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The Local Search Association has done a pretty admirable job of transforming itself from a print-centric Yellow Pages trade group into one that is supporting a much broader and more robust local online advertising industry.

The association has moved beyond the cosmetic name change (it used to be the Yellow Pages Publishers Association) to launch initiatives that add substance to the shift, all of which has culminated in new board members representing some very non-Yellow companies — Google, Microsoft and Starcom.

This morning at its annual event, LSA14, chairman Bill Dinan and president Neg Norton spelled out some of the specific ways the group has changed.

New Definitions — The association has coined the term “Last Mile Advertising” to offer its definition of local, and what makes it unique. Norton defined its as “locally targeted ads, close to the point of purchase that drive consumer actions.”

New Awards — The Ads to Action Awards (they used to be called the APPYs) focus on multimedia approaches to local. This year LSA received 60 submission, way up from 13 last year.

New Data — LSA has worked with Thrive Analystics to build a “Metrics that Matter” database that uses real campaign results to show how media work together to drive results. Right now the data includes print and mobile, but will soon add IYP, search and social.

The association had a good 2013, according to Norton, adding 35 new members (total membership exceeds 300) and building its reserve to $9.1 million. Norton said industry best practice is reserves totaling six months of operating expenses. LSA’s reserves cover about 13 months.

Telmetrics CEO Bill Dinan was elected to another one year term as LSA Chair. The new board members were Google’s Ben Wood, Starcom’s Andrea Canceo, and Microsoft’s Katy Hunter.

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