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The PR Maven Podcast

The PR Maven® Podcast is the combination of traditional networking techniques combined with the power of social media to build your personal and professional brand. The podcast features interviews with industry leaders, top executives, media personalities and online influencers about public relations and their personal brand. Each week, Nancy connects with a special guest to talk about their career, and business or organization, as well as the latest news and events that will give listeners a unique perspective on the world of public relations, marketing and personal branding, including actionable takeaways.

Jun 13, 2019


About this episode: 

John Francis recently retired as vice president for research, conservation and exploration at the National Geographic Society. His professional career has been rooted in wildlife biology and gaining a better understanding of humankind's delicate position within nature. John earned a PhD in behavioral ecology and later became a film producer at National Geographic.  

He has run grant programs at National Geographic that support explorers worldwide through lecturing on National Geographic Expeditions. He engaged more in tourism and oversaw the Society's Center for Sustainable Destinations. He has been a part of the US National Commission of UNESCO and served on the advisory board of the national park system. Today, he continues his work by promoting sustainable tourism as an advisor for the Lynn Bland National Geographic Fund and as a board member of Sustainable Tourism International. John recently spoke at the Governor's Conference on Tourism in Maine about how tourism, when rightly managed and marketed, can have positive impact on a global scale.  


In this episode: 

1:57  How John’s career started by studying seals in Alaska.  

4:03  Why John was attending the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Maine. 

4:46  John explains the role of tourism in shaping the future of the planet, such as the use of plastic straws in restaurants 

6:03  Nancy askes John for some of his successes in shifting the way people see their impact as global citizens. John describes how BioBlitzes have been used to get people to explore nature.  

9:27  Nancy and John discuss the trends of forest bathing and rewilding.  

11:13  John details his experience working at National Geographic.  

16:48  John explains the hurdle he faced when building his network, including being more of a behind-the-scenes kind of guy and how to stand out.  

22:04  John encourages someone starting their career to not ignore their passions.   

24:54  John tells what resources he has found helpful for getting people out into nature.  

29:40  John leaves his parting thought about people being more aware of the impact they leave on nature.  


I think the world is becoming an even richer place. Lots of people that have to think about their footprint. Right. And they can do things that are really positive and beautiful or they can just not attend to the fact that they have a large impact and as a result in aggregate the effect is going to be in the other direction.” – John Francis, retired Vice President for Research, Conservation and Exploration at National Geographic 



Looking to connect:  

Facebook: John Francis