YP For School (YP4S)

YP for Schools is a partnership between YP and school/parent organizations, in which YP makes donations to schools and other participating organizations whose members share ratings and reviews (positive or negative), and photos on YP.

Target Audience

• Household CEO (Moms and Dads) with children.

• Adults ages 25 and up.

Goal

Help local businesses to grow by boosting the number of high-quality reviews from a trustworthy source.

Challenges & Solutions

Who are the trusted sources?

YP have found that school communities are insightful, trustworthy and knowledgeable about the local businesses they use. When school community members share local business information, they help their school community and local residents make informed decisions about the businesses they choose.

How to ensure that the information submitted by participants is helpful and accurate?

To ensure that the information submitted by participants is helpful and accurate, the YP for Schools program has been designed with several important controls. These include limiting the program to closed communities of invitation-only participants who can monitor the contributions of their peers for quality and accuracy, as well as having a team of professional YP monitors who check the information contributed by participants to ensure it complies with YP publishing standards.

Some of the reviewed businesses may be YP advertisers or may have provided goods/services of value to participants or paid to be promoted as a Sponsor of the YP for Schools program. To encourage honest and forthright reviews, whether favorable or unfavorable, donations are made to participating organizations without regard to the content or sentiment of the individual reviews contributed by participants or to the status of the rated businesses as Advertisers or Sponsors.

What are the incentives to encourage users participated into the program?

Each reviews generates a designated amount of points depending on the type of business. User can earn extra points for any photos they added to the listing. There's also a weekly bonus points for certain categories and referral bonus program (receive 10% of every point collected by those you invite). Based on the number of points earned, YP will make donation to the participating school's fundraising organization.

User Flow

 
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Wireframes

Final Design

Focus Group Summary

The following highlights/insights came out of the 2 focus group sessions (8 people each group):

  • People overall like YP4S and have positive feelings about the program:
    • People commented on having a more positive brand perception based on YP helping their schools/community.
    • Some skepticism toward the reviews generated and where the funds were coming from for YP4S.
    • However, they also did not trust individual reviews from sites such as Yelp, but trusted the general consensus from numerous reviews.  The more reviews the better.
  • They suggested that YP4S would drive them to be open to use YP and that the review count would not need to be too high for them to value the recommendation.
  • Focus group members reinforce that reviews are key to their decision making process for choosing a local business.  This is also backed by former YP research, industry knowledge, and other feedback.  
  • Most said they were Yelp users (with varying degrees of use).  Yelp is one of their first choices due to reviews.
  • There is an opportunity to differentiate ourselves based on filtering reviews.
  • YP4S Dashboard / Program specifics were viewed positively:
    • Like the design.
    • Felt it seemed simple to use.
    • Were interested in associated coupons and deals.
    • Liked classified possibility, but wanted the product to stay close to YP’s main function of connecting with local businesses.
    • Did not like the possibility of people using the forum as a place to complain about schools.
  • Really liked the idea of filtering reviews by people they know.
  • Neighbor comments were not positive and that did not rank high as an affinity group they trust.
  • More people trusted PTA and school related groups.
  • Focus group participants did not say they actively read or follow local influencers (bloggers, experts).
  • Brand Ambassador program was interesting, but people primarily said they would participate for incentives (money, discounts, free tickets to events, additional donations).
  • Focus group said they were not interested in gamification elements, but then responded positively to elements such as badges.
 
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Final Results

  • YP supported 22 schools.
  • Nearly 2000 new user registrations to yp.com.
  • Over 23k reviews and nearly 5k photos have been contributed by our YP for Schools parents within 7 months.  
  • Sacramento parents alone have contributed more reviews through YP for Schools in the past few months than we have received from all sources in Sacramento in the past 3 years.
" YP for Schools has helped Oakmont High School immensely. It was easy to implement, the school community embraced the program, and loved seeing local recommendations from fellow parents. "

- Sondra Myles, Assistant Principal, Oakmont High School