May 15, 2021 — Talk about bad luck, during our first full year in business as Total Local, we just had to have a global pandemic! Thankfully we survived and are looking ahead to brighter days. With the virus abating and businesses returning to full capacity, we are optimistic about the future. Pent up consumer demand and high consumer savings are bound to push the economy forward at full-throttle. We’d like you to know that Total Local is here to help you take full advantage of new opportunities to grow your business. We not only offer cost-effective advertising in our community resource guides, we also offer complete marketing services.

Consider us your marketing pit crew to help you burn up the competition!


This year we already launched two new Total Local Community Resource Guides, Howell and Haslett-Okemos, with a new-improved format. These guides were so well received by both our advertisers and our readers that we’ve decided to add four more! This year we will also be publishing Pinckney-Hamburg, Adrian, Portland, Ionia, and Whitmore Lake. This brings our total up to 25 directories in all, serving more than 60 communities.

Why do people like the new format?

  • We increased the size and added more community and business information to each Total Local Community Resource Guide.
  • Readers enjoy the historical timeline, community information, and park and trail maps.
  • We take submissions and publish reader photos and recipes.
  • Popular nonprofit community organizations are offered space in the front of the book.
  • Businesses have more opportunities to advertise with golf course maps, menus, and coupons.

In fact, our readers have been calling and emailing us with appreciation about this new format. Here are a few of the testimonials:

“I LOVE the new size and format for the Total Local guide/phonebook! So much more than a phone book, a true community resource. Great job!!” – Kimber

“Congratulations on your larger, easier to use, and easier to read resource.” – Doug

“LOVE the new directory I received today! First and foremost, it is easy to read because of the larger pages, larger print and the white space. Thank you. I won’t be throwing this one away. Upon double checking, it was always yours I kept, and it was the “other” one I always threw away, immediately. Also, the additional community information is very interesting and helpful.” -Barb


With information about everything a community has to offer, from businesses, parks, churches, schools, and more, our guides have become more than just a phone book. We also have a long history of partnering with local chambers to highlight their members. Each chamber member receives a complimentary bold listing in the white pages, with the chamber logo next to their business name. Chambers often distribute Total Local Community Resource Guides as part of their community outreach efforts. And, by partnering with Chambers of Commerce and community organizations, our guides are used as a valuable community marketing tool. Realtors often distribute our Community Resource Guides at open houses, and Chambers pass them out at festivals and events. In addition, we supply free copies to town libraries, hospitals, health centers, hotels, and grocery stores.


Just like the internet was supposed to be the end of the magazine and book business, we’ve heard that with mobile phones and Google no one will be using our directories anymore. Yet, we receive calls every day from residents who want to update their white page listing or would like a copy of one of our resource guides. People who find our guides more useful are new movers, older people, and residents in rural areas. We also know from our call tracking data that the guides are being used regularly.

Additionally, several studies in recent years have found that prospects continue to respond to direct mail messages at higher rates than other advertising methods. This is one reason why large brands continue to spend huge sums of money on direct mail. Just like direct mail, our guides go to every mailbox in a community’s zip code. But, unlike a postcard or mailer, most people keep their Community Resource Guide all year. Plus, because our print and postage costs are shared with other advertisers in your community, our guides can be a cost effective way to take advantage of Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM).


Along with advertising in our guides through EDDM, with your display ad purchase, you also get online exposure. We provide each community where we publish a directory with a Total Local Community Resource Page on Facebook. As an advertiser your ad will be posted on our community page three times per year and we can repost your events, sales, and other items of interest on our community pages.

Also, included with display ads, are links in the electronic version of our directories that help with your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). We publish the directories in a flippable format online at ISSUU and, from the online version, we link back to each of our advertiser’s websites. Check out our new 2020 and 2021 Community Resource guides published at www.issuu.com/total-local.


What if you don’t have a business website or your website is terribly outdated? We can help with that too. In 2020, we merged with a marketing agency that provided website and online marketing, as well as traditional marketing services. Our services now include website design and hosting, social media management, email newsletters, other forms of direct mail, logo and business card design, brochures, and more. We’d be happy to help you update your website and marketing materials for a consistent look and feel. Having a consistent brand image across all your marketing materials helps your prospects and customers to easily recognize your brand, which helps you outrace the competition. Ask your account executive for a free ½ hour marketing consultation to learn more about how we can help serve all your marketing needs!

New Publishing Cycle, Content, Branding, & Website (Under Construction)

September 29, 2020 — We invite you to check out all of our new features in our all new 2020/2021 Total Local Community Resource Guides, including an expanded community information section, park and golf course maps, restaurant menus, coupons, community history, photos, recipes, and more that makes the Grand Ledge community unique. While we made the decision in 2019 to add this new content to our 2020 directories, we’ve needed to make some additional changes to accommodate the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic.

Publishing Schedule

Coronavirus is the greatest challenge we’ve faced in our 28 year history of publishing directories. Covid-19 will continue to have an impact in the year to come and many of our small business advertisers are struggling to stay afloat. As a result, we realized that publishing the directory would need to be pushed out. The directory will now be a 2020/2021 directory and next year the directory will be published as a 2021/2022 directory as well.

New Format

To distinguish ourselves as a Community Resource Guide, and not just a telephone directory, our business directory is no longer on yellow pages. In fact, each of the sections in our directory now have color coded edges so that you can turn to exactly which section you would like to view: the community information is blue; the community directory is grey; menus are green; coupons are yellow; and the business directory is orange.

Contemporary Design

Our new logo and brand image uses a cleaner, fresher design and our tagline now includes Marketing Services as well as Community Resource Guides. Our aim is to help each community and its organizations connect with one another, promote the businesses that we serve through advertising and online marketing, as well as help visitors and new movers discover the things that make each community unique.

Online Plans

As they say hindsight is 20/20, and had we known the pandemic would be so disruptive, we would have had a contingency plan in place. Now we know that we need to be flexible and adapt to the constantly changing circumstances. We will continue to add social media to our business model and are developing a new Total Local website. Our current website is just a temporary placeholder until we’re able to bring you a website that will help to feature each community and all of our advertisers.

Thank you for your continued support during this health crisis. Most of us will continue to work from home in the coming year, but are available for in-person appointments. Please feel free to contact me at tmiller@totallocal.com or 517-441-9393 with any questions. Wishing you a happy, healthy year and we hope that you stay safe!

Best regards,

Teresa Miller
President & Publisher