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Are the Yellow Pages Now Obsolete for Lawyers?


The Lawyerist blog asked a great question in this post yesterday: Are the Yellow Pages now obsolete as a form of advertising for lawyers?

Sam Glover ponders that question, noting that he has "not heard any Yellow Pages success stories in a very long time, except from the occasional criminal defense or personal injury lawyer with a full-page spread." He adds that he flirted with the idea of advertising in the phone book a couple of years ago before realizing that he "would pay a couple hundred dollars a month for a fraction of the traffic I already got from other sources."

Glover asked his readers if they still used the Yellow Pages, and received some interesting comments both pro and con. One reader mentioned showing the Yellow Pages to his teenage kids, who were bewildered by -- and disinterested in -- the entire concept of a big stack of pages that were not online. Another reader wrote, however, that there was still a "ton of value" in the Yellow Pages and that the good ones were in the process of re-inventing themselves.

Skepticism is rife in other parts of the blawgosphere as well. Legal marketer Larry Bodine has long looked down his nose at the idea of Yellow Pages ads for lawyers, claiming that "it just attracts bottom-feeders, illiterates and shoppers." Bob Ambrogi gave an example here earlier this month of how phone book ads can become the albatross around a firm's neck. A Florida personal injury firm went bankrupt at the beginning of September and listed $2.5 million in assets owed to 12 creditors -- $1.5 million of which was for advertising in various phone directories.

I personally find it very hard to believe that hard copy Yellow Pages are long for this world. What do you think?

Posted by Bruce Carton on September 30, 2009 at 03:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)


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