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U.S. News & World Report features a short interview with AT&T Advertising & Publishing CEO Denny Payne in this week’s print edition (available online). Not much ground was broken in the interview, but Payne got across the usual major points in defense of Yellow Pages’ relevance in an increasingly digital world.

Payne makes the standard argument that his organization is better suited to bring novice small businesses online because, as he puts it, “we’ve got an army of 5,000 salespeople on the street.”

The article also notes that the huge margins and cash reserves of directory organizations act as a war chest to buy time to learn how to migrate the business online.

In PR terms, this article is a solid hit for AT&T and, by extension, other Yellow Pages organizations with healthy markets and legions of salespeople.

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