Get a peek into the lives of our members with The Faces of ADP™. Meet Andrew Palmer, owner of PBC Multi Media.
One-on-One With the Owner and Publisher of PBC Multi Media
Andrew, I appreciate how dedicated PBC Multi Media is to the communities they serve. With both a print and online directory available to the residents, you are providing such a valuable service.
Congratulations on being the first international member elected to ADP’s Board of Directors. What are your hopes for the future of the directory publishing industry?
Thanks very much. It actually never occurred to me until you just mentioned it. Being the first “International Attaché” does carry with it a bit of a burden, but it also means I feel that much more driven to make this Association proud.
I’ve got an expansive and optimistic view for the directory publishing industry. I can see us growing in our ranks, becoming more recognized, and realizing and achieving again our historic purpose as being the leaders in directory search results. The only difference now will be that we can/will be providing those results in both time-honoured print ads, and top-ranking internet search engine results.
What do you think are the top five benefits of being an ADP member?
- The Friendships and Partnerships
- The Ideas & Opportunities
- The Accreditations and Awards
- The Knowledge and Research
- The Seminars and Trainings
Where do you see the Association in three years?
I see that it will have grown to include more digital publishers, and publishers who produce directories in print and online; and with an expanded variety of directory types represented.
I also see it will have grown to include more digital publishing platforms, and more content publishing partners, and others who would seek to integrate their offerings on and with our directories.
Furthermore, I see it as having an increased diversification in its operations – providing more resources to more partners and publishers, such as enhancements for sales reps, publishing companies, shareable research, learning seminars, etc.
Finally, I see it being more recognized and respected throughout the marketing world.
What are the differences between directory publishing in Canada compared to the United States and other countries?
Fun question. First, we play with funny money up here. And while they say it’s harder to counterfeit (of which I’m not sure), one thing I am certain about is that it puts a 40% markup anytime we purchase any goods or services from US vendors. And that, of course, hits the bottom line.
Second, “Yellow Pages” is a trademarked name in Canada (though I might get sued for saying so, lol). As a result, we had to change our printed category sections to cyan and call them the “Colour Pages.” Additionally, we can’t refer to any aspect of our services in the same way that many of our US counterparts do.
Third, in Manitoba, it gets pretty cold. In fact, the temperature fluctuates from –40°F to +100°F, making for obviously large seasonal variations. This also means we often have short summers and harsh winters to deal with, which can lead both to distractions and difficulties in getting work done.
Fourth, there’s a difference in advertising tone up here. While in some ways the difference is rather overt (i.e., some industry-specific advertising regulations), in many ways it’s much harder to pinpoint. Buxton.com did a blog touching on it and they explain it much better than I could. (Also see this article from the Huffington Post.)
Fifth, the language is also a bit different. As an example of this, because we’re a rather self-deprecating group, we like to top-up some of our words with the letter U. For your amusement, I have stuffed 24 such variations into the following paragraph. See if you can find them all:
“The colour and odour of my neighbour’s arbours causes me such a fervourous tumour that it’s become one of my favourite labours to harbour up my vigour and, with great smouldering valour, gauge and catalogue his mouldy behaviour. Then, with equal amounts of vapourous rancour and hideous honour, I walk right into his parlour and dialogue with him that he ought to give me a cheque or I will be forced to savour the use of my axe (which, by the way, is spelt with an ‘E’, so I can have all the edge it can get!).”
Wow! Andrew, that was a lot of U’s and variations. Who knew there were so many differences? We wouldn’t imagine it on the surface, so thank you for that quick glimpse. Now let’s get a little personal, and explore your day outside of directory publishing.
You have twins. Any advice you would give to parents that recently had twins?
What I tell everyone is that it’s like having a first child all over again, meaning even if you already have kids, there’s a major lifestyle change that’s going to be further required. That said, you’ll absolutely be needing support from family and friends 24/7 for the first 6 months. Other than that, enjoy it: children, for all their heartaches and tantrums, are a wonderful blessing; but be sure you’ve got a good sense of humour. (U know what I mean?)
What’s your favorite meal? As a kid: the old family favourite, Mushroom Soup with Eggs on Toast.
As an adult: I’m spoiled by having an amazing wife that can cook pretty much anything, even Mushroom Soup with Eggs on Toast. (Shout out to you, Collette!)
What’s your pet peeve? I can’t stand the words “it can’t be done.”
What’s the one thing besides your house you spent the most money on? Easily, my business.
What’s the worst lie you ever told your parents? I once told them “I hate you.” (No pun intended.)
If your life was a movie, what would it be called?
