Tag Archives: Association of Directory Publishers

Names & Numbers Recognized as Publisher of the Year

At its recent 2013 Annual Convention and Partners Trade Show in St. Augustine, Florida, the Association of Directory Publishers (ADP) recognized Names & Numbers, as this year’s Gold Book Publisher of the Year at the Gold Book Awards.  It was the first time the company has been recognized.

The ADP’s Publisher of the Year recognizes a company that has “exemplified overall excellence and achievement.”  Names & Numbers currently publishes 66 phone books throughout the mid-west and northwest areas of the country along with offering a suite of mobile and online Yellow Page products.  Established in 1974, currently Names & Numbers publishes more than 4-million phone books annually and employs approximately 250 people in 11 states.

The Gold Book Awards recognize publishers and suppliers for outstanding achievements in the directory advertising business. “Congratulations to all of our 2013 Gold Book Award winners,” said Cindi Aldrich, the new association president. “These winning companies are applauded for their outstanding directory products and marketing innovations in the directory publishing industry.”  Additional information about the Gold Book awards can be found on the association website at www.adp.org.

We interviewer Founder/CEO Ken Brock back in 2010 (link to full article), and you will note that many of the things Ken said at that time are still true today and part of the reason why his team has been recognized.  He and his team follow a very straight forward approach – put out a very accurate, high quality product that users and advertisers both enjoy using, promote them passionately in the local community, be an integral/active part of the community, and try to walk in the door of every business in the market.  The text type in the books is not microscopic in size to save a few pages.  White pages are included, as well as a robust community information section.  The covers are free of any advertising and feature scenes from local photographers/artists.  That’s the formula for being a successful publisher, and being recognized by the publishing community.

Congratulations to the entire Names and Numbers team for your accomplishments.

Why apples aren’t oranges

A new press release came out that had this nefarious title:  “2012 Waste Figures Affirm YellowPagesGoesGreen.org Stance Against Yellow Pages Paper Directories”

My first reaction was wow, can’t wait to see these stats.  But when you dive into the press release/article what you find instead is a lecture about recycling paper in general, with absolutely no Yellow Page specific data.

For example:

According to Greenwaste.com, each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 3.5 cubic yards of landfill, 17 thirty foot (pulp) trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, and 4100 kwh of energy.

That’s nice to know, as well as “…DailyGreen.com reports that paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste, and one third of municipal landfill waste; Statspotting.com adds that paper waste accounts for up to 40% of total waste produced in the United States each year, which adds up to 71.6 million tons of paper waste per year in the United States alone…”

But note this is PAPER, not YELLOW PAGES.  It easy to see why they could be lumped together.  They are both fruits, right?  But, they are also different.  Did they just get it wrong then?  Not exactly.  See there is a little hidden motive involved here called money.

Back in July, 2011 we put a spotlight on the “YellowPagesGoesGreen” group and it’s not a pretty picture – simply put they want to rid the world of printed phonebooks so people will be forced to use their online directory product.  A little capitalism is fine, and as many bank robbers have noted on why they rob banks (“…it’s where the money is…”) it’s just that bogus misrepresentations like this are exactly why ADP has kicked of the “Power of Yellow” rally.

As we’ve noted, time and time and time again, the YP industry does not “harvest”, or farm, or cut trees for their paper. They don’t have to. They use all of the residual materials that come from the milling of trees for lumber and all of the PAPER items we do recycle (If you want to find out more go here: http://www.yptalk.com/archive.cfm?ID=322&CatID=3).

And we’re ok with a well-intended group scolding people a little:  “…many people are not pitching in to make the Earth a greener place to live, and the damage that is being done to our environment in the name of endless paper consumption is leaving our future as a race in doubt, unless we band together to do something about it now…”  Just please stop wrapping yourself with the green flag when your real motive is to game some revenue from the print Yellow Pages industry, a product that still gives an ROI of at least $10 for each $1 spent in an ad program, that is used by 75% of population during the year when they truly need a local product or service.

Now that’s the true Power of Yellow.

ADP Launches “Power of Yellow” Campaign to Fight A “Virus of Misperception”

In a packed meeting room on Friday in Chicago, the Association of Publishers rolled out a new multi-phase effort entitled the Power of Yellow™ , to increase the factual understanding of advertisers, consumers, and the press about the continuing value of print Yellow Pages, and to immunize the industry against the “virus of misperception” that it believes it threatening the industry today.

