The National Geographic Society’s purpose is to inspire people to care about their planet. It is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, and the promotion of environmental and historical conservation. The National Geographic Society aims to be an international leader for global conservation and environmental sustainability.
National Geographic is celebrating its 125 anniversary this year. The National Geographic Society was founded in January 1888 as an educational society to increase geographic knowledge. In October 1888, the society began publishing the National Geographic Magazine as a benefit for joining the society. Using revenues from membership, the Society has supported many groundbreaking scientific adventures including Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s “Undersea World”, Jane Goodall’s “Chimpanzees” and Richard Byrd’s “First Flight over the South Pole”.
The National Geographic Magazine is famous and instantly recognized for the yellow border, stunning pictures, detailed maps and stories about the world. As a kid, I loved to flip through the magazine and look at the pictures. I alway felt better educated after looking though National Geographic Magazine, Very few people tossed the magazine out and they had a tendency pile up around the house.
Today, any publishing companies are struggling to find a business model that will work in a digital world. National Geographic’s subscription revenue has declined significantly over the past ten years. The value of becoming a member, once a matter of prestige, has eroded. National Geographic has evolved from a legacy print brand to a leading digital brand with global reach. National Geographic has made large investments in various forms of media including the internet, movies and television. The brand generates over half of its revenue from programming. The National Geographic Channel is available in 85 million homes in the United States. This summer the channel will feature returning series like “Ultimate Survival Alaska” “Life Below Zero” and new series including “Battleground Afghanistan” and “Eyewitness War”.
National Geographic is a great example of a traditional print organization that has fully embraced digital and broadcast media in a changing world to remain relevant to its customer base.
What comes to mind for you when you think of the National Geographic Society?