Corporate Greed is the Worst Public Relations at Yellow Pages

You know those thick yellow books we all have at home, that are really useful for boosting up kids at the dining table when you run out of actual booster seats? Well, turns-out there was a time before tablets, smart phones, and the Internet when people actually marched their fingers through those books to find phone numbers of businesses! Really!!!

Yellow Media, the publisher of those books – the Yellow Pages as they were known, has run into some trouble lately. Much like RIM, who’s market roared past them while they were busy gloating about how great they were, Yellow Media has also suffered from ignoring their market and assuming the old model was the only model. Not to say they haven’t tried, sites like was quite successful (which is why they were able to sell it when they needed cash) and is my go to site when comparison shopping.

But these web sites just don’t provide the revenue to keep their print business afloat – I doubt any web site could ever produce the financial results that a traditional publishing business had. It’s just too easy to publish on the Internet – any idiot can set up a Content Management System (CMS) and populate with stuff – business listings, forums, news, etc.. If they’re serious they can get their own domain. And if they’re really serious they can even host the service themselves!

The leaders and directors of Yellow Media missed this simple fact. They thought no one could assail they’re lofty position as sole provider of phone numbers to North Americans. They missed the obvious fact the people’s web browser home pages most point to Google or Bing with a convenient search bar at the top, where they can type in the name of a company; iPhone users can just ask Siri! Android users can just ask Google! (I’m sure Windows Phone users can do something similar too).

So what happens to you when the world rushes past your astute leadership and whacks you in the ass as it laps you? Well, if you’re a director of Yellow Media you give yourself a raise – a 26% raise! Because all the patting yourself on the back is hard work and deserves some recognition! And in case anyone (like my, in this blog, in this post) points out the obvious, well, you back yourself up by spending another $300,000 to produce a report that says “look, all these other companies gave their directors big raises!” Of course you ignore that fact that your shortlist of companies are among the most successful in their industries!

I don’t agree with the Occupy movement in any way, shape or form. But it’s hard to not have sympathy when you see stuff like this!

BTW, don’t use your iPad as a booster – even the new iPad with it’s added thickness won’t be sufficient!

Source: The Globe and Mail

Cross-posted on Schulzter’s Blog