Our Story

Like every great story, the People You Need to Know story has very humble beginnings.

Many years ago – 1993 to be precise – Anthony “Spark Plug” Thomas started a business publication in Atlanta, Georgia, called the African-American Business Locator. Fueled only by his passion and a $3,000 loan from his late brother, Robert Lee Thomas, Jr. (1961-2008), Spark Plug’s dream of providing small businesses with affordable advertising began.

His first publishing endeavor was a tiny, black and white, digest-sized publication that included paid business listings. Always the creative businessman, Spark Plug was constantly looking for new avenues to help his customers generate more business. Before long, word started to spread around metro Atlanta about this ingenious young man who worked so hard to help his clients get new customers.

In 2000, the publication was renamed People You Need to Know because Spark Plug believed everyone needed to get to know a local dentist, attorney, physician, realtor, etc. Also in 2000, he decided to give full-page ads to every advertiser so they could all receive the best possible exposure at an affordable price.

In 2007, People You Need to Know on Spark Plug Radio was launched online and the show quickly became a favorite in the metro Atlanta business community. The radio show also has listeners around the country and the world. Podbean.com reports that the People You Need to Know Radio Show interviews are being downloaded in more than 35 countries.

In 2008, People You Need to Know formed a partnership with the Atlanta History Center to archive and preserve their Destined for Greatness radio interview series for present and future generations of researchers.

Today, People You Need to Know is metro Atlanta’s premiere business spotlight publication with a circulation of more than 500,000. It is distributed by the nation’s largest distributor of free publications and is available at Kroger, Whole Foods, the waiting rooms of doctors, business professionals, upscale salons, car dealerships, and more … not to mention a strong online presence. More important, the publication is the engine that drives all marketing and publicity opportunities the company offers its clients.

People You Need to Know in print, on radio, via podcast, iTunes and visibility at major festivals, trade shows and other events is always working to  make life a little easier for anyone searching for quality business people in the metro Atlanta area.

In 2011, People You Need to Know will continue to participate in metro Atlanta’s major trade shows, business expos, health fairs, festivals and shopping mall events.

The bottom line is, People You Need to Know, Inc. “works hard to help people find your business.”


5 had something to say.
  1. RE- BadGalsRadio.com

    Wow that's a really interesting story. I always wondered how Spark Plug got his start. Now I can see how his determination brings the masses to PYNTK.

    Very Inspiring Indeed Spark Plug - Please expand your magic to other locales where we could certainly use your marketing genius.

  2. PYNTK

    Thanks for the compliments, RE!

  3. Sheryl Hill

    Living the American Dream and celebrating community in award winning ways.

    Thank you for reaching out to our non profit. Our ClearCause is keeping our Children & Students safe on programs abroad in a $17 billion federally unregulated industry.

    Thank you for engaging.

  4. PYNTK

    We're excited about promoting you and your organization in our upcoming publication. Thanks for the work you do and most important, thanks for reaching out.

  5. Marcia

    Hi There Spark Plug,

    Felicitations!! Just found out about your new venture from Nancy Lewis. You're providing a GREAT service - nice website too (smile).

    Wishing you continued success and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!


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