Yellow Pages Environmental Forum

Consumers Not Believing Green Marketing Efforts

Posted in Editor Picks by Ken C on April 22, 2008
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Ad Age reports that according to a study by Burst Media, while consumers have a high recall of “green advertising,” they really aren’t believing those messages at the same rate. Burst surveyed about 6,000 people age 18 and over about their perception of environmental marketing. While almost three-quarters recall seeing some green ads, more than 20% don’t ever believe them and two-thirds only believe them “sometimes.”

The only group that seems to believe these messages is the core group of 5% of people who identify themselves as “completely green” consumers. In that group better than 40% say advertisers are doing a good job at providing information on green claims.

I noted one interesting comparison on the motives for going green — casual green consumers most often cited “good for the environment” (62%) as their top reason, while the more dedicated eco-oriented said it was “to live a better quality of life” (48%).

Why I’m Still “Bullish” On Print

Posted in Print Yellow Pages by Ken C on April 21, 2008
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On my YP Talk newsletter, I received the following email the other day from a “Dominic”:

Ken:  In the condo complex where I live, I estimate that 30% of the print directories delivered end up in the collective trash bins on the day of delivery. I see it with my own eyes when I dump my directory. I understand your vested interest in print YPA, but I fail to see where your bullish position about print directories has merit. They are dying.

Dying???  Here is my response back:



Thank you for your comments.  Couple of points:


How many people in your complex??  Let’s say 2,000.  And you say 30% of directories end up in recycling??  How exactly did you come up with the 30% number??  Could those be older books, books from last year that people are replacing and recycling??  That still leaves 70% (by your count) of books still being used regularly.


My “bullish” position on print comes from some very real facts:

1.    Many print publishers use tracking numbers in the ads.  That phone number only appears in that that ad, in that book, and in no other forms of advertising.  Hence the only way that an advertiser can receive a call on that number is from an ad in the book.  The overwhelming majority of publishers I have talked to big and small indicate that those call volumes are UP in the past year.  So if “no one” is using the book, how can that be?

2.    The printing presses for phone books are full.  There is virtually no excess capacity anywhere.  Publishers are not dumb people who just want an excuse to print more than they need, so again, someone must be using these books are the publishers wouldn’t be printing them.

3.    The formal research the industry has conducts annually just showed the print usage as flat from the prior year.  This research is conducted by a viable, highly respected research group who does research for a number of media industries, so it is not plausible, as some have suggested, that they are cooking the result just to give the industry the numbers they want.

4.    Print gives you something the Internet doesn’t – a sense of a company’s size and worthiness based on the size and information in their print ad with others in that heading.  When a Google type search brings me back a zillion plus hits, you still need to cull through all the results to find what your looking for, and even then there is no way to differentiate between possible suppliers


Are there more options out there for consumers to find information – heck, yes.  But that old print book still is the most mobile product available, requires no special connections or technology, and is available in every home and business – it people would just take a minute to keep it.  They might discover as billions did last year that it is a pretty poerfull, but low tech informaiton source..



Find Paper Recycling Information in the Print Yellow Pages

Posted in Editor Picks by Ken C on April 14, 2008
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Those that have spent any time recently in and around the Yellow Pages industry are more than aware of the rash of new bloggers ranting away that the print Yellow Pages are a real problem for them — THEY get too many of them, THEY never use them,, etc. etc. etc..

While I suspect this is really the efforts of just 3 or 4 malcontents with way too much time on their hands, it was refreshing to read the following post:

  • “…Today, almost everyone can get into eco friendly and patriotic action with recycled paper….. To get started in this business, all you need is a phone and the yellow pages….” (link to full post)

Really?? Those big old clunky print Yellow Pages that are delivered to every home and business, require no special electrical or broadband connections, and where you can find whatever you need in less than a minute.

So next time you encounter one of those ranting bloggers who are loosing it online, tell them they are not being rational, or patriotic. Print books provide a valuable service to EVERYONE, not just the Internet elitists.

Publishers Are Making Efforts to be Green

Posted in Publisher Efforts by Ken C on April 10, 2008
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While many of the bloggers and other phone book haters don’t want to believe it, the Yellow Page industry has once again stepped up its efforts to be even more environmentally friendly.

Even though the industry uses no virgin trees to make its paper (earlier post here), water soluble inks, and glues that allow the entire book to be recycled, now the Yellow Pages Association (YPA), in concert with the Association of Directory Publishers (ADP), announced formal Joint Environmental Guidelines for the directory publishing industry.

Already the guidelines have been adopted by most  major publishers representing some 90+ percent of the industry output.  The Guidelines focus on source reduction of directories (white and yellow), enhanced recycling programs and environmentally sensitive manufacturing practices.

So DO NOT believe the many bogus blog posts you read that the industry is responsible for cluttering landfills (directories are only about .3% of the total waste stream), that we are wasting precious resources (publishers use on average about 40% recycled content in their paper), or that they will not allow people to opt out of their products.  It just ain’t true.

But those so vehemently insist THEY don’t want a book — how are you going to find that local computer repair store when your PC is busted????  Maybe you should keep at least one of those print “dinosaurs” around just in case.

Printed Yellow Pages As An Environmental Source

Posted in Editor Picks by Ken C on April 1, 2008
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Your kidding?  Those books that appear magically at people’s door steps that so many Techno-snobs claim they never use??  Here’s just a few recent examples:

From the Red Bluff Daily News, in  Red Bluff,CA:  The Tehama County Green Pages, located under “recycling” in the AT&T Yellow Pages, provides the answers for most recycling questions. The Green Pages offer tips on how to dispose of items such as appliances, used books, clothing, computers and electronics, fluorescent bulbs, furniture, construction and demolition materials, old records, tapes and CDs, Styrofoam and household chemicals. It also shows residents what to put in their recycling bins.

From a blogger in New York City:  how to recycle cardboard — “Step 6: Check with your county’s department of public works to find out about local curbside recycling programs and community drop-off centers, or look under ‘Recycling’ in the Yellow Pages.”

 A Raleigh, NC blogger:  “Wow, talking about getting off the subject, I wish there were more places to take cans and such near by. I looked in the Yellow Pages and there are a lot of compaines. …”

 Yellow Page publishers — you have a valuable resource which is in every home in your area, and it has tons of valuable information.  Please let people know about it!!!!!!!!!!!