When it comes to conferences, ADP knows how to bring it. Wherever the location, the knowledge shared by presenters and exchanged by attendees in the print and online directory publishing industry simply cannot be matched!

Gathering in Oklahoma City this year were the print and online directory publishers for the 2020 ADP Annual Convention and Partners Tradeshow. The conference included speakers from all arenas of the directory publishing industry and attendees from around the world. Speakers enlightened attendees on topics ranging from the new industry-wide ADP Trusted Local Certification™ Program and Trusted Local Directory™ to Social Media 101 and the Power of Media Relationships, just to name a few.

The ADP Welcome Reception Wowed

The Convention opened with a fun-filled Welcome Reception and a dinner at Toby Keith’s Bar and Grill sponsored by Advice Local Directories and Liberty Press. While we didn’t get to hang out with Toby Keith, we all certainly had a great time at dinner and congregating afterwards for drinks and conversation.

ADP 2020 Annual Convention Welcome Reception

Opening Day Kicked Off With Building Trust and a Big Announcement

The next morning, ADP President and CEO Cindi Aldrich opened the General Session by welcoming everyone and thanking them for attending. She then introduced Chris Heilbock, ADP Board Chairman and RVP of National Sales at Hibu, who explained that trust is what our industry does best, and that the trust built in our relationships with customers and advertisers is the power of our brand. He said that this year is about building even more trust, with the first-ever Trusted Local Certification Program in the industry and the newly created Trusted Local Directory. He shared that ADP’s priorities in year two will be about continuing to educate and communicate the benefits of these two initiatives.

Cindi Aldrich, ADP 2020 Convention

Cindi explained how the Certification Program would enhance the Publishers’ and Partners’ businesses and invited Bernadette Coleman, CEO of Advice Local Directories, to discuss how the Trusted Local Directory works and how it will be a revenue-producing vehicle for ADP’s directory publishing members.

Bernadette stressed that 93% of consumers are frustrated by incorrect information on Google, and that the cost of this bad data is 10 billion dollars annually. That’s why the Trusted Local Directory is so important – and trustworthy – because our industry’s data is verified by our members’ employees that have “feet on the street.”

You can learn more about the Trusted Local Certification Program here, and about the Trusted Local Directory here.

After Lunch Was Action-Packed Too

Next up, Lissa Duty, Managing Partner at Rocks Digital Marketing, gave attendees a crash course on how to shine on social media. With an informative presentation and worksheet, Lissa guided attendees through creating a social media plan. Along the way she shared the ins-and-outs on where, why and what to post – and how often – helping members jumpstart their social media game.

The CEO of Digital Media Training, Inc., Steve Bookbinder, offered an informative and often humorous look at the on-boarding of salespeople. Having trained more than 50,000 salespeople, Steve says salespeople need to out-perform competitors, out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else. “Knowing how to sell” is not nearly good enough.

Steve Sitton, ADP Annual 2020 Convention in Oklahoma City, OK

Steve Sitton, CEO of Market Authority and known as our industry expert, told attendees that now is the best time for ROI. He pointed out it was actually harder to sell print in the 1980s because publishers couldn’t compete with the telcos. Statistics still show that 45% of those aged 50 and older prefer print in the smaller markets, 32% in the medium markets, and 21% in the large metro markets. And 50+ is the age group with the highest amount of discretionary funds.

Moderator James Hail III, Publisher of Hagadone Directories, Inc., led a panel with Andrew Palmer, Owner/CEO of PBC Multi Media and Amber Weems, COO/Publisher of Victory Media Marketing. They discussed the power of media partnerships and how to leverage core strengths so everyone wins. These panelists gave examples of how they benefit by matching their medium’s directional strength with innovative media tools that excel at storytelling, resulting in an enhanced consumer experience overall.

We ended the day with an on-your-own dinner. Attendees loved the chance to explore Oklahoma City’s famous Bricktown. Many went out to wine-and-dine and take in the local flavor.

The Last Day Left Nothing Unsaid

Wednesday’s General Session began with Gregg Walls, President of Digital Agency Development, discussing how to effectively compensate your salesforce. He said to keep it simple and easily understandable, because turnover comes at an incredibly high cost. Sales managers need to be in the field at least three days a week coaching their salespeople, always tempering any negatives with more positive and constructive comments.

Chesca Baily, Executive Director of Business Network International (BNI) of Oklahoma, said networking is the key to business leads, and that it takes just seven seconds to make a good first impression. She also explained the 12x12x12 rule. Meaning, how do you look from 12 feet away? How do you come across from 12 inches away? And what are the first 12 words out of your mouth?

Bernadette Coleman, 2020 ADP Annual Convention

Bernadette Coleman, CEO of Advice Local Directories, explained how getting listed in today’s digital landscape is a huge opportunity for publishers. Businesses need good links and good content, and their directories need to be optimized and have reviews on their websites. She said that although 4.5 billion people are using the internet they want simple features. By doing this, directories will have more opportunity to attract advertisers in a variety of ways. She stressed this is why the Trusted Local Directory will be a game changer for the industry.