The genesis of the campaign comes from a desire on the part by independent publishers to initiate a “Got Milk”-grass roots style of campaign for the Yellow Pages industry.  Larry Angove, President of ADP, indicated that earlier efforts to work with the former Yellow Pages Publishers Association (YPPA) on a campaign were rebuffed.

This is the first coordinated industry marketing effort since the mid-90’s when the then named Yellow Pages Publishers Association (YPPA), tried a light bulb and the tagline in the “Get an idea”

Unable to achieve any significant traction with the new branding (traction that could be verified through higher sales) the “Get an Idea” campaign was abandoned two years later.

This new, multi-faceted program general first-phase components are being provided to all ADP members at no cost, and include templated adds that can used in a range of media

  • Phased Media Releases
  • Television Spots
  • Radio Spots
  • Print Media Ads
  • Newspaper Op-Ed Articles
  • Magazine Feature Articles
  • Directory Filler Ads
  • Sales Presentation Video
  • Coordinated Sales Collateral

Support for the effort also includes:

  • Placement Guidelines and Schedules
  • Offensive Talking Points
  • Defensive talking Points
  • Advertiser Testimonials
  • Data Source Documentation

A unique feature of this new program is the inclusion of four of the industry’s leading research experts to “star” in a series of 30-second television and 30-second radio spots proclaiming the Power of Yellow™ which publishers can then add their own product information to for local release.  Featured in the spots are:

  1. Dr. Dennis Fromholzer, President, CRM Associates
  2. David Goddard, EVP, IMS Local Search Authority
  3. Paul Gordon, Vice President & General Manager, Catalyst Paper USA
  4. Steve Sitton, President & CEO, Market Authority, Inc.

In presentations at the kickoff event, each of these industry experts noted key aspects of the factual arguments this effort will present:

Dr. Dennis Fromholzer:  “….the value of a lead from print yellow pages is 25X more valuable than a click to an online ad”

David Goddard:  “….people where saying print was dead 10 years ago.  We project the print/digital revenue mix will not reach 50/50 until 2018 at the earliest…”

Paul Gordon:  “…the reality is the industry isn’t knocking down trees solely to make paper for its products”

Steve Sitton:  “…print is not dying on schedule as many said it would.  Our research has found that the migration to digital is slowing.  That’s a very inconvenient truth”

At YP Talk, we have long advocated that the industry needs to begin to confront its many critics about print.  As far back as 2005, we made several calls to action (here, and here are just two examples).  As Goddard noted at the kickoff, if the Seattle and San Francisco opt-out ordinances had held up, they could have resulted in a $500+ million hit to the industry.   In June, we advocated that the industry reconsider the use of the iconic walking fingers in its local marketing efforts (June article here).  As a result, we are ecstatic to see this new initiative from ADP and will be supporting it fully as it rolls out.

As Sitton noted at the kickoff, it’s time to stop this “virus of misinformation”.  Amen.  But the industry needs your support.  Do we have it??

People – July

It has been a while since we updated our regular blog sponsored by Hawthorne Executive Search .   It is all about people in the Yellow Pages industry. If you have news you want to share about someone that is involved in the Yellow Pages industry (including retirees) that we should all know about, drop us a line and tell us how they are doing. Send your submissions to ken@yptalk.com.

Larry Angove:

The Association of Directory Publishers (ADP) has announced that Larry Angove, their President and Chief Executive Officer since 1997, is planning to retire on or after June 30, 2013.

As a result, a Presidential Search Committee consisting of independent publisher leaders — Danny Bills, Wally Downey, Jim Hail, Steve Skinner, and Vernon Smith has been formed to coordinate the search for Larry’s successor.

Recommendations/expressions of interest are being directed to Danny Bills at dang452@aol.com. All recommendations and applications will be kept confidential by the Committee.

David Krantz:

David Krantz, former CEO and president of AT&T Interactive, has been named CEO of YP Holdings. Krantz will lead YP’s overall strategy and operations. The new leadership team includes executives from AT&T Advertising Solutions, AT&T Interactive and Cerberus Operations, as well as executives recruited from outside of AT&T. The company will be headquartered in Tucker, Georgia. AT&T still has a 47% equity interest in YP Holdings.

