Businesses in the local market still have the potential to thrive through consumer engagement via offline resources.
The 2018 Pahrump Rural Phone Book hit the driveways of households and businesses across Pahrump starting in February. About 22,000 copies were dropped across town over a two-week period of the only locally produced phone book.
Lisa Andresen, general manager at the Pahrump Valley Times, which produces Pahrump’s rural phone book annually, said the phone book has grown since its inception in the early 1980s.
The phone book did get a bit smaller during the recession years but is picking back up, she said.
The printed phone book still has power in Pahrump with the town’s heavy senior population who don’t typically use smartphones, according to Andresen.
Nevada’s population that is 65 years and older made up 12 percent of the state’s total population, according to estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010. That number had grown to 15 percent in 2016 estimates by the Census Bureau.
In Pahrump, that number was more than 25 percent for those age 65 and older.
Individuals in that age category tend not to go online as much as their younger counterparts.
According to a study by Pew Research Center, about one-third of persons age 65 and older do not go online, though the number of individuals in that demographic that do go online has increased by 7 percentage points since 2016.
Comparatively, 2 percent of the 18-to-29-year-olds in Pew’s survey said they didn’t go online.
On top of those statistics, Pew Research did another study comparing demographics and smartphone ownership.
Again, the age 65 and older demographic had a 46 percent adoption rate. Meanwhile, the 18-29 demographic had a 94 percent adoption rate.
Overall, only 11 percent of the U.S. population doesn’t go online, according to the study by Pew.
That number has gone down significantly, with 48 percent of the population saying they didn’t go online as of the year 2000.
Gail Smith, who works in the sales department at the Pahrump Valley Times, said that the phone book is still effective for area businesses.
“I get people telling me all the time that’s the only place where I get the business from is from the phone book,” she said.
Advertisers can get placed in the phone book starting at around $70 and sales for the 2019 edition start on June 1. The cutoff is in November.
For those looking for a digital presence, businesses that pay to be added to the rural phone book will have their listing available in a digital version, though no additional entries can be added outside of the sign-up period.
Other statistics exist for positive outcomes for a business to be in a printed phone book.
YP.com estimated 84 percent of consumers who contact an advertiser using their print edition, made or intended to make a purchase, according to an LSA Local Media Tracking Study in February 2016.
If you have not found a new phone book in your driveway, you can pick one up at no cost at the Pahrump Valley Times office, 1570 E. Highway 372, during the office’s hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at firstname.lastname@example.org