The Phone Book Company is committed to the development, production and distribution of superior large print phone books in Western Manitoba and the Pembina Valley/Portage La Prairie areas. We strive to continuously improve our directories by meeting and exceeding the informational needs and wishes of all users. We do this by vigilant attention to:
- The format and legibility of information printed
- The accuracy of our directories through meticulous attention to detail
- The advertising needs of all business partners in a cost-effective manner
- The advertisers’ expectations through a credible & knowledgeable sales team combined with a professional art department
- The community organizations who assist in distribution as their annual fundraiser
- The development of phonebookonline.ca offering online and mobile accessibility
The Phone Book Company’s LARGE PRINT PHONE BOOKS are the consumer’s first choice for telephone listings and sourcing products & services available in our publishing areas.
We understand that the success of our business is directly related to the success of the businesses and communities we serve.
The Phone Book Company is an independent company operating in an environment where our competition is a vast conglomerate, yet despite the odds we have grown tremendously over the past 18 years. What started as a 128-page phone book covering Brandon and area has grown to a 576-page directory covering all of Western Manitoba. This growth came from bordering communities requesting to be included in the Large Print Phone Book and our advertising partners. The Western Manitoba phone book now covers the geographic area of two YPG books- the Brandon Yellow Pages Book and the Prairie Mountain Book. In 2006 we created the Pembina Valley/Portage La Prairie Phone Book adopting the same successful format as the Western Manitoba Phone Book. That format won us the “Best White Page Format” award in 2002 from the Canadian Independent Directory Association. Throughout our rapid growth, I am most proud that we have remained true to what we started: • building better phone books • develop- ing great working relationships with our customers • appreciating those who use our books We’re a local family business, just like many of the businesses you see represented in the pages of our phone books, and as such understand the needs of small business.
- Susan Palmer
The Phone Book Company is a fulfillment of destiny for me. For some unknown reason, as a child I was always very excited when the new phone book came. I’d pore through it, starting by checking my family’s listing, then flip through the front of the book to check out features that had been added since the last publication. I noticed that over the years, the print in directory listings became smaller and smaller, making the listings more difficult to read.
In 1994 I stumbled upon a large print phone book in British Columbia and it was like an epiphany! My immediate thought was that Brandon needed a book that was easy to use, and I wanted to be the person to do it.
In 1995, I mortgaged our house and announced that I was going to publish a better phone book for Brandon- a superior phone book that would include large print, postal codes with mailing ad- dresses, and other features.
There was a lot of opposition to the project. People (including my own mother!) did not see the value of another phone book. The lawyer who wrote up our mortgage suggested I was just buying myself a job- I was livid, but knew we’d be back to sell him an ad in the future. Potential advertisers were angry thinking that a second directory was just going to cost them more money. In addition, this had been tried before in Brandon and the company folded before a book ever came out.
I was committed however; I knew that if I published just one great phone book that people preferred to use, we’d be on our way! Advertising sales were very difficult before we even had a book out and sales staff were hard to retain. We were not able to purchase data from the phone service providers in those days, so we worked around the clock typing listings out of the MTS directory the moment it hit our doorstep. We didn’t know much about working with databases, so we manually looked up each and every postal code for our mailing addresses.
We were not able to find anyone local who could turn our data into anything that remotely resembled a phone book; we eventually found a firm in Alberta to paginate our book. This was pre-inter- net, so everything went back & forth on the bus, until we got to production time when my 3-year old son & I stayed in Alberta to work with the team there. We had no credibility with any printers, but eventually found one in Saskatchewan who would extend us credit with 50% down payment. We were so excited when our shipment of books arrived in Brandon! When the books were deliv- ered, our phone rang off the hook with people calling to thank us for their wonderful phone book. It was a pretty exciting time!
That first publication was the single most demanding, formidable, laborious, complicated, emotional and forever-rewarding period of my life, next to the raising of my children. I am so proud that despite the skepticism and opposition we encountered, our first book featured 128 pages, with 430 advertisers who believed in what we were doing and were willing to give us a chance. Our revenue for that first publication was not enough to pay the bills, but we got a book out, people loved it, and the rest is history.
Please fast forward 16 years to 2012. Our “home-based business” now occupies 1200 square feet of office space in downtown Brandon. We have grown from a 128-page phone book covering Brandon and area to a whopping 576- page directory covering all of Western Manitoba. Our team has grown to twelve in number, and we are able to do all our work in Manitoba, with the exception of printing of our books, which is done in Alberta. We now purchase our data from numerous sources- Yellow Pages Group, Westman Communications, Shaw and Rogers. Although we purchase out data, we have many requests from individuals and businesses to be listed a little differently from what we receive from the phone service providers. There is still a lot of manual work and proofing that gets done in compiling our directories… every single line in our phone books is read by numerous sets of eyes.
In 2006, we created the Pembina Valley/Portage La Prairie Phone Book adopting the same winning format as the Western Manitoba Phone Book. The key to our success lies within our Mission State- ment. We are constantly working at accumulating the most comprehensive listing information available, and making it easily accessible to the public in a legible, logical format. Every business needs cash flow, and we are no different. We appreciate each and every advertiser, and this shows in our day-to-day interactions with them. We work year round with our clients ensuring that each and every one of them is more than satisfied with their ads. We are now taking our customer service to a new level by including all phone book advertisements on our website at no additional charge to our clients.
The Phone Book Company would not be where it is now had it not been for our outstanding team. The commitment that our staff has to excellence is what allows us to publish outstanding phone books. We could not have continued to grow and expand were it not for those special people. Some have retired, but most have been with us for well over 10 years. Everyone who works at The Phone Book Company has a passion for this business. Our staff are encouraged to think outside the box, and are empowered to do whatever it takes to make our customers happy and publish accu- rate books year after year.
Another thing that has not changed is our relationship with our customers. We know our customers, their needs, their wishes, and what is important to them. We understand that the success of our business is directly related to the success of the businesses and communities we serve, so we listen very carefully to all suggestions.
The Phone Book Co. would like to acknowledge the many people that assist annually in the distribution of our products. Our delivery crew works tirelessly over the course of three weeks to deliver our books to various destinations throughout the province of Manitoba. Our distribution groups then take over and deliver the books door-to-door. Over the years, we have worked with numerous groups (Who use this as an opportunity to fundraise) and key individuals who are a big part of our success. We Thank You All!
• 263 Intrepid (Melita) • Brandon Sun • Carberry Collegiate • Deloraine Collegiate • DRCSS Dauphin Clippers • Killarney Distribution Group • MacGregor EMC Young People • Major Pratt Band Boosters (Russell) • McCreary Busy Hands 4-H Club • Minnedosa Covenant Young People • Our Friends From Oak Lake • Reston Collegiate • Roblin Elementary School Parent Advisory Council • Rolling Dale Enterprises (Rivers) • Rose Inc (Ste Rose) • Shoal Lake School Travel Club • Souris School • The Hand Crafters (Boissevain) • Touchwood Distribution (Neepawa) • Virden ACL
• Hearth Families Inc (Winkler) • Youth For Christ (Morris) • SAM (Service Ability Mobility) Portage • Mac- Gregor EMC Young People • Carman Penticostal Assembly • Elm Creek Student Council • N M C Grad Group (Manitou) • St. Claude School Complex
Rick Palmer, Bob Speight & Ed Schultz