“We have a great future in front us,” said Krantz. “We also have an extensive customer base, the largest local sales organization, an unmatched product portfolio, industry-leading platforms across the web, mobile and print ecosystems, and a great brand. We are ready to invest in this business, innovate and provide excellent service to our customers.”

ZipLocal:

The online local search business Ziplocal has made several Board and management appointments:  Owen B. Menzel, Elaine Kunda and Timothy M. Gould have resigned as directors.  John Albright, Perry N. Dellelce, and Sheldon Inwentash were appointed as directors; Kevin Dane as president; and Paul Van Damme as chief financial officer.

Albright is co-founder and managing partner of Relay Ventures, an early stage venture fund exclusively focused on mobile software. He also founded JLA Ventures in 1996. Dellelce is a founder and managing partner of Wildeboer Dellelce, a Canadian law firm.  Inwentash is chairman and CEO of Canadian investment firm Pinetree Capital.

Alan Schultz

Schultz has been names thenew chairman of the board of directors for yellow pages publisher Dex One.  Schultz replaces Eugene Davis, who resigned from the board.

Schultz has been a member of the Dex One board since 2005. He also is non-executive chairman of the board at Valassis Communications. He retired as CEO of that firm in December, 2011.

Davis had served as non-executive chair of the board since August 2011. He has been a member of the board since January 2010.

Scott Klein:

As reported in The Goddard Report, Scott Klein who led Idearc/SuperMedia out of bankruptcy and resigned in 2010, has been named president and CEO of Language Line Services. Language Line is a language solutions provider specializing in more than 170 languages focusing on clients in government, healthcare, telecommunications, financial services and other industries worldwide.

“I know the Language Line team is going to enjoy working with Scott Klein as their new leader,” said Language Line board chairman Dennis Dracup in a prepared statement. “His diverse background, leadership experience, and emphasis on customer coupled with his high energy approach will drive the growth of our business.”

Klein joined Idearc from Symphony Technology Group (Palo Alto, CA) where he was an operating partner. He was previously president and CEO of Information Resources (Chicago), a global provider of information solutions, analytics and performance technology.

 

Dane Madsen

LocalBlox, has announced that Dane Madsen has joined the firm as an advisor.

Madsen and two partners purchased the YellowPages.com domain in 1996 and began with a small hosting package which evolved in to YellowPages.com.  In November 2004, SBC and BellSouth purchased the domain name and company YellowPages.com for a reported  $100 million.

The addition of Madsen as an advisor is expected to “…provide the firm with the experience, expertise and knowledge of a world-class entrepreneur who understands the unique business environment of today’s market and the special challenges facing small business owners in the new economy…”

LocalBlox features two distinct facets. One is a community-based platform that provides the means for community members to share information, plan special events and keep each other advised of news to promote neighborhood safety. The other aspect of LocalBlox supports businesses and entrepreneurs in their endeavors through business tools, apps, software and a comprehensive array of business services.

LocalBlox serves over 60,000 neighborhoods across the U.S and is dedicated to providing businesses with sound solutions and cost effective ways of conducting commerce to build financially strong neighborhoods.

Julie Winbun

Has accepted a new position as Vice President of Business Development Offline & Print with Ring 2 Media.  Voted by Inc 500 in 2011 as one of the fasted growing privately held companies, it helps drive live calls to top call centers.

 

Larry Angove, President of ADP to Retire

The Association of Directory Publishers (ADP) has announced that Larry Angove, their President and Chief Executive Officer since 1997, is planning to retire on or after June 30, 2013.

As a result, a Presidential Search Committee consisting of independent publisher leaders — Danny Bills, Wally Downey, Jim Hail, Steve Skinner, and Vernon Smith has been formed to  coordinate the search for Larry’s successor.

Recommendations/expressions of interest are being directed to Danny Bills at  dang452@aol.com.  All recommendations and applications will be kept confidential by the Committee.

 

 

ADP Convention — An Opportunity to Believe to Achieve

The next industry conference coming up is the ADP – Association of Directory Publishers 2012 Annual Convention & Partners Trade Show which will be held March 19-22 at the Embassy Suites in Frisco, Texas.

