Community Involvement Is Not A “Trivial Pursuit”

Last week, three of us from The Ivy Group participated in a local trivia competition and fundraiser, Wordplay, to benefit Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville.

We were able to support a great cause while having fun. Who doesn't like raffle tickets? But that's not all...

We experienced out-of-the office camaraderie. Is there a rule against yukking it up with co-workers? And a little competitive adrenaline, even if only over trivia, can only help productivity.

We also learned a few things. For instance, Boston isn't one of the ten most populated cities in America (Should've let me go with Phoenix, guys!). Nancy Reagan is indeed still alive. (Sorry, Nancy.) And Alexander Hamilton, darn it, never inhabited the White House--who knew?

We got to see the view from stage at The Paramount Theater. Plus, our creativity helped us win the best costume contest, and some pretty cool T-shirts! (Below)

On a professional level, we enjoyed the opportunity to do some networking. But, we were quickly reminded of the importance of the "elevator pitch." While noshing on the delicious food Eppie's provided, we realized we all describe The Ivy Group differently. The conversation went a little something like this:

Literacy Volunteer:  "I've heard of The Ivy Group. What do you guys do?"

Chris F.:  "We're an advertising company."

Myself:  "Well, we do other things too… we develop websites, and we manage public relations."

Chris A.:  "We're a full-service marketing company!"

Public relations isn't just about pitching the media and planning events. Sometimes, it's about actually participating in them. Volunteering can lead to a wealth of opportunities for your business. It reinforces name recognition, increases brand exposure and allows for networking with colleagues, peers and current or potential customers.'s fun, not a minor by-product.

Just remember to have your elevator pitch ready!