Promoting our industry among policymakers in 2014 started with two conferences in New England in January. With participation by hibü at both, we had an exhibit booth at the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) conference in Boston, MA. A week later, we were at the Rhode Island League of Cities & Towns’ in Warwick, RI. When we share details of YellowPagesOptOut.com, our environmental record, and how we boost local economies, we make important gains with local lawmakers whom otherwise may support bills restricting our industry. In both Massachusetts and Rhode Island – both states where our industry has faced legislative hurdles – we were pleased to be greeted warmly and feel that we made a good impact with local leaders.
Posts Tagged ‘opt-out’
LSA, hibu at Massachusetts Municipal Association and Rhode Island League of Cities & Towns ConferencesTuesday, February 4, 2014
Paul Kiefer of Dex Media, Matt Krug of hibu and I have been at the Illinois Municipal League conference in Chicago speaking with aldermen, trustees, mayors and other city officials about Yellow Pages and the the industry’s consumer choice program: YellowPagesOptOut.com. We estimate we have interacted in varying degrees with approximately 500 city officials from across the state including many suburbs of Chicago.
It was a very lively conference with significant interest and traffic in the exhibit area. The industry and our opt-out site received very positive responses from almost everyone we talked to and many expressed an interest in promoting the site. We also heard repeatedly from most people that they do continue to utilize the print directory, but appreciate the opt-out option for their constituents.
This conference was extremely productive and should help our efforts to stay ahead of any attempts to legislate phone book delivery in the state of Illinois. A big thanks to all of our participating publishers that help sustain these efforts.
In downtown Hartford at the six-story Connecticut Convention Center, LSA took another great opportunity to reach out to local officials to let them know about our industry’s importance to local business and our commitment to consumer choice.
At the 31st annual convention of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), our exhibit booth was staffed by Matt Krug of hibu and Charlotte Shepherd of YP as well as LSA’s Gene Wilk and myself. The day-long event featured many notable speakers including Governor Dan Molloy. In addition to the great speakers, many city councilmembers and other municipal employees made their way through the large exhibit hall where we had several productive one-on-one conversations with local leaders.
For the second year in a row, LSA attended the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) conference and it was well worth the return trip. Composed of city and county managers, ICMA is made up of a key group of local leaders and decision makers. They have the ears of city councils and county commissions throughout the country, so building a relationship with them is a great investment of our time.
Holding their 99th annual conference at the Hynes Convention Center in the heart of Boston, hundreds came through the large exhibition hall where LSA promoted our industry’s consumer choice program as well as our importance to local businesses. Most of the attendees were from the United States but we met several from Canada as well as a few from other countries such as Denmark and New Zealand.
At our booth this year was Matt Krug of hibu, Sarah R. Wilson of Dex Media and myself. We spoke to many of the attendees and they were very receptive of all that our industry has to offer.
I am in Sacramento with Matt Krug of hibu, Charlotte Shepherd of YP, Aaron Lewis of hibu and Dan Moore of hibu. We are exhibiting at the League of California Cities conference as we continue our proactive efforts at encouraging cities to use and promote the industry Yellow Pages opt-out site as a service to their residents and as an alternative to considering any regulatory initiatives. We’ve had many productive discussions with local officials, both those who are supportive of our efforts as well as some who are still unsure. Nevertheless, we see our outreach as important to building credibility with local communities and cities and will continue to invest in educating local leaders on the support our members provide to their communities from an economic and environmental standpoint.
LSA was also a primary sponsor of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) caucus of the California League of Cities. The API caucus has been a great opportunity for me to get to know many local officials on a more personal level and develop deeper relationships. LSA was featured at its packed-house annual event amongst a list of sponsors that included AT&T, Chevron, Comcast, and others, and LSA will continue to be recognized throughout the upcoming year.
The Local Search Association’s Manager of Public Policy Gene Wilk, hibu’s Matt Krug, Dex Media’s Danna Bissing and YP’s Jim Troup have been exhibiting at the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) Conference (see picture below) this week. They are there to discuss industry initiatives supporting sustainability and consumer choice related to Yellow Pages phone directories.
