UPDATE, July 2019: Article refresh (it was originally posted on 13 June 2018)
Our most popular and influential product, the Gorilla Highlands Pocket Guide, is 5 years old. Do you want to know how it shall grow from now on?
We should begin with a history brief…
Steps in GH Pocket Guide Development
In 2013, the first 10,000 copies of the GH Pocket Guide hit the counters across Uganda. They were received enthusiastically: the booklet was free, useful, appealing and, above all, handy. Printed annually, the editions usually got finished within weeks.
In 2015, a WTO/UNDP/UTB project sponsored a print run to take the GH Pocket Guide to the World Travel Market in London. This was a new purpose for the publication; it was originally envisaged to promote southwestern Uganda to expats, locals and independent travellers who were already in the country.
The following year, the content of the booklet extended past Uganda’s borders for the first time, into Rwanda. Another good reason for a reconsideration: what should the GH Pocket Guide communicate about Rwanda to somebody in Kampala, and vice versa?
In 2017, two editions of the GH Pocket Guide were prepared, and more copies than ever went to international trade fairs. The target audience was increasingly global, and the booklet now attempted to impress somebody who had maybe never even thought of visiting Africa…
Expansion Hits a Snag
The 7th edition of the Gorilla Highlands Pocket Guide first appeared as a prototype at the end of April 2018 at GH Silverchef. We printed hundreds of draft copies for potential advertisers and made the file available online. The prototype brought two major new features:
• pages for articles and art
• presentation of Eastern Congo’s attractions
On 11 May 2018, a British couple got kidnapped and their ranger killed in Congo’s Virunga National Park, forcing us to proceed with caution. In the beginning of June it was confirmed that Virunga NP would not reopen before 2019.
And thus our plan of adding the Democratic Republic of Congo had to be shelved… But our networking in the country pointed at something interesting: that affluent Congolese may want to know more about travelling in Rwanda and Uganda as an alternative to Dubai and other common destinations.
Getting Frequent and Fatter
Today we are back with an updated booklet draft and a 2019-2020 roadmap. If you have browsed through the prototype and wish to skip the 8 MB download, we can summarise the changes for you:
• pages about Congo have been saved for later
• pages about cooperation, innovation, promotion and development have been removed (they were meant for our partners, not travellers)
• the “About Our Region” page has been rewritten to better balance Rwanda and Uganda (see above)
• a story about the Gahinga Batwa Village has been added
• some changes in the text have been made, based on our partner survey
The Gorilla Highlands Partner Survey 2018 indicated substantial support for more than two editions per year. With 2019 we are switching to three editions, and in 2020 we plan to grow to four.
We began GH Pocket Guide with 16 pages in 2013 and grew to 60 in 2017. The trend will continue…
A more and more complete presentation of the region should be more and more interesting to people around the world. We will strengthen our efforts to make it accessible around the globe, for example through Ugandan and Rwandan embassies.
How to Support the GH Pocket Guide
A free booklet certainly cannot happen without advertising. We have always attempted to make it as accessible as possible and the pricing is not changing (taxes excluded):
• Classified (text ad) at USD 1 per word. USD 30 (30 words) is the minimum charge, and the following are free of charge: the name of the business, 2 phone numbers, 1 email contact and 1 website address.
• Illustrated Classified at USD 1 per word + USD 50 for the photo (one image possible). USD 80 (30 words + image) is the minimum cost.
• Full-Page Ad, A6 size at USD 500. USD 1,000 if you wish to have your ad on the back cover or on any other specific page.
However, with the roadmap clear, we can now offer appropriate discounts. If you buy advertising space in:
– two editions, you get a 5% discount
– three editions, 10% discount
– four editions, 15% discount
– five editions, 20% discount
If you prefer to go edition by edition, these are the advertising deadlines for 2019:
– 31 July
– 30 November
There is no better way to assist us than to respect these deadlines and pay in time. The benefits of numerous small ads instead of a bunch of big advertisers are obvious, yet that automatically means a huge workload for us. Please help us focus our energies on what truly matters: making the Gorilla Highlands Pocket Guide better and better.
text & photo: Miha Logar