Years ago, I had the pleasure of working alongside of MTV’s very talented Public Affairs team as part of a strategic partnership I created between the infamous channel and the national, Americorps program, City Year. When I tell you, it was some of the most fun that I had in my career – I am being modest.
At the time, MTV was launching a new Facebook-like site in BETA called, “Think” and needed to test it out. City Year NY was having a huge brand awareness issue. It was a match made in heaven. The CYNY corps members ran the site through its paces and Think emerged bigger and better than ever. In turn, MTV allowed us to run our PSA on their jumbotron in Times Square for two consecutive days. The activation increased brand awareness and return on recruitment. Further, it allowed for MTV to collaborate with the organization for future projects.
Fast forward to 2013…
MTV and skilled volunteerism-match platform Catchafire partnered to find a nonprofit in need of a “makeover,” for which MTV would lend its expertise in marketing, branding and social media.
The idea originated with MTV President Stephen Friedman, who wanted to fully leverage MTV’s creative talent and storytelling capabilities to benefit an especially worthy nonprofit in a meaningful way. Catchafire issued a call for submissions and MTV chose to work with The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), a nonprofit that offers comprehensive job services to the previously incarcerated.
Nonprofits of varying missions and sizes applied for the opportunity to have MTV in house to revamp their marketing, communications and creative assets like videos and brochures. Catchafire helped identify and streamline interested nonprofits, and MTV ultimately had to choose one organization from the extensive candidate pool to work with.
Founded in 1996, CEO specializes in employment services for those released primarily from NY prisons / detention facilities – in the last decade CEO made more than 10,000 job placements. CEO’s mission and work really struck a cord with the MTV staff, as the brand’s pro-social strategy seeks to engage audiences and create conversations about critical issues like recidivism.
Inspired by the organizational vision and the staff’s commitment to create opportunities, MTV’s makeover team gained a lot from meetings, onsite visits, sitting in on job training classes and connecting with program participants.
This collaboration really inspired MTV and there is an appetite for more projects like this in the future. With skill matched volunteerism trending, employees at companies around the globe are looking for ways to give back and plug into organizations to make an impact.
Watch the video below: