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My friend Aimee does a bunch of great work.

Recently, she got fed up with Yellow Pages environmental idiocy. To protest the production of those monster telephone books no one reads anymore on dead tree parchment, Aimee designed a cute PR stunt.

The video below shows that the Yellow Pages is not only an archaic throwback, but also knows zilch re PR.

I am amazed by the following:

  • The flack YP sent out to address Aimee says that the stunt is  a “fire hazard.” Yet, somehow, leaving 50 Yellow Pages books in a building where little kids live is not.
  • Yellow Pages staff are see recycling their own product. Is this not somehow an vindication of the total uselessness of it? Would you have your firm do this on camera?

Note – if you cannot see this video click here


For more, check out  Aimee’s interview on a local MTL radio station about the activity.


Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Liz says:

    Love it!

  • Kevin says:

    Looks like Aimee recognized an opportunity for self-promotion. And the premise/conclusion in your second paragraph is questionable.

    If that seems like a direspectful statement, consider the comparable lack of respect you and Aimee show for the “flack” in the video footage. What’s shown here is more blunt instrument than clever – more rude than insightful. A raised-voice sneak attack with a bunch of pre-prepared message points taking the place of actual conversation? Complete invalidation of your target, with laughing dismissal of what they do? These all seem like terribly desperate, childish techniques, and Aimee comes across as a superficial, self-interested person.

    Now a question: did you enjoy reading such a harsh critique of your work? Did you feel productively engaged by it? In light of that, how do you think the Yellow Pages folks feel about your stunt?

  • Aimee says:

    Dear Kevin,

    My interest in creating Yellow Page Mountain not once has had anything to do with self-promotion. I did not see an opportunity to promote myself, but an opportunity to address the environmental costs and manipulative business model of the increasingly unpopular paper Yellow Pages.

    We did engage in a lengthy conversation with the Yellow Page’s PR rep, which consisted mostly of being supplied with corporate rhetoric and carefully crafted statistics, of which the source was never supplied to me post-event. I could have actually made Fiona look a lot worse, but chose to get to the point.

    Yellow Page Group also had four days notice of our initiative, and had ample time to prepare.

    Our current initiative: get more than 1% of the Canadian population to like “Yellow Page Mountain” on Facebook, to prove digitally to the Yellow Page Group that a much hight percentage than 1% wants to opt-out.


  • Robespierre says:

    I like to save trees as much as anyone, but they do come in handy when building a guillotine. Kidding aside, I do like to do things quickly without too much fuss. That’s why when I want to go looking for a business or business category in my area, I like to pick up somthing quick and easy like the Yellow Pages book. I can get right to the section and business I’m looking for, and quickly find a phone number or address. This serves me much better than going to my computer in another room (no, I don’t have a lapbook or wiffee), getting online, searching for the yellow pages or Googling (Binging?) online, waiting for results, searching through results or trying to find the needed pages, then finding the info I needed when the Yellow Pages book would have given me the answer five minutes previously. I understand all about the short attention span generation – I saw one walk into a pole the other day checking her Facebook page – but when it comes to fad versus common sense, I guess I go for the latter.

  • Robespierre says:

    Jackson, do you proof your work before posting, or just fail to fully grasp the language? Or is that “textlish?” “Twitlish?”

  • Robespierre,
    No. I just rely on people like you to leave helpful comments.

  • Sam says:

    There are many people inthe U.S. and the world without ready access to computers or the internet, a reality that many people simply cannot comprehend or are willing to acknowledge, or willing to acknowledge without casting ridicule. And there is the ever-present risk of power grid failure, locally or beyond, preventing anyone affected from getting to the internet, or after 3-4 days, even using their mobile phone. As long as the telephone lines themselves are still operational, a telephone book and a phone that doesn’t need external power are Plan B.

  • Robespierre says:

    Just pulling your leg, Jackson. I enjoy reading your posts – and you probably noticed I misspelled “somthing” (sic) myself. (Off with his head!) I need to practice what I preach, eh?

    I’m a young Boomer (oxymoron?) who sometimes (sc) has to be dragged kicking and screaming into the social media age, sharing Betty White’s view for the most part. But I do love to grab something handy and substantial like a newspaper or the Yellow Pages (also a great self-defense weapon), and not always go online. I like my couch…. As a practicing PR guy, the utility I work for has found social media very useful in communicating directly with customers. And we have a fairly easily accessible online Yellow Pages I consult at work – since I’m already logged on to the computer and don’t have to get up to do so.

    We will come to a point where a printed Yellow Pages will become obsolete for most of us. But let’s not leave those behind who won’t or can’t access it in pursuit of our own satisfaction. (BTW: I’m listed under “Guillotines”)

  • Mary K says:

    I love telephone books, whether they’re the Yellow Pages or another outfit. When you move frequently (as I do), they are a nice introduction to your new neighborhood and the environment (my most recent telephone book featured how to prepare for a typhoon. It also featured Chamorro words and their meanings and many of the telephone listings also included web sites). It’s a lot easier to judge a business when it takes out an ad versus viewing multiple businesses online all written in the same sans serif type. I like going online as well, but as Robespierre pointed out, it’s frequently much faster to “let my fingers do the walking” through the pages rather than wait for the computer (and yes, I DO have wi-fi in my house and we even have our own server).

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