This year’s theme is “Believe To Achieve.”  The convention agenda has several notable changes from past years.  For example, A Believe to Achieve Day was created to allow Publisher members to present their salespeople to a good old-fashioned dose of fact-based belief training on the continuing value of our products, including, and especially, print.  Wednesday morning will be spent in publisher-led demonstration sessions examining and dissecting the:

  • New Basics for selling in today’s marketplace,
  • The New Tools that allow us to overcome today’s challenges,
  • The New Objections that today’s advertisers regularly voice, and
  • The New Keys to getting in the door of today’s decision-makers.

Following lunch, conference attendees will be exposed to an exceptional opportunity — three hours of direct interaction with the world’s leading expert on Yellow Pages trends and usage, Dr. Dennis Fromholzer.  Fromholtzer’s work has been the basis for most of the value messaging the industry has used over the last 10+ years, and really helps frame how to people shop and use Yellow Page products.  His statistical work helps sales reps to present a compelling case as to why Yellow Pages still provides attractive ROI to advertisers.

To make this a special day of training for salespeople and to keep the cost of their attendance as low as possible, ADP has established a special registration rate just for salespeople attending just the  Believe to Achieve Day on Wednesday, March 21st of only $100 for the full afternoon with Dennis only or $150 for the full day (which includes the luncheon).

The agenda has highlights Lida Citroën as a Keynote Speaker and Workshop LeaderLida Citroën will both open and close the Convention, offering her actionable insights into how

  • Passion changes commitment,
  • How commitment drives action, and
  • How action creates results.

Lida’s background includes 23 years of designing, creating and implementing brand marketing programs and strategies for both public and private companies.

You should note that the discounted early Bird registration ends February 24th.

A little about this year’s venue — the Embassy Suites in Frisco, Texas is a four-star property selected for its all-suites concepts. To make your room reservation at the Embassy Suites Frisco, please call either 1-800-EMBASSY or 972-963-9175. Mention you are an ADP convention attendee to receive the great rate of $165 per night (plus 13% tax).

Time to get registered.  Enter here to register.  If you are an industry supplier, to reserve your booth space, click here.  And if you missed it before:  For the complete agenda, click here

If you have any questions contact ADP Headquarters at 800.267.9002 or hq@adp.org.

Upcoming Industry Conferences

 This article is a quick preview of upcoming industry conferences…

The next industry conference will be The Association of Directory  Publishers mid-year conference at the Newport Beach Marriot Hotel and Spa in Newport Beach, CA, Oct. 5-7.  Ross Shafer, television producer and author of books on principles of corporate and consumer buying habits focused on growing market share, wiil be the keynote speaker.

The conference will open the evening of Oct. 5 with a board of directors meeting and welcoming reception.   Shafer will be the keynote on October 6th and discuss winning market share through innovation, cultural trends and defining the needs of customers’ expectations.

Other presentations include “Conversations on How Change Positively and Negatively Impacts Your Business,” “How Change Relates to Future
Opportunities, How to Leverage off Directory Platform, How to Monetize and How to Stay Up-to-Date,” “Industry Challenges and Necessary Change,” “Effective Ad Design,” and “Sales for Today and Tomorrow: Motivating, Training and Compensation.  The conference will end at noon Oct. 7.

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The BIA/Kelsey folks are running ILM Asia on Oct. 25-26, 2011, at The Regent Singapore.  The media landscape in the Asia-Pacific region is changing rapidly, and in some ways, leads the way in online leads, social media and e-commerce. Join BIA/Kelsey, ADPAI and local media leaders from across the region and around the world, as they dig deep into this emerging marketplace at ILM Asia 2011.

Sign up today for ILM Asia. Prices increases Friday, Sept. 30!

The opening keynote address will come from James Sanders, Head of Channel Partnerships, at Google Asia Pacific.   Sanders manages Google’s channel partnerships business in the Asia-Pacific region. The unit sells Google’s full range of advertising products through partners to small and midsize businesses. Launched in 2010, it is now one of Google’s fastest-growing business units in APAC.

Who usually attends an event like this?   ILM Asia is a must-attend event for companies in Asia focused on online directories, local or mobile search, social media verticals or deals, including:

  • Directory publishers
  • Newspapers
  • Search engines
  • Ad networks
  • Agencies
  • Online verticals
  • Technology partners

Companies from outside the region that want to learn more about the significant opportunities the Asian market offers should plan to attend as well. This event is also an excellent venue for investors looking for insight into new trends and to rub elbows with promising regional entrepreneur.

