National Geographic Society

This famous publisher continues to offer the best in travel guides, printed here in the USA.

This famous publisher continues to offer the best in travel guides, printed here in the USA.

For 10 years, the promotional division at National Geographic Society (asi/73383) has offered discerning distributors and their clients the best in stunningly illustrated publications with unmatched editorial content, ideal for fundraisers, travel events, incentive programs and more.

But that’s not the beginning of National Geographic’s story. In fact, the company celebrates 127 years this year, first opening its doors as a publisher of guide books and maps. They’ve since added DVDs, books and a worldwide TV channel to their offerings and maintain company headquarters in Washington, DC.

Our original edict was to enhance geographic education, which is still part of our mission, and our first product was the now-famous yellow-bordered National Geographic magazine,” says Bill O’Donnell, director of retail and special sales. “Our tagline today is ‘To Inspire People to Care about the Planet’. We’re still known for travel, photography and storytelling.”

Customers can choose from approximately 80 to 90 travel guides, including the bestselling Journeys of a Lifetime; 100 Countries, 5,000 Ideas; and the Guide to National Parks of the United States. “They don’t just say ‘stay at this hotel’ along with general facts,” says O’Donnell. “They tell stories about the location, along with plenty of hotel and restaurant information, of course.”

Journeys of a Lifetime (9781426201257)

“We know that many channels…prefer to buy, use and sell products manufactured here. That’s why we operate as much as possible here in the United States.”

– Bill O’Donnell, National Geographic Society (asi/73383)

In addition, National Geographic carries 10 Walking Guides that offer much more than just general lists of well-known landmarks in a given locale. “Some say ‘Go visit the Statue of Liberty,’” says O’Donnell, “while ours give you a full afternoon tour of Brooklyn.” National Geographic also offers educational books for children, such as The Nat Geo Kids Almanac.

As a truly American company, National Geographic strives to keep the majority of its production process here on domestic shores. “We know that many channels, such as the national parks and other government agencies, prefer to buy, use and sell products manufactured here,” says O’Donnell. “That’s why we operate as much as possible here in the United States.”

While National Geographic travel books are an obvious choice for travel agencies and tour promotions, the potential applications for them are legion. Journeys of a Lifetime, for instance, has been popular in tiered gifting programs and as a gift-with-purchase item for health-care and insurance companies looking to encourage continued use of their services. Clients have National Geographic add an elegant, permanent message, called a tip-in page, in the front of the book. It displays a logo, the message and even personalization in up to five colors.

“Our in-house designer works with clients to design the page,” says O’Donnell. “It’s an additional impression for the brand every time the book is opened, which is great for keeping in waiting rooms at physicians’ offices. Some companies will print a thank-you note on the tip-in page, or a Season’ s Greetings message.”

National Geographic will also personalize each copy going to individual recipients, perhaps for a group of salespeople going on a trip on behalf of their company. The customization team can also add a book plate to the half-title page, color-coordinate it with the client’s logo and add a personal message.

“Nobody ever throws out books,” says O’Donnell. “Pens stop working and food disappears, but people keep books. They promote literacy, have a high-perceived value and can be easily customized.”

Great Idea

National Geographic (asi/73383) travel books continue to be a top choice for fundraising initiatives by Parent-Teacher Associations and hospitals. In fact, one Florida-based health-care facility used them as an incentive for its benefactors. “They gave out copies of our travel books to high-end donors and included a customized tip-in page,” says Bill O’Donnell, director of retail and special sales. “They also donated them to the silent auction.”