Give me Jesus on the line
— Manhattan Transfer
By Randall Grantham
Does anybody out there still use a phone book to find numbers or businesses? Seriously, how do most of you readers out there find phone numbers or choose between competing businesses for services that you may unexpectedly need, like a plumber or an air conditioning repairman? Or a lawyer?
Remember the ad for the Yellow Pages, “Let your fingers do the walking?” It used to be, in the good old days before the internet and Google and apps on smart phones and Facebook, that was how people found services, phone numbers and chose which businesses to patronize.
You’d look at the address of the companies; then compare their pictures and slogans. Maybe choose one with a smaller ad than the bigger one, reasoning that it ain’t cheap to advertise in the book and the smaller ad people may pass along those savings or that the bigger ad people had to charge more to pay for the thing.
Now there are three or four different companies that publish yellow-paged phone books, each touting the fact that they’re the “real” yellow pages. But does anybody really use any of the competing phone books any more? I’m serious. I want to know.
A couple of years back, we changed phone service providers and I was dropped out of the directories completely. Not only was I not in the Yellow Pages, you could call directory assistance and ask specifically for me and you would be told there was no such listing. Other than the ad that runs in this fine newspaper, I don’t advertise anywhere else. So you might think my business was off that year.
You would be wrong. The year that I was off-radar, maintaining radio silence so to speak, was my best year ever. So, the next year, with the huge savings I got from them screwing up my listing the previous year, I bought a few nice, large ads in some of the local books that I figured would have me fighting off clients.
Wrong again! Despite the fact that I placed some half page ads in our local yellow pages in the geographical areas of my practice and put up a website, my business was way off last year. I was still getting great results for clients that did find me, so it wasn’t performance based. To be honest, businesses all over have been off due to the lousy economy, but people are still getting arrested!
Now, it’s time for the yellow page ad’s to be renewed and I want to know what you readers think. Does anybody still use the phone book? How do you prefer to find service providers? Internet? Recommendations from friends? Advertisements in local papers and magazines, like this one? (I know this publication is mentioned by many of my new clients.)
Please let me know and I’ll publish the results in a future piece. I’m sure that many of you are businessmen or women in the area facing the same quandary: What is the best way to spend your advertising dollars in today’s economy? Email me at
Hmm. Maybe if I put some scantily clad models on my webpage….
Randall C. Grantham is a lifelong resident of Lutz who practices law from his offices on Dale Mabry Highway. He can be reached at . Copyright 2010 RCG
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