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The YELLOW PAGES TODAY ! Annual Conference will be held the 16 & 17 of November 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark.  The Yellow Pages TODAY ! strategy this year has been broadened to include target groups other than just Yellow Pages providers. Speakers and delegates from search engines, social networks, SEO / SEM providers, Web Designers and Daily Deal companies will join those from Yellow Pages providers.

The upcoming conference has already attracted 9 CEOs as speakers and more are expected. All the leading YP companies are providing speakers, including Eniro, Truvo, European Directories, SEAT Pagine Gialle and Pages Jaunes. There are also speakers from leading publishers in Germany and New Zealand. Additionally presentations will be made by Google, Proximedia and other newcomers. The full programme is available under www.yellowpagestoday.net.

Event co-organizer, Peter Buxton, said that he was delighted with the market’s response to this plan to broaden the target group. “ That so many leaders have readily agreed to speak at this event ensures that the delegates will truly be able to update on market trends and learn how others in the SME market are generating interest and revenue. The willingness to share ideas and success stories is indeed very encouraging. For leaders of companies who are serving the large SME market with response-related services, this conference is the place to be!  We look forward to a very successful conference.”

There are also opportunities for sponsors and exhibitors. Details are to be found on the Yellow Pages TODAY ! website. Registrations can be made online at www.yellowpagestoday.net

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The 2012 Local Search Association Annual Conference is scheduled for April 21-24 at the Boca Resort in Boca Raton, Florida.

While the agenda is still in development, you can reserve rooms now to get the special discounted rate. Click here to book online or call 1-888-557-6375 and ask for the Local Search Association or group code – AYPAEP.

To help you mark your calendar now, click on this link to save it in your Outlook
calendar
.

People – April/May

It’s been another active month for announcements about people in
the Yellow Pages industry.  This regular monthly blog sponsored Hawthorne Executive Search  is all about people in the Yellow Pages industry. If you have news you want to share about someone that is involved in the Yellow Pages industry (including retirees) that we should all know about, drop us a line and tell us how they are doing. Send your submissions to ken@yptalk.com.

Ken Brock:

Ken Brock the founder and President of Names and Numbers has received, The Spirit of Pittsburg award from the Pittsburg, KS Area Chamber of Commerce during their annual meeting which was held Thursday, May 26th.

The Spirit of Pittsburg award is the highest honor bestowed by the association and recognizes an outstanding community member, who through his or her
service, volunteerism and personal sacrifice has made Pittsburg a better place
to live, expecting nothing in return. This outstanding citizen reflects a steady, positive influence on others in daily life.

The award was presented to Mr. Brock by the evening’s special guest, Kansas Governor, Sam Brownback.  During his presentation of the award, Governor Brownback spoke of a local Pittsburg, Kansas doctor, who was assisting victims of the recent Joplin, Missouri tornado. According to Brownback, the doctor stated, God put me in Joplin because I had the skill set to help out. Using the statement as a segue, the governor said, “he believed God put Ken Brock in Pittsburg, not to receive an award as the 2011 Spirit of Pittsburg but because of his skill set and commitment to the city.”

Upon accepting the award Brock noted that “I have made a commitment to the Pittsburg community since moving Names and Numbers to Pittsburg years ago. My wife Debbie and I travel a lot in our work. We travel to a lot of cool places. As soon as we arrive at these nice facilities, at these nice towns, it’s about three or four days before I say, Debbie, I’m home sick. I’m ready to go home now. No matter where I’ve been, I always look forward to getting back to Pittsburg.”

Richard Hanna

Dex One Corporation announced the addition of Richard J. Hanna, as executive vice president of sales and marketing, effective immediately.  Hanna will be responsible for all sales and marketing functions, leading the company’s transition from a product-centric to a customer-centric organization. He will also be tasked with shifting the sales force from a solo-selling model to a team-based approach to increase customer contact frequency and support the delivery of a wider portfolio of digital solutions. Hanna will be based at Dex One headquarters in Cary and report to the company’s CEO Alfred Mockett.

Hanna has held a variety of senior leadership positions at several technology and telecommunications companies, including AT&T, Cidera, MCI, MFS-Intelenet, Motive and Teligent.

