Lisa Di Venuta contributed reporting.
In an enormous show of support for local communities around the world, more than 4,000 Viacom employees threw themselves into the 21st annual Viacommunity Day last Friday. It was themed as a day of unity, bringing employees from every part of the company together at more than 150 projects sites across the United States and more than a dozen other nations, a collective effort that underscored Viacom’s unwavering dedication to putting our resources, skills, energies and collective will toward improving our communities.
“Viacommunity has a long legacy with our company,” said Viacom President and CEO Bob Bakish, standing among a group of employees outside of a Boys & Girls Club in New Rochelle, 20 miles north of Times Square in the New York City suburbs. “I remember when I joined the company in 1997 in the early days of Viacommunity, and it’s always been a day, throughout different management teams, throughout different phases of the media business, where we would take a day and allow people to give back to their communities. This is all evidence that communities matter. That’s what Viacommunity is all about.”
Support for the effort transcended our employee ranks, reaching into the celebrity Twittersphere:
— Nick Cannon (@NickCannon) April 28, 2017
— holland roden (@hollandroden) April 28, 2017
— Felicity Huffman (@FelicityHuffman) April 28, 2017
Events began early in the morning, spreading west from our outposts in Asia and Australia and following the sun across Europe and Africa and then jumping the Atlantic. The Viacommunity spirit rippled from the five boroughs of New York City and across the suburbs, west to Tennessee and finally California, where Paramount locked in the Viacommunity Day Cup for the second consecutive year.
Below is just a small sampling of the energy, enthusiasm, and effort that our volunteers injected into their communities over the course of a single day.
With the highest percentage of employees participating in Viacommunity Day out of any Viacom division, Paramount locked in the Viacommunity Day Cup for the second consecutive year. Employees had spent the past 12 months passing their prize around, Stanley Cup style, with different groups holding the trophy for a week at a time. Taking the cup again is a testament to how deeply entrenched the Viacommunity spirit is on the lot, where longstanding relationships with local schools and organizations fuse with individual efforts to create an atmosphere rich with giving.
The Fulfillment Fund
The commitment was evident on Paramount’s Hollywood lot on Friday morning, when a bus pulled in to pick up more than two dozen employee volunteers. It was already loaded with 25 students and four chaperones from Alexander Hamilton High School in west Los Angeles. They were headed six miles south, beneath the 10 freeway and to the campus of the University of Southern California (USC). On a separate bus, 25 Viacom employees were heading in the same direction from the company’s shiny new Hollywood building, stopping to pick up an additional 17 students from Helen Bernstein High School before rendezvousing at the university.
The Fulfillment Fund, an organization that focuses on orienting high-risk students toward college, was way ahead of both groups. They’d set up a unique tour: a campus-wide scavenger hunt for groups of students and volunteer mentors to navigate together. What’s the name of the campus bookstore? Which year was the arts building dedicated? Which years did USC football win the Rose Bowl? Four versions of the hunt helped to disperse the laughing, giddy students across the hot campus and avoid overcrowding at any one site.
Among the Viacom and Paramount volunteers were seven USC alumni and at least two graduates of Hamilton High School. Site captain Lori Nakama, a director of creative services for digital and television distribution in home media who was participating in her seventh Viacommunity Day, was among them.
“This is one of my favorite days of the year,” she said. “I love getting to work with people in the company that I don’t normally get to talk to. We’re so busy here that, a lot of times, I don’t leave my desk. So I don’t get to meet somebody who works in theatrical, or in finance, or in theatrical finance. So at Viacommunity Day, you not only are building a community within the community, but a community within the company.”
Welcome to the March issue of the Viacom Global Insights Digest, bringing you Viacom’s latest consumer insights from around the world.
This month, we look at today’s Australian dads, the life strategies and hybrid online/offline worlds of global youth, and the value of technology and playful learning to preschoolers’ parents.
Spike TV’s international expansion continues as it sets up in yet another international market – this time in Australia, where a partnership with Fetch TV has just dropped the net’s addicting mix of franchises, unscripted shows and original content into their Entertainment Pack, a set of premium channels available to its subscribers.
Spike Australia will of course deliver the U.S. and U.K. versions of smash global hit Lip Sync Battle, but will also deliver mixed martial arts organization Bellator MMA, alongside British documentary series Police Interceptors and Spike originals Coaching Bad, Sweat Inc., Life or Debt and Framework.
Viacom offices are usually clamoring with activity, but not on May 20, 2016. Instead, our employees across the country and around the globe left their desks, shut down their computers, and set off to put our corporate values into action. Here’s a look at how they turned up for good on the 20th anniversary of Viacommunity Day.
Reporting by Stuart Winchester & Lisa Di Venuta
Thousands of Viacom employees spread out through communities around the world last Friday, making an emphatic endorsement of the core company value of giving back. In a global arc spanning from Europe down through Africa, from Singapore and Australia to Mexico and throughout the United States, Viacom’s operations took a collective breath to clean parks, prepare meals, offer advice and help out in countless other ways as the organization celebrated the 20th anniversary of Viacommunity.
“We need to be a part of the communities we live in,” said Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, who dropped in on several sites around New York City on Friday. “It’s one of our Viacom values, which is to do good, and I think everybody has a responsibility to do that. I hope that we inspire a lot of people to do more during the course of their lives, and we’ll make them better people and better employees, because living those kinds of values outside of work helps you do a better job at work.”
Paramount employees spread across 13 countries and six U.S. cities, from San Diego and L.A. on the West Coast to Rogers, Arkansas, Coconut Creek, Florida, and Atlanta in the South to Columbus, Ohio in the Midwest – 1,125 volunteers altogether. It was enough to add the Viacommunity Day Cup to the Paramount’s already bulging trophy case, as that number gave them the highest percentage of any company division to sign up for a project. The trophy is theirs for one year – although another division will have a chance to steal it from them by rallying more employees to participate in Viacommunity Day 2017.
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