The Trevor Project, wowed the crowd with their talent and charisma.
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman joined to unveil Viacommunity.com, the new online hub for Viacom’s pro-social efforts, in the studio and across the street on MTV’s 44 1/2 screen in Times Square. Through the site, visitors can access and get involved with all of the company’s social good initiatives in one spot. The list of those initiatives – more than 50 in total – covered screens around the room.
Dauman tipped his hat to the corporate responsibility groups leading these efforts and the partners and friends who help bring them to life.
Earlier in the day, Viacom’s Corporate Responsibility leaders huddled on pro-social priorities and future plans. The packed agenda included presentations on challenges and successes for individual initiatives, including MTV’s Power of 12, BET’s Wrap It Up and Nickelodeon’s The Big Help, and sessions on partnering internally to do well by doing good with colleagues in Research, HR, Communications and Content Distribution & Marketing, among others. Chef Ed Brown, of New York’s eighty one and Ed’s Chowder House, served up a much appreciated break with a delicious organic lunch accompanied by a discussion on sustainability.
The meeting ended with a strong lineup of external speakers, each of whom explored the power of storytelling in advancing social impact, including Adam Braun of Pencils of Promise, 30 Project/FEED’s Ellen Gustafson, Yael Cohen of F*CK Cancer, The Bully Project Director Lee Hirsch and Bobby Bailey, co-founder of Invisible Children, who spoke just as the group’s Kony 2012 video was beginning its astronomical viral ascent.