There has been at least one inquiry, and probably others who wonder and haven’t spoken up, about our role in the litigation involving San Francisco and Yellow Pages delivery. These conferences offer both the opportunity to share and demonstrate the industry’s commitment to consumer choice as we promote our opt-out site and support its operation with our own resources. As we seek partners and local officials to help us get the word out about the opt-out site, we prove that the industry is genuine in following through with the substance of our messaging.
We will continue this effort at a number of conferences for local government officials including the League of California Cities Annual Conference in September, and at the National League of Cities Conference in Seattle in November.
About a thousand elected county officials from throughout the United States came to Ft. Worth, Texas over the weekend. Jim Troup (YP), Sarah R. Wilson (Dex Media), Matt Krug (hibu), and myself attended the 78th Annual Conference & Exposition of the National Association of Counties (NACO). Based on the number of giveaways we handed out at our booth, we estimate we made contact with about 700 of those officials over the course of 3 days.
While we initially questioned the wisdom of hosting a conference in Texas in July, it may have worked to our advantage in keeping folks inside the air-conditioned exhibit hall. With an exhibit booth at the Fort Worth Convention Center, all four of our industry representatives spent many hours talking one-on-one with key local leaders whom have great influence in their communities.
Many were very short interactions with a simple message that our industry supports local business and the publishers are committed to environmentally friendly products and consumer choice (the opt out site). But many were more detailed discussions about our industry and our initiatives and how we can partner with local cities and counties.
NACO has a membership of 2,400 representing counties located in all fifty states. For 17 states, all of the counties in them are members of NACO. This is why the NACO convention is a critical stop on LSA’s conference collaborative. They understand the importance of boosting local economies and creating a high quality of life for a region. Moreover, they make decisions throughout the year that could impact our Industry.
With local governments seeking new ways to increase revenue and stretch every dollar, it was very helpful that we were on hand to spread our message of sustainability, consumer choice and helping small businesses.
This was a very successful conference in promoting our members and industry, and in getting our message out to many leaders throughout the country.
Sarah Wilson from Dex Media, Matt Krug from hibu and I are spending the entire day exhibiting at the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) conference in the Tri-Cities, more formally known as the neighboring cities of Kennewick, Pasco and Richland in Washington state.
More than 350 local officials have come to the Three Rivers Convention Center for workshops, roundtables, and AWC’s annual meeting. We have our booth in the exhibit hall to promote our industry’s consumer choice and sustainability initiatives.
The mayors, city councilmembers, and city staff here are highly engaged and have asked very thoughtful questions about our site and industry. Many have asked about how our industry can be a true partner to cities and communities and have taken information with the intent of promoting our opt-out site through city communication channels. We’ve also been pleased by the number of elected officials who have expressed that they still rely on printed directories yet also like the idea of choosing which one they get.
AWC is proud to represent 281 cities in the Evergreen State, and we are very happy to have had this opportunity to meet officials from so many of them.
We had a fantastic day yesterday in St. Paul at the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) conference. Heather Mungle from Dex Media, Matt Krug from hibu and I were able to talk about consumer choice and sustainability to hundreds of city officials who converged on the Saint Paul RiverCentre.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary, LMC held workshops, an annual meeting and a dedicated time when local Minnesota officials would be in the marketplace venue to mingle among exhibitors at booths including ours.
Many officials became interested in posting our opt-out ‘widget’ on their municipal websites, and quite a few remembered receiving an introductory e-mail from us prior to the conference. One memorable conversation was with a councilmember from Bemidji, MN – which bills itself as the “First City on the Mississippi” – who noted that a directory publisher is based in his city.
While in the area, I also met with Paul Austin of Conservation Minnesota who has been very helpful in promoting consumer choice through www.DontTrashThePhoneBook.org and arranging for cities to promote YellowPagesOptOut.com in utility bills and recycling/trash pick-up calendars.
Matt Krug from hibu and I are at the Association of Oregon Recyclers conference to promote the industry and highlight the environmental and sustainability initiatives of our LSA members. Earlier this year, a bill was introduced in the state of Oregon that would have created an opt-in registry for phone books and imposed penalties for violations. The bill did not end up moving after engagement by LSA, but it certainly points to the importance of getting the word out about our industry’s self-regulatory efforts in this state. We’ve met officials from across Oregon, including Portland, and are promoting the value our members bring to local communities as well our consumer choice and sustainability initiatives.