“To compete in today’s marketplace we must build a world-class, 21st century sales force that is professionally trained and armed with the latest tools and technology. Rick has a wealth of experience assembling high-performance sales teams and he will ensure this gets done at Dex One,” said Mockett. “Rick has a solid track record of leading the sales and marketing functions in the hyper-competitive technology and telecom sectors; he understands what it takes to win in the marketplace and provide outstanding service and support to customers.”

As president of the small and medium business division at MCI, Hanna guided a $1.5 billion operation with 3,500 employees. He led the restructuring of the field and telemarketing sales efforts, resulting in a rapid double-digit improvement in sales and customer retention.

As president and CEO at MFS-Intelenet, he launched the nation’s first competitive local exchange carrier, growing the company at an annual rate in excess of 40 percent. The company had operations in 45 major markets, with more than 2,000 employees.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the sales transformation at Dex One. This is something I have successfully tackled several times throughout my career and understand the energy and effort required to reach the desired outcome,” said Hanna. “Dex One is at a pivotal time in its history and transformation is essential in order to return to growth.”

Early in his career, Hanna held a variety of management positions in sales and marketing in the telecom industry.  Hanna is a 1977 graduate of the University of
Central Connecticut.

Jim Hail:

The Association of Directory Publishers bestowed its highest distinction on Jim Hail, president and co-owner of Hagadone Directories, Inc. at the group’s recent annual conference.

Presentation of The Wil Lewis Award to Hail took place at the Gold Book Dinner and Awards Ceremony concluding ADP’s annual convention. The award recognizes outstanding lifetime contributions to the directory publishing industry and to the effectiveness of the Association. The Wil Lewis Award is named in honor of the late Wilbur Lewis, founder of White Directory Publishers and a three-time past ADP chairman.

“I am honored and humbled to be only the 11th recipient of The Wil Lewis Award,” Hail said. “It is, I believe, imperative for small directory companies like HDI to have a voice and influence in national industry issues.”

Hail founded HDI in 1987 and is twice past chairman of the board of the Association of Directory Publishers.

“What makes The Wil Lewis Award so prestigious is that it is bestowed not annually, but rather only when a nominee exceeds the lofty threshold set by Wil Lewis himself in the judgment of a minimum of 75 percent of the sitting Directors of the Association,” said Larry Angove, ADP president and chief executive officer.

In presenting the award to Hail together with Rick Lewis, former president and CEO of White Directory Publishers and son of Wilbur Lewis, Angove shared comments of longtime ADP leaders who nominated Hail for consideration.

One stated, “I don’t know where to start when it comes to Jim. He has put his heart and soul into ADP. As chairman of the board, publisher, mentor and teacher, I honestly cannot think of a better choice to receive The Wil Lewis Award.”

Hail is a former newspaper editor and publisher and was publisher of the Coeur d’Alene Press and president of the Hagadone North Idaho Newspaper Group prior to founding HDI. Today HDI publishes regional telephone directories in Idaho, Washington, Montana, Oregon and California.

Steve Blondy

Dex One Corporation has also  announced it has commenced a nationwide search for a new chief financial officer to fill the vacancy created by the pending
departure of current CFO Steven Blondy, 51, who will step down on or before
July 31, 2011.

“We thank Steve for his valuable service to Dex One and its predecessor company R.H. Donnelley. Since joining the company in 2002, Steve has played an important role in expanding operations and improving the company’s cost structure,” said Dex One Chief Executive Officer Alfred Mockett. “His contributions are wide-ranging and we wish him well going forward.”

The separation was mutually agreed upon by the company and Blondy, who will help ensure an orderly transition and receive benefits as outlined in his employment agreement.   A prominent search firm is engaged and is in the process of identifying and evaluating candidates.

Stéphane Marceau

Yellow Page Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, Stéphane Marceau, has left the company to pursue other career Interests. His resignation is effective immediately.

“Stéphane came to Yellow Media to lead the digital transformation including overseeing the development and overall marketing of digital and mobile products for the Company’s various brands.  Now, with this digital transformation well under way, we are grateful for his contribution and respect his decision,” said Marc P. Tellier, President and Chief Executive Officer, Yellow Media Inc.

Yellow Media has invested significantly over the last few years to expand the knowledge and capability of its marketing function. The current strong marketing executive team will continue to build on the momentum established and ensure continuity. Mr. Marceau will be a special advisor to the organization for a transition period.

