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HERITAGE INFORMATION SERVICES, AMERITECH OFFER CUSTOM CONNECT -- INNOVATIVE, INTERACTIVE VOICE CLASSIFIEDS

 'Reading' the Newspaper by Phone
 SOUTHGATE, Mich., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning next year,


residents throughout southeastern Michigan will be able to open the PagesPlus section of the local Ameritech PagesPlus Yellow Pages, select a category and -- for the price of a local phone call -- answer classified advertisements from newspapers throughout the state.
 This first-of-its-kind Custom Connect service, a partnership of Troy-based Ameritech advertising services, and Southgate-based Heritage Information Services, Inc., combines the classified expertise of community newspapers with the speed and power of electronic communications.
 "This will be a boon to both job seekers and employers, as well as anyone selling a boat, a car or property," predicts Fred Manuel, publisher of Heritage Newspapers and director of newly formed Heritage Information Services, Inc. "The Custom Connect Voice Classified Service extends traditional print classifieds, offering wider geographic reach, a new dimension of communication and improved advertiser security."
 The Custom Connect service will begin by offering three of the most popular classified categories: Employment, Vehicles for Sale and Real Estate. Local telephone numbers in Ameritech's PagesPlus will connect consumers with the classified listing of a specific newspaper and community. A Royal Oak resident looking for a job in Downriver Michigan, for example, will be able to access the Heritage News-Herald Newspaper's employment classifieds, and work through by "electronic menu" to a specific ad. Respondents can then leave a "voice resume," answerable at any time by employers.
 The same principle applies to all classified categories. Custom Connect can be accessed 24 hours a day by both respondents and advertisers and there is no charge to answer an ad.
 The Custom Connect alliance follows the recent success of the Heritage Newspapers' own Voice Classified trial program, launched this May.
 "We have found that Voice Classifieds don't replace but rather augment traditional print ads," Manuel said. "Advertisers have been putting more copy into ads, knowing they will get serious responses; we really do get the best of both the print and electronic worlds."
 "The objective of Custom Connect has always been to provide people with information they want, when they want it," added Paul Manns, new business strategy for Ameritech. "By combining the strengths of the newspaper classifieds and the Custom Connect technology, we will answer consumer needs for timeliness, personalization and 24-hour availability to the traditional classified ad."
 Ameritech's advertising unit provides telephone directory and electronic advertising services to local, regional and national businesses throughout the Great Lakes region through its Ameritech PagesPlus telephone directories. Ameritech's Custom Connect service, available in 42 PagesPlus directories, offers free information via a touch tone telephone. Custom Connect receives more than 22 million calls annually.
 The Heritage Newspapers Group, which includes the News-Herald Newspapers, the Press & Guide Newspapers, the Ile Camera, the Monroe Guardian and Heritage Sunday, serves all 21 central and southern Wayne County "Downriver" communities plus all of Monroe County. The Heritage Newspapers have a total weekly circulation of 165,947.
 -0- 12/8/93
 /CONTACT: Claudette Holcomb of Ameritech, 313-524-7448; or Jon Reischel of Marx Layne, 313-855-6777, for Heritage/


CO: Ameritech; Heritage Information Services, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: TLS PUB ADV SU: PDT

ML -- DE009 -- 1672 12/08/93 10:04 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 8, 1993
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