On Thursday, March 2, Cynopsis Media honored National Geographic with its inaugural Impact Award in the Network category at their third annual Social Good Awards in New York City. The Social Good Awards recognize brands, campaigns, and individuals for outstanding work in areas ranging from environmental initiatives to voter registration to combatting addiction.
Journalist Katie Couric presented the Impact Award to Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Global Networks, for the company’s commitment to programming that engages viewers in stories about the human condition and exploration of new frontiers, including documentaries Before the Flood and Gender Revolution, which is hosted by Couric and explores issues of gender identity. “I could not have found a better partner on this journey with me…. Under Courteney’s leadership, this truly iconic brand is reaching new heights. It’s broadened the definition of exploration to not only include geography but ideas and even our inner dimensions—the very things that make us human,” said Couric.
21st Century Fox businesses earned a total of ten nominations at the Cynopsis Social Good Awards. In addition to the Impact Award, 21CF and National Geographic’s social media campaign in support of the documentary He Named Me Malala was awarded Social Good Awards in both categories of “Facebook Campaign or Initiative” and “Partnership with a Celebrity/Athlete/Character.” The film tells the inspiring story of Pakistani education activist and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai’s fight for the educational rights of women and girls. The Stand with Malala social media campaign drew attention to the more than 60 million girls that are out of school around the world, and raised $50,000 for the Malala Fund to support education programs for Syrian refugee children.
National Geographic also won an award for best “Environmental Campaign or Initiative” for Before the Flood, a documentary from Academy Award-winners Leonardo DiCaprio and Fisher Stevens investigating the global effects of climate change. In addition to airing the film in 171 countries around the world, National Geographic made it available for free across streaming and on-demand platforms to ensure as many people could see it as possible. More than 60 million people viewed Before the Flood, making it one of the most watched documentary films in history. National Geographic also ran a number of campaigns around the film to amplify its message, including a series of screenings at colleges and universities in partnership with Rock the Vote to encourage students to register to vote ahead of the presidential election. “It’s not enough just to create this type of important and thought provoking content. As leaders in media we need to be equally committed to making sure it reaches the widest audience possible in order to effect change…. In a world in which media is scrutinized like never before, we have a responsibility to be bold, to take risks, to be radical in our thinking and relentless in our pursuit of stories that matter,” added Nat Geo’s Monroe.
Other 21st Century Fox nominations at the Social Good Awards represented the variety of social issues that 21CF businesses work on, ranging from FOX Sports Supports’ efforts to help military veterans transition to civilian life to National Geographic’s on-air campaigns to preserve America’s National Parks. The “Find Your Park, Love Your Park” campaign from National Geographic and Subaru of America is geared toward teaching fourth graders across the United States about the importance of U.S. national parks by driving viewers to a host of educational resources available at National Geographic’s website. In addition, “Partners in Preservation: National Parks”, created with American Express, awarded $2 million in grants in 2016 to historic sites in need of preservation within national parks, as decided by popular vote on the campaign website.
“At National Geographic, we have a 130-year history of supporting and funding individuals committed to making a difference. Through the National Geographic Society, we invest in bold people with really transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, conservation and education,” concluded Monroe at the awards.
Get more information and check out a full list of the 2017 Cynopsis Media Social Good Award winners and nominees.