Kathy Perez:

Announced that the Directory Assistance and Information Services Conference – Thriving on the Frontier has been scheduled for November 15th – 16th, 2011 at the Landmark Hyatt Regency, Dallas TX.

“Following on the success of last year’s inaugural event we have created a compelling agenda to provide you with the strategies you need and exceptional networking opportunities.   We are pleased to be teaming up with The Paisley
Group to host THE industry event this year.  We have created one single
event that will bring together everyone in the industry for an outstanding
conference. “

Early bird discounts are available at the Paisley Group Conference site. 

Updated Industry Opt-out Site Rolled Out

As they have been promising for months now, the Yellow Pages Association (YPA) and the Association of Directory Publishers (ADP) today launched an upgraded website at www.yellowpagesoptout.com that allows consumers nationwide to easily manage the delivery of their phone directories (Official press release).  Consumers can now go to a single location to select which phone directories they receive, or to stop directory delivery altogether.

I ran a search for the area where we use to live in North Carolina and the system smartly displayed all of the books we use to get in the area:

When the original site was launched in 2009, the site only provided information on individual publishers that consumers needed to contact individually.  The upgraded and redesigned interface increases consumer convenience and reduces confusion about the options available to manage phone book delivery by eliminating the need to contact multiple publishers.

In the press release Neg Norton, president of YPA notes that “…our industry is taking a giant leap forward today by launching a clearinghouse site for consumers to control the delivery of directories.  The site, supported by directory publishers across the country, illustrates our ongoing commitment to not delivering a directory to someone who doesn’t want one.”

Larry Angove, president and CEO, Association of Directory Publishers added that “…we continue to believe, and research supports, that directories remain an important tool for consumers searching for local information.  That said, we believe it is equally important to provide a simple solution for consumers who only want a certain directory or feel they can do without a directory.”

Those who have been fighting the distribution of these directories have ignored publishers ongoing position that if someone didn’t want a phonebook, they shouldn’t have to get one.  The associations should be congratulated on this unique collaboration effort among large and small publishers across the country that shows a commitment to our promise to reducing unwanted directories.  158 publishers are currently in the site database.

“Consumers continue turning to print Yellow Pages, both to help find local businesses, driving valuable new leads for our advertisers, and also to quickly access community and government information,” said Norton. “We believe print remains a central component of our industry’s growing portfolio, which today includes digital and mobile platforms. We’re constantly working to transform and innovate so that we can continue supporting local businesses and consumers in the most environmentally friendly way.”

Growing call tracking levels support industry research showing that over 75% of U.S. adults use print Yellow Pages to find local businesses each and every year.  Hence, advertisers are still realizing a return on the investment for local directory advertising of at least $14 for every $1 spent.

Without a doubt this updated effort improves the opt-out process drastically. But ultimately some critics will still not be happy. For example, look at this lead paragraph from the San Francisco Examiner:

In a tech-savvy and environmentally aware region like the Bay Area, which is home to online directories such as Yelp and Google Local, the arrival of a new Yellow Pages book can seem like a blast from the past.

Didn’t realize that class warfare was now linked to the distribution of yellow page directories, but hey, we are talking about San Francisco.  It’s just a shame the industry would have to lower any of its standards to appease such a small bunch of snobs. But the Examiner article did at least correctly contain this item:

And yet, for all of the griping by  people who wish they could opt out of receiving a phone book, thousands of small businesses in San Francisco continue to depend on their Yellow Pages advertising, Amy Healy said. <YPA Staff>

“It’s not sexy,” she said. “But it works for them.”

Has, still is, and will continue to be the best advertising media for most small – midsized businesses.  No one will disagree that consumers today find information in all sorts of ways and usually many check multiple sources when searching for information about products or services.  But we also know that consumers are still turning to those print Yellow Pages, and will continue to for years to come.

And of course the city of Seattle still doesn’t get it.  Despite facing a lawsuit from the industry, the Seattle City Council on Monday voted to stick with a 14-cent fee it plans to charge Yellow Pages distributors for every book that goes to Seattle residents.  I guess the industry should be somewhat pleased that the city backed away from a $148 tonnage fee it approved in October to help pay the cost of recycling the advertising books.  But despite today’s op-out site launch announcement, the Council still hasn’t dropped its October action to create a registry for people who want to opt out of receiving Yellow Pages-type phone books.

