Michael Gonzales Dallas-Dallas Bilingual Yellow Pages-From print to digital
In 1980, Michael Gonzales started the first bilingual yellow pages in the United States with his brother and father. The first United States Census that recorded Hispanic people was in 1980. He started it out of his living room with only $1500 and no experience.
When the family was selling ads, they were kicked out of businesses that discriminated against Latinos. The Oak Cliff section of Dallas was the largest portion or Hispanic residents at the time.
Their challenge was significant. With meager funds he worked for approximately 18 hours per day, 7 days per week for 12 years.
Years later the family developed a product for the Ft. Worth market. Advertisers included American Airlines, the Westin hotel, Hertz-Rent-A-Car, State Farm Insurance among others local advertisers.
The corporate community was seeking ways to reach the Latino market. Michael then developed a bilingual star that was placed in each ad that had Spanish-speaking staff. The sales for the clients was remarkable. For the first time in print, Latino consumers could identify Spanish-speaking outlets to service their needs.
In 1990, Mr. Gonzales successfully negotiated a partnership with Wal-Mart. The family’s directories were now available in every Wal-Mart in the Dallas/Ft. Worth market.
Thereafter, they developed a product for Arlington, Texas located between Dallas and Fort Worth.
By this time, his team had published hundreds of thousands of directories for the three markets. To maintain the growth, he successfully negotiated a directory distribution partnership with Southland Corporation, known as 7-11. The directories were now easily available at hundreds of locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
This new distribution model drove traffic to the convenience stores as thousands of Latinos went to pick up the product so that they could identify Spanish-Speaking businesses.
Years later, other large corporation later developed their own yellow pages products and attempted to purchase the company from Michael Gonzales. He kept it for several years and later sold the business.
Thereafter, with the development of the internet, Michael’s team migrated from a print model to a digital model.