Celebrities, Collectables, Cody – How CMT Interns Created #12DaysOfGiving

Being an intern at CMT has amazing perks – we get to work on huge events, see celebs around the office, and create content for one of the top channels in the country (Party Down South anyone?). However, the best perk is the opportunity to truly make a difference in our community.

Viacom encourages employees to pursue their passions, and interns are treated no differently. We (the CMT Nashville fall 2015 intern group) were determined to figure out a way to raise awareness for a cause that is near and dear to our hearts: Feeding America.

We had three goals that we wanted to accomplish with our project:

1. Increase Feeding America donations nationwide

2. Raise awareness for CMT One Country and increase their Twitter following (@CMTOneCountry) by 5 percent.

3. Set precedent to encourage future interns to launch their own Viacommunity campaigns.

The team did a food drive among the CMT Nashville interns and collected 52 pounds of food for Second Harvest, their local Feeding America food bank.From left to right: Abbey Hogan (Business and Legal Affairs intern), Taelor Owen (Corporate Communications intern), Shannon Lilly (Hot 20 Countdown intern), Rachel Burns (Integrated Marketing intern), Jessi Clark (Hot 20 Countdown intern), Adam Pisarsky (CMT.com Mobile intern).

The team did a food drive among the CMT Nashville interns and collected 52 pounds of food for Second Harvest, their local Feeding America food bank.From left to right: Abbey Hogan (Business and Legal Affairs intern), Taelor Owen (Corporate Communications intern), Shannon Lilly (Hot 20 Countdown intern), Rachel Burns (Integrated Marketing intern), Jessi Clark (Hot 20 Countdown intern), Adam Pisarsky (CMT.com Mobile intern).

Making It Happen

With 10 interns across multiple departments, we utilized everyone’s skills to create a multi-faceted campaign that we called #12DaysOfGiving.

With the support of our co-workers and supervisors, we worked with Public Affairs to create a holiday sweepstakes raising awareness of CMT One Country and Feeding America. To enter, participants simply posted a photo of how they’re giving back to Feeding America on social media with the hashtag #12DaysOfGiving. We promoted the campaign through verbal and graphic mentions on the Hot 20 Countdown, social pushes across numerous CMT handles, custom co-brands, talent interaction, and even an article on CMT.com.

To drive entries, we rounded up some insane prizes, including tickets to the 2016 CMT Music Awards in Nashville, generous donations from Public Affairs to local Feeding America food banks, a signed guitar from the 2015 Artists of the Year celebration, a shout-out by CMT legend Cody Alan, and signed CMT merchandise.

CMT Feeding America - 3CMT Feeding America - 4CMT Feeding America - 5

From left to right above: Luke Bryan, singer and songwriter Sam Hunt, and a signed guitar from CMT’s Artists of the Year celebration.

What We Learned

#12DaysOfGiving was Nashville’s largest intern project to date, and it made an impact both internally (with 52 pounds of food collected at CMT) and nationally. The campaign was a huge learning experience, and we can’t believe that we actually pulled it off (with lots of help of course).

Some of the lessons we learned:

·         Never believe that you cannot accomplish something because you’re “just an intern.”

·         If you have an idea you want to accomplish, ask. Most co-workers and supervisors are eager to help.

·         Campaigns are created by the hard work and collaboration of multiple departments. Start planning early to ensure that you can access everything you need.

·         Create a backup plan for every situation. When faced with “no,” always say “what if we do ___ happens instead?”

·         Make sure to thank everyone who has helped you. Everyone is busy, and it is generous of them to lend you their time.

Keeping our lessons in mind, we never could have pulled this campaign off alone. We worked with virtually every department at CMT to accomplish our goals, and we couldn’t have done it without our wonderful mentors and supportive co-workers. Thank you to everyone who has worked on this project, especially Public Affairs, Radio, Legal, Social Media, and CMT.com.

The next time you find yourself thinking that you’re “just an intern,” think instead about how you can leverage your talents to create lasting results for a project you’re passionate about. After all, seeing celebrities gets old quickly, but your memories of making a difference never will. ​