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My publishing life – Andrew LG Jones

Andrew Jones, managing director of Stephens & George, answers our questions about his life in publishing.

By Andrew Jones

My publishing life – Andrew LG Jones

Q: How did you get where you are today?

A: From a very young age, I decided I wanted to join the family business despite my father trying his best to talk me out of it on a number of occasions. I left school after passing my A Levels and worked for the business for a year where I spent time in every department. I then studied for a BSC in Printing and Technology at Watford Printing College.

I returned to the company and initially took over our type setting company after accepting my father’s offer of a managerial role. I’ve worked my way through all production areas of the business learning how each piece of kit is operated and gaining a valuable insight along the way in how to make the whole of our organisation more streamlined, efficient and productive.

Q: What is your typical media day?

A: I take the Daily Telegraph every day.

If you want a snippet of information or a headline, then social media fits that purpose. However, if you want to actually read a well written, thought provoking article, without interruption from pop-up ads, you cannot beat this broadsheet.

Q: What is the secret to a happy working life?

A: My business has been my life for as long as I can remember. I have immersed myself in this company for over 40 years. I take pride in knowing how each single department within my factory operates and would have no issue running one of our new push-to-stop presses or binding lines myself. However, the support network I have in the form of my senior management team, allows me to take a step back from time to time and have a good work / life balance.

I do find it difficult to switch off from work when I am away as it’s always on my mind. Though I get plenty of relaxation time whilst skiing and going to live sports events (when we’re allowed to do so), with friends and family.

Q: How do you see the print and publishing industry evolving?

A: Covid has had a massive impact on our industry and will continue to do so for a fair while yet but let’s not dwell on that.

Our biggest challenge as a printing company is the continued expansion of digital media. There’ll always be a place for print and it’s our job to ensure that the printed product is the best it can possibly be, with the digital offering dovetailing behind that. As yet, publishing houses have not found a way of monetising digital media through their advertising streams and long may that continue.

Q: Who has particularly influenced you?

A: Without exception, my father. He instilled the passion that I have for not just my company, but the whole of our industry. The desire he had for our company to be the best in our industry was infectious and I’ve definitely inherited that from him.

Q: What advice would you give someone starting out?

A: You have to love what you do. Try and gain as much knowledge and as much hands-on experience as you can from the start. Be honest, work hard and you’ll get your rewards.

Q: How do you relax outside work?

A: My hobbies differ depending on the season. In the darker and colder months, I have a passion for rugby and skiing. However, when the days start to warm up, I’m an avid cricket fan.

Q: In an alternate life, what would you have done?

A: Without doubt I would have been the person to revolutionise the wicketkeeper / batsman role. Adam Gilchrist and Jos Buttler are very good at what they do, however they could have learnt a lot from me…