Yellow Pages Environmental Forum

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Posted in Print Yellow Pages by Ken C on May 22, 2008
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In this weeks edition of YP Talk we asked people in the industry to send us stories about how the printed Yellow Pages made a real life impact on them. We are using a separate site for these stories and other information about the value of the Yellow Pages – the site is

The stories have started to come in.  Here’s a new one from CS:

I asked my 23 year old daughter if she thought the yellow pages or internet helped her make buying decisions more frequently….

Katie’s response was the PRINT YELLOW PAGES!!! She had just returned from a vacation in Texas, an area she had never visited, she said they grabbed the yellow pages out of the motel and took it with them to tour the area and find restaurants and use the maps etc.  When staying in a hotel, most vacationers find it inconvenient to go to the lobby and use the guest computer.  Katie also said “when I use the internet I never know what I’m going to get for a search result, but when I look in the yellow pages, I KNOW I will find just what I am looking for.”

Now that is one intelligent girl……

Keep those stories coming…


Now it get’s personal

Posted in Editor Picks by Ken C on May 13, 2008
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You’ve seen them — bloggers who by virtue of the fact that they have a keyboard, an Internet connection, and half a brain can start spewing all kinds of inaccuracies across hyperspace. Among those I have seen:

  • Yellow Pages kills trees — Not true — see article on how paper is made (click here)
  • No one uses them — Not true, unless you consider nearly 14 BILLION look-ups last year to be “no one:
  • the Industry makes up the usage numbers — Not true unless you believe that all the research organizations that do research for a range of media have some compelling reason to ONLY bake the number for Yellow Pages
  • I don’t want one, I don’t use, I am offended you deliver one to my doorstep, — me, me, me. Please people, get a life. It’s just a phone book. It takes them longer to write their rants and complaints than it does to just recycle what they don’t want.

And so on and on. Usually I find the vast majority of these people are well intentioned but totally uninformed. Usually when presented with the facts, they will at least take the time to reconsider their position.

But now it’s getting personal. Case in point — this captain of commerce ignored all the facts presented and still ran this charming write-up: click here, but don’t do so on an empty stomach. He even went as far as to suggest everyone send me books they don’t want. Well, if they want to waste the postage and be even less eco-friendly, fine, I will gladly recycle any that show up. But you should note that the writer also closed his blog to further comments — hence, you now see the ugly side of the Internet, and it’s personal. Of course the other thing to note is the writer is hiding behind his site — you don’t know anything about who this, they don’t even have a formal mailing address, and it appears they are some local search engine marketing group (so of course there is no agenda there).

I hope all of you that read this have this key takeaway — these efforts are not going to go away, this industry in under siege, you livelihood will soon be under attack –> it’s time to start pushing back. All of us. Now. Because it’s starting to get personal….

Exactly how is Yellow Pages paper made?

Posted in Uncategorized by Ken C on January 14, 2008
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Most people don’t know that the creation of a print Yellow Pages product is actually a very complex process. There are the known steps of selling the ads, making the graphics used in the ad, getting all of the listings correctly into the database, changes to advertising content as businesses change address or telephone numbers, the actually pagination of the book, and finally, its delivery. In the course of our busy work days, we often don’t get a chance to see firsthand how all of these various parts of the Yellow Pages actually work. For example, how is the paper that the industry uses actually y made??

The most recent article in YP Talk – describes exactly that: How Paper Is Made provides a pictorial description of the process.

What may surprise a lot people is how much recycled content – white paper and old books are used in the process.

recylced paperyp ready for recylingwood chips pile

What was also very refreshing to hear about this particular plant (the Nippon Paper Industries (NPI USA plant in Port Angeles). As noted in the article to the bottom:

The last note for readers on this subject is just how dedicated Nippon is in reducing the impact on the environment in their manufacturing efforts which is a key item that publishers should highlight with their environmental critics. I noted the following key points in their processes:

–>1.  The combination of filler, recycled fiber and SFI certified residual sawmill chips to fiber makes up over 80% of the material in their finished product

–>2.  The remaining fiber is residual sawmill chips from small local managed tree farms or from DNR managed Federal lands

–>3.  40 % Recycle Fiber content in finished product

–>4. This is the only mill that actively recycles old directory books

–>5.  They use no Boreal, “old growth”, or rain forest fiber used in making this paper

–>6.  The plant has no water or air permit violations, or other outstanding environmental issues – meaning they are playing by the rules and doing all they can