The Interview: Julian Lloyd Evans

Julian Lloyd Evans is the new Chairman of the PPA Marketing Board. Here the Managing Director of Advertising for Dennis Publishing gives us his views on the industry and talks about the additional responsibility promoting the UK’s consumer magazine brands to the advertising community brings.

Julian Lloyd Evans

When I first left University I didn't have a clear career plan.

I answered an advert in the Evening Standard, went for three interviews in one day and took the job at Dennis Publishing as a sales executive on PC Pro magazine. That whole process took only 3 days. 

Publishing is one of the most vibrant, interesting and challenging industries in the UK.

When I graduated, I didn’t know a lot about media or the industry and I often think about how unhappy I would have been if I hadn’t have come across that advert on that wet afternoon.

Felix Dennis is the only person that has ever told me not to be afraid to fail.

I haven’t done it too often! I think that today’s media market is hugely challenging but, in turn, hugely exciting and rewarding. Felix has taken a number of calculated risks within his career and I think it is up to us, as the next generation, to take up the challenges that modern day media is posing us.

Time is a commodity that is not readily available in media today.

I used to work on a magazine that had over 700 ad pages a month. I had over 100 clients that I only communicated with by telephone and my first year sales as a 24-year-old was over £3m. Now I work across a department that has over 25 income lines. The industry has changed so much and the main difference is time. The speed in which we work and communicate has changed unrecognisably in the last 5 years. Taking time to think and plan is crucial despite these trends.

I had a brief time working agency side, which gave me huge respect for the role that they play.

The service levels they have to provide and the work that they put into planning and delivery is huge. Ultimately, I know I am happier in a sales environment although agency new business is one of the toughest roles that I have ever had.

Magazine brands are unique and they hold a unique place in our lives and minds.

They are very good at communicating complex subjects well and can both inform and inspire. They are also hugely influential in our buying habits. I think demonstrating this uniqueness and the strength of magazines in a fragmented media market is an important job for PPA Marketing.

I have lots of favourite magazines.

I really enjoy New Scientist and National Geographic and although it’s my brand, I also enjoy The Week. However, with two artistic daughters my new favourite is Mollie Makes!

My career highlight was becoming the Managing Director of Advertising for Dennis Publishing in 2007.

It was the role that I always wanted. I was so proud and I even wrote the job spec. I believe in the important role we play as sales people. We are the eyes and ears of the industry, we appreciate the fantastic brands that we work on and we are always dealing with change. As a Director I’ve always insisted on having advertising or sales in my job title because I am proud of it.

My greatest achievement is maintaining a happy marriage

and hopefully being a good father whilst living a full media life.

This is certainly the most challenging period of all time for magazine publishers.

Whether we have been innovative in dealing with these challenges is still very much up for debate. One of my favourite thoughts is how media studies courses will judge us in 20 years. In my role as Chairman of the PPA Marketing Board, I think it is hugely important to reach out to the new talent that will feed our industry and make them far more aware of what great careers media has to offer so that new talent can be found, better informed and attracted to our industry.  

Who knows what the publisher of the future look like.

If I knew that I would be starting my own publishing company. But, the trends are working towards a more flexible way of working where communication is key with publishers using many different platforms to publish and broadcast.

This is a great time to be taking on the role of PPA Marketing Board Chairman.

Especially with all the changes and challenges that have become everyday in publishing. Luckily for the PPA and me, there is a lot of talent within our industry and I think the PPA has a vital role to play in developing insights, encouraging innovation and making sure that the wider industry is aware of our successes.

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