It will be interesting to see how many people actually ask to opt-out of their directory deliveries.  After most publishers initiated their own opt-out programs, YPA started their initial site, and numerous paper atheists began blogging campaigns to get people to opt-out, publishers have reported a significant drop off in the numbers of people requesting opt-out over the past months to almost a trickle.  Those publishers that have discussed opt-out levels have consistently indicated that less than 5% do.

Spring Industry Conference Update

Given the amount of nasty winter weather that much of the country has been experiencing, it may seem like a little bit of a reach to say that spring is just around the corner. For some it can’t get here soon enough.  Spring is also the time when several major industry events occur.

Here is a short summary of what’s ahead.  You need to get these on your calendar…

BIA/Kelsey – ILM East

At BIA/Kelsey, they are assuming that indeed the snow will eventually melt in Boston, the site for their ILM East conference which will be held March 21-23.  ILM East is a brand new show and follows their recent Interactive Local Media 2010 conference in Santa Clara which had a reported attendee list reaching nearly 700.

The initial program has recently been released. The focus of the conference is the fast-changing local media and marketing environment. This event features two “SuperForums” on: 1) mobile local media and 2) group buying/deal a day. Each of these forums will also focus on where mobile and group buying are headed, with many of the top leaders in each space.

“Hyperlocal” also gets a different spin at ILM East — rather than focusing on community and content, BIA/Kelsey says they are “ready to talk dollars – real dollars”, specifically how some national companies are approaching local search.  Expected speakers include U-Haul’s Elnora Palms and Progressive Insurance’s Matthew Marko.

Now if you are a member of BIA/Kelsey’s LinkedIn group, you can receive special pricing on ILM East registration. Sign up at www.biakelsey.com/ILMEast2011 with promo code ILMEIN and save $200 on the public registration price. The price increases on Jan. 29, so you need to register fast.

Visit www.biakelsey.com/ILMEast2011 for the full agenda, current list of speakers, and online registration.

YPA – Yellow Page Association

Next up is the Yellow Pages Association annual conference which runs April 16 – 19, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Recently YPA announced that Emily White, the Senior Director of Local at Facebook will be one of the keynote speakers at this year’s event

White joined Facebook in September 2010 leading Facebook’s efforts on the business side to engage with local businesses and users.  Prior to Facebook, Emily was at Google for ten years, joining as Google’s first person on the Sales and Operations side of the AdWords product.  During her time at Google Emily was responsible for a variety of efforts, running Google’s Emerging business teams, leading Asia Pacific, and Latin America Online Sales and Operations, and Google’s North America AdWords Online Sales and Operations team. Emily also managed Google’s Women’s Leadership Community (WLC), an organization focused on attracting, growing, and retaining top female talent.

Emily was recently named as “One to Watch” in Fortune magazine.  Prior to Google, Emily worked in business development for Achex, a person-to-person payment start up.  Emily is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.

Click here to register now and don’t miss any of the dynamic speakers, great workshops and networking opportunities at this year’s conference!

And just remember, it’s in Vegas baby….

ADP – Association of Directory Publishers:

Last but not least, the Association of Directory Publishers hosts its Annual Convention and Partners Trade Show, April 26-28, in sunny Hollywood, Florida (no issues with snow here). With some very specific industry-specific content and what is expected to be the largest industry trade show, this even has become an annual must for yellow pages’ publishers and industry suppliers.

The theme of this year’s convention, Conquering Misperceptions – Crafting New Realities, with the multiple programming tracks driving the convention agenda. One track will focus on understanding, proving, and marketing the legacy value of print; while the other focuses on concrete ways that publishers may leverage their traditional strengths of rich content and local presence into new customers and revenue sources through new approaches. The creative use of Social Media platforms is just one of the topics of track two; how publishers can utilize the power of mobile applications is another.

The Convention opens with Dr. Dennis Fromholzer as the keynote speaker. Dr. Fromholzer is recognized worldwide as a leading expert in Yellow Pages research and analysis. Utilizing authenticated data, he will explain why the future of Yellow Pages remains positive and how it still delivers great value to advertisers.

This convention also includes several networking functions and will culminate with the industry’s Gold Book Awards Dinner and Ceremony, where the Gold Book Publisher of the Year will be announced.

For more information or to register for the convention, contact the Association’s Headquarters at 800.267.9002 or hq@adp.org.