My life is more of a saga than a movie. And here’s what it looks like:
Young-ster Wars: The Phantom Middle Child
Pre-Teen Wars: Attack of the Hormones
Teen Wars: Revenge of the Nerds
Adult Wars: A Hope-filled Missionary
Adult Wars: The Schooling Strikes Back
Adult Wars: Return of the Girlfriend
Fatherhood Wars: The First Awakens
Fatherhood Wars: The Latest Jedi
Fatherhood Wars: The Rise of the Twin Walkers
What do you wish you were really good at?
While I have been known to play the tin whistle from time to time (including a brief stint in the band “Neil’s Diamond’s), the reality is that I’m not the best at following a beat, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, etc. It’s one category I find very difficult to master.
If you had a time machine, would you go back in time or visit the future? And why?
I’d probably choose to go back in time in an effort to encourage my younger self. I’d also enjoy for my future self to do the same for me here and now. (Just putting that out there.)
What would you tell your future self?
“Read your journal dude, at least one of the dozen ones that have been started.”
Now that you have traveled back in time and had a pep talk with your future self, let’s dig a little deeper.
Name five things that make you happy.
- Faith in God
- Time with Family
- Service to Others
- Success and Achievement
- Obedience to Commandments
Have you ever been heroic?
Yes, I do often enjoy a good medieval-based RPG board game. Rarely do we play Dungeons and Dragonsitself, but on many such occasions I do yet find myself carrying on in some primitively heroic fashion. #Munchkin #Pathfinder #HeroQuest #prettymuchanytabletopgameunderthesun
What song do you rock out to?
See if you can guess it before I name it:
“Open your eyes,
Look up to the skies and see,
I’m just a poor boy,
I need no sympathy,
Because I’m easy come, easy go,
Little high, little low,
Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter”
– just as long as it’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Now imagine me screaming this out as I go blaring past you in my wee little Honda Civic.
What actor would you want to play you in a movie about your life? And why?
Let’s go with The Rock on this one. It seems to me he’d be someone that Collette and the kids would happily get their pictures taken with.
Describe your ideal day.
My next ideal day is going to be happening at the end of October. That’s when the Winnipeg Temple of my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is scheduled to open for the first time. Many a time I’ve been in those sacred buildings and palpably felt the spirit of peace present. And when it opens for the first time, the entire community is welcome to tour. The last time I was at such an event, there were many (even not of my faith) moved to tears. I’m really looking forward to being there.
If you were famous what would it be for?
One day, I do hope to be famous – at least to my posterity. I hope to have left them with a solid foundation of faith, a love of work, an understanding of happiness, a desire to carry on, a growing garden and a flourishing orchard.
Where do you not mind waiting?
I don’t mind long highway drives as they give me time to creatively think, plan, meditate or listen to music. In Manitoba there’s lots of opportunity for each.
What’s the best thing that happened to you this week?
I got to experience sheep farming for the first time. I also got to play a ton of Nerf. Both were a lot of fun.
What was your best Halloween costume as a child?
I went as an Ewok one year and won $150 in a costume show contest at the mall. I remember $75 of the winnings went to the friend whose mom made the costume, and $10 went to the store selling GI Joes, but as for the other $65 I don’t recall.
Which sport are you best at?
When I was in 9th grade I was one of two Rookies of the Year for my high school football team, the Vincent Massey Vikings, but unfortunately the team then folded. Three years later, tryouts were back on and I was back at it, but unfortunately the coaches said they wanted to go with a younger crew. For me, this meant I was cut in favour of Israel Idonije, who is six months younger than myself. Of course, because of his experiences on the high school team, he grew and matured and later went on to play 12 years in the NFL, leading the league in blocked punts and field goals for three straight years. As I tell my kids, this, of course, would have been my fate, had I been born half a year earlier.
Describe one of your most memorable experiences.
I recall a time when I feel certain God made the clouds part and the rain stop – and he did it just for me. I was only 12 at the time, but it meant a lot to me as it was an answer to my prayers. It reaffirmed for me the certainty that He lives and is invested in each of our lives.
What do you need more of in your life?
TIME: I have always felt I have so much to do and accomplish and the opportunity to act is always so limited.
What do you need less of in your life?
FEAR: I fear for the peace of our world, for the future of my children, for the strength of my business, and for the sustainability of our economy and way of life.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
From one uncle: “Go to college.”
From another uncle: “Quit going to college. Move to Winnipeg and do it by distance.”
Andrew, now you have us all curious which uncle’s advice you took, so we’ll all have to follow up with you at the next ADP conference.
And thank you for sharing a peek into your life with ADP’s readers.
If you would like to be interviewed for an upcoming Faces of ADP, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.