Unity Spans the Globe for Viacommunity Day’s 21st Year

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

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.”

 

Viacommunity Day 2017 Recap Video from Viacom on Vimeo.

Support for the effort transcended our employee ranks, reaching into the celebrity Twittersphere:

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.

A Viacom employee gets psyched for Viacommunity Day 2017 in front of Viacom's Times Square headquarters.

A Viacom employee gets psyched for Viacommunity Day 2017 in front of 1515 Broadway.

CALIFORNIA – Paramount Repeats as Viacommunity Day Cup Champions

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.”

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Viacom International Insights: Brexit Special Edition, July 2016

by Christian Kurz, Global Consumer Insights, Viacom

Late last month, Britain surprised the world by voting to leave the European Union. Following that vote, Viacom International re-contacted seven young adults from the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Netherlands and Sweden who had participated in a 2014 study of global youth’s vision of the future in 2020.

At the time, our young Europeans spoke optimistically about the many opportunities available to them throughout Europe, including travel, career, and general cultural exploration. Through our conversations over the past few weeks, we captured their reactions to this historic decision and found out how their views about the future have shifted. Our international insights team synthesized this research into three blog posts, featured below.

For more posts like this, check out our insights blog.

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Not Content to Leave Loneliness Alone

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

The holiday season can be festive in the UK. It’s a time to catch up with friends and family, share a drink, exchange gifts.

But while this is the busy season for some, it can be the loneliest time of year for many forgotten seniors, who live by themselves and have little, if any, interaction with others. More than one million older people live with chronic loneliness in the UK. Seventeen percent are in contact with family, friends and neighbors less than once a week. For more than one third, their primary companion is the television.

Channel 5, one of Viacom’s newest companies and a powerful media voice in the United Kingdom, recently threw a spotlight on this sadly overlooked population with “Lonely at Christmas.” This stirring documentary explores the lives of three seniors who are facing another companion-less holiday season.

Inspired by these melancholy portraits, a group of Channel 5 coworkers decided to act locally to help seniors in their community. Chloe Stylianou, an employee in the network’s London office, sought out Friends of the Elderly, which helped her identify 87 local seniors who would be spending the holidays largely alone.

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