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Changing Perceptions of Yellow Pages, One Graduate at a Time

In March, I wrote about the College Creative Competition that Yellow Pages Association developed to increase the amount of class time devoted to Yellow Pages advertising. 

The program helps drive perceptions that Yellow Pages play an important role in the advertiser’s media mix.  It also is an opportunity for the industry to give back by supporting students on their educational journey.

Since it’s graduation season, and we’re wrapping up the 2008-2009 year, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the results of this year’s program.

This year, we had 1,911 students from 192 universities registered for the competition.  We measured their change in attitudes toward Yellow Pages before and after participating in the competition.

Among the participating students, we saw a significant decline in negative perceptions:

  • Students who thought the Yellow Pages are “old fashioned” dropped from 59% to 13% after the competition.
  • Students who thought Yellow Pages are “boring” dropped from 51% to 8%.
  • Student who considered Yellow Pages “out-dated” fell from 46% to 8%.

 On the flip side, we saw an increase in positive perceptions:

  • 72% said that Yellow Pages were “important for advertisers,” compared to 41 percent before the competition.
  • 72% also said that Yellow Pages are “valuable,” compared to 31 percent before.

These changes in perception show the importance of educating young people about the value of Yellow Pages.  When we have the opportunity to show people (of any age) what we can offer, we generally see a big change in attitude about the value of our industry.

Of course, the other exciting part of the program is taking a look at the winning entries of the participants, so be sure to see what they came up with.

One Response to “Changing Perceptions of Yellow Pages, One Graduate at a Time”

  1. John O'Brien says:

    Great perspective. As a publisher of over 250 college phone directories (with YPs), we are working hard to change perceptions as well. I think your competition is a great asset to the YP community. Here at University Directories, all of our outside sales and creative work is generated by college students. We are doing our part, one student at a time…errrr 800/year! Keep up the great work and let us know if we can help in any way.

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