Reaching the public around the world through 170 television channels and 400 online properties in 160 countries and territories, Viacom’s global CSR platform included 40 initiatives in 2010, supporting social action in four focus areas: education, environmental awareness, health and wellness, and citizenship. With the end goal of staying relevant to its youth audience and staying ahead of its competitors, Viacom aims to be at the forefront of global culture, which means constantly researching the hottest trends in movies, music and entertainment. Then, the company ties those trends to relevant and compelling social responsibility programs.
For example, MTV’s “They Have Issues” study found that its audience was ready to be more involved in citizenship and charitable efforts. Thus, campaigns around Sudan and Darfur were developed with strong social media components. In addition, public affairs and executive leadership within Viacom’s Corporate Responsibility Council works to educate and involve employees in citizenship efforts.
Developing connections with its 600 million-strong audience through BET Networks, MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures—and determining what that audience cares about—is critical to Viacom’s CSR success. —Catherine Wolinski
Henry Schein, Inc.: The medical supplies distributor’s Henry Schein Cares initiative works with nonprofit institutions and other like-minded organizations to make wellness, prevention and treatment in dental, medical and animal health care available to underserved communities around the world.