After Lunch Revealed Thoughtfulness and an Important Study

Michael Doran, Director of Sales at ATD-Austin and Kari Simpson, President of Digital Marketing, Inc., explored how to get your customers to contact you versus you calling on them. They shared that many leads have come from joining local groups like the Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club, or even smaller groups that you or your employees have interest in.

ADP 2020 Annual Convention in Oklahoma City, OK

Answering the age-old question of what keeps salespeople up at night was moderator Tom Surnbrock, President, Landmark Media Group, Inc., and panelists Justin Golnik, Sales Manager, Hagadone Directories, Inc., Debbie Johnson, President of Carlisle Media Group and ADI Media, and Betsy Smith, Sales Manager of Hagadone Directories, Inc. This group described the many opportunities and various challenges they face on a daily basis and the variety of market strategies they employ to close the sale and create a win-win environment for everyone.

Closing out Wednesday’s General Session was our research guru Dr. Dennis Fromholzer, President, CRM Associates. His company has impressive numbers from the just-released 2020 ADP Ad Effectiveness Study. He pointed out that our directories have the highest ROI, and that’s thanks to trust and need. He believes the ADP’s Trusted Local Directory is a great idea because advertiser and customer relationships are more important than ever. He said that you can’t argue with the fact that 95% of all directory ads are profitable. Members interested in purchasing the 2020 Ad Effectiveness Study should email info@adp.org to order.

Before we ended the day we announced the new board. Join us in congratulating them all.

ADP 2020 Board of Directors

Meet the 2020/2021 ADP Board of Directors

  • Chris Heilbock, Chair, Hibu
  • Amber Weems, First Chair, Victory Media Marketing
  • John Bills, Second Chair, ATD Media
  • Brent Cooper, Secretary/Treasurer, CPC Yellow Pages
  • Cindi Aldrich, ADP
  • Bernadette Coleman, Advice Local Directories
  • Garrett Frankwick, Mueller Local
  • James Hail, Hagadone Directories, Inc.
  • Andrew Palmer, PBC Multi Media
  • Steve Sitton, Market Authority, Inc.
  • Mark Smith, TXPAGES
  • Mike Wier, Northern Directory Publishing

We Closed Out the 2020 Annual Convention With the Directory Excellence Awards

ADP 2020 Directory Excellence Awards

The presentation of the Directory Excellence Awards is always a conference highlight, and a wonderful ending to a successful 2020 Annual Convention. This celebration sponsored by Quad highlights the industry’s excellence in two divisions, directory and marketing. Annually, the Publisher of the Year Award is given to the member company that has the most cumulative winning points in both divisions. Congratulations to Yello Media Group for winning this great honor.

The member company that won Directory of the Year in the 50,001 and Above circulation category was CPC Yellow Pages.

TXPages won Directory of the Year in the 50,000 and Under circulation category.

TX Pages, Print Directory of the Year, 50,000 and Under

A new category added for 2020 was Digital Directory of the Year, and that honor went to Yello Media Group.

Here’s the complete list of all the 2020 winners of the ADP Directory Excellence Awards.

Congratulations Bernadette Coleman — 2020 President’s Award Winner

The ADP member chosen to receive the President’s Award for notable or important contributions to the directory industry and helping further the Association’s goals was Bernadette Coleman, CEO of Advice Local Directories and the first online publisher member to serve on the ADP Board. Known as the Queen of Local SEO, she runs an award-winning local search technology and local presence management company focused on improving client visibility across the local digital universe.

Bernadette was commended for having a major impact in helping secure our industry as a viable medium for the future. She has imparted a wealth of information to our members about the ever-evolving digital publishing world we all now live in. She has shown that print and online can coincide at a pivotal juncture in our industry to help move it onward and upward, and has been a tremendous help in building our master ADP Internet Directory.

ADP has a lifetime achievement award named after the late Wilbur Lewis who was the founder of White Directory Publishers and a three-time past ADP Chairman. Mr. Lewis guided more publishers on the road to directory success than anyone else in the Association’s history. The Wil Lewis Award is the Association’s highest award, and recognizes lifetime dedication to the directory industry.

Congratulations Chris Heilbock — Wil Lewis Lifetime Achievement Award

Receiving the Wil Lewis Award was Chris Heilbock, Hibu Regional Vice President, where he has worked for over 25 years and has been instrumental in growing and expanding their business with an ever-evolving array of products. His dedication and hard work has earned him Hibu’s President’s Club Sales Winner Award 12 times.

Chris joined the Association in 2013 and became an ADP Board member in 2014. He has made tremendous contributions to the board, always giving 100%. He told ADP President Cindi Aldrich numerous times over the years that he had a master plan that one day he would put into action, and when Chris became Chairman of the Board last year, that day arrived. He assumed the reins of the board at a critical time in the Association’s history, and has led the charge to develop the Certification Program for both publishers and partners, and the newly created Trusted Local Directory.

Congratulations to both Bernadette and Chris on well-earned and much-deserved honors. Thank you Quad for sponsoring this year!

ADP 2020 Directory Excellence Awards

We closed the 2020 Annual Convention by thanking all the sponsors and the members that attended, and Cindi stated she looked forward to seeing everyone at the 2021 Annual Convention.