This month we are celebrating our Community & Intelligence Manager Justine’s amazing 20 year work anniversary at PPR! We couldn’t wait to hear all her stories and why since she started, she’s never looked back.
“This photo was taken after I had been with PPR for about 2 years. I am nursing Che, while doing the monitoring in the old school days, when you physically read a paper to look for coverage. Che would come to work with me. Her baby bouncer was on the floor next to my desk but we’d often go to an office so I could breastfeed and get her to take a nap.
I have lots of fond memories of PPR – there have been some amazing Christmas parties and social events, as well as working with some incredibly talented and fantastic people. There are some memories that make me laugh – like when we had a live tiger in reception and we all had to stay upstairs for safety, other times when we would do group presentations at the Christmas party and I was in the Spice Girls with our male CFO of the time, who made a very Scary Spice. I’m thankful social media wasn’t around during those parties! Some of my closest friends are from PPR and I am still in contact with people I worked with 20 years ago.
There have been a lot of changes at PPR since I started but a good company should evolve over time. Most of the changes relate to technology and the media. ‘Rollout’ (PPR’s unique localisation technology) used to mean labelling and stuffing endless envelopes with a merged release to be posted. It was a job that took all day and often a few people. Everyone in the office would do Rollout. When it came to reporting we used to cut out the clips and mount/glue them onto letterhead to present to the client! It makes me laugh when I hear people talk about monitoring now – back then even the Account Directors stuck clips on paper and collated them at the binder machine.
I’m still at PPR for a lot of reasons – when I started it was a family business and you became part of the family. PPR allowed me to have children and work. It gave me flexible work hours, working from home and allowed me to bring my kids into the office, all when that wasn’t common place. There were times my kids were sick and would hang in the Chairman’s office colouring in while I worked. You can’t ask for a better babysitter than the Chairman! PPR has kept that family focus. We still have the occasional toddler in the office for the day and PPR has always been supportive with other family issues. It also still promotes that family feel, and I still see people make lifelong friendships. I don’t think you find that sort of support and care in other companies.
From a professional side – Peter Lazar, PPR’s founder, was a huge mentor. He was against AVEs (Advertising Value Equivalents) long before I started at PPR, so he gave me free reign when it came to developing our evaluation and media analysis offering and that has kept things interesting. Whenever I start to get a bit restless a new client or project has come along to shake things up. We were offering more detailed analysis years before the Barcelona Principles came out in 2015. I’m very proud that PPR was ahead of the crowd but I think that is a PPR trait. PPR has always punched above its weight.
Favourite clients , I had the Tourism NSW account which was fun but exhausting. Both Lego and Kinder Suprise were great too – but that was when the kids were young so it saved me a fortune and kept them occupied in the office!”