Our Story

Our Story

Our mission is to help tell our client’s story so they achieve their objectives. Founded in 1997, our services include content marketing, public relations and content production. Our 12-person team are based in Canberra, Australia and we work predominantly in the Government and not for profit sector.

We draw on our journalistic and marketing skills to create and distribute effective content through multiple channels. Our measurable content marketing methodology includes research, strategic planning, audience segmentation, media, publishing, amplification, measurement and evaluation. Our content team has more than 100 years combined experience in the creation of high quality, affordable video, audio, stills, text and graphic content. In public relations we have a track record of successful media relations, stakeholder and community engagement. We are obsessed by the challenge of getting consistently outstanding results for our clients.

It was one of the happiest days of my life.

Founder and Managing Director David Pembroke recounts how our story began…

I had my feet up on my desk in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) office in the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery in Canberra when the phone rang. On the line was my big boss.

“David?”,

“Yes.”

“It’s Susan Kadar. You know that voluntary redundancy you applied for and we knocked you back? Well we can now offer it to you. There is only one catch.”

‘What’s that?” I said, suddenly nervous that the prize was going to disappear.

“You have to tell us by the end of the week.”

“Don’t worry about the end of the week Susan, how about the end of this phone call. I’ve never been surer of anything in my life and if you don’t mind I will keep you on the phone, you send through a fax (it was late 1996), I’ll sign it and we’re all settled.”

“Are you sure?” she insisted.

“Yes, completely sure. Thankyou. Thankyou so much.”

If she was standing in front of me I would have kissed her. After almost nine years working in my dream job as a reporter in public affairs and sport, I was leaving my second family at the ABC for the big wide world. Being a reporter was great, but I was increasingly dissatisfied. I wanted to do something, not report on what other people did.

My first job was as a nine year old riding through the streets of North Sydney delivering the Mosman Daily newspaper. I achieved a Bachelor degree in Commerce from one of Australia’s leading business schools (University of New South Wales, Marketing major, 1984) and spent three years working for the American multinational 3M as a junior marketer. Business was always going to play a big part in my future. My Dad had always given me the advice that I should start my own business as soon as I could.

“It’s the best way to control your future son!”

And so there I was. A blank sheet of paper, a pen, my journalistic/reporting skills, my marketing/business skills and my voluntary redundancy cheque. The redundancy cheque wasn’t a fortune but it was enough for me to take a break, sit around in my pyjamas all day, grow a beard and think.

It was pre dot com boom and technology was hot. This notion of “content” was emerging in the USA and I knew that it fitted neatly at the intersection of my journalistic and marketing skills. I rejected the idea of calling the company “David Pembroke and Associates”. (“You’ve got a perfectly good name son, why don’t you use that” my Dad would say).

The dream has always been for this company to be about much more than me.

I don’t remember exactly when the final name came but I do remember wildly rushing up to my then girlfriend and now wife (and business partner Anna) when she got home from work saying “I’ve got it, I’ve got it…The Content Group. We’ll use our journalism skills to help create content in order that the people we work for can achieve their business objectives. I love it.”

She liked it almost as much as I did and “The Content Group” (later shortened and restyled to contentgroup) was launched in early 1997. Our mission, “To help our clients tell their stories in order that they can achieve their objectives.” Our first client was the Microsoft Network (Pre 9MSN) and we won a contract to create content from the Press Gallery. I was quickly blown off course for five years when my sport of Rugby took off and I became the Communication Director of the ACT Brumbies and the World Cup winning Wallabies (1999).

contentgroup then managed the potentially thorny issue of ‘Drugs in Sport’ on behalf of the Australian Government at the wildly successful Sydney Olympics in 2000, we helped build and implement the strategy for Austrade’s Business Club Australia program, worked on the Make Poverty History program and for the ACT Government during water crisis of 2006-2007. We have since worked for over 200 clients in the Federal Government, ACT Government, NGO, not for profit, building, finance and sporting sectors.

Our purpose is always the same.

Helping our clients tell their stories in order that they achieve their objectives.

Up until 2008-2009, most of the demand was for strategic communication and public relations. Media relations was the bulk of our business. But with the improvement in communication driven by technology, there was a greater ability to create and distribute content. contentgroup started to shift. While the media remains a key and influential channel for the stories of our clients, the ability to use content marketing to “go direct” now takes up most of our time and effort. Our approach to content marketing incorporates strategic communication planning while capitalising on the expanding potential to publish. Everyone is now in the publishing business and our value comes in helping our clients make the most of this ability. This is the fundamental change powering the communication revolution.

contentgroup offers services in content marketing, public relations, production, training, measurement and evaluation.

Our mission is more relevant today than it’s ever been.

The next part of our story will depend on you. We are growing an expertise in content marketing in the Government and the not for profit sectors and expect to deliver for more clients in this space. We are also exploring opportunity and partnerships in publishing and media. Wherever this story leads us (17 years on) there are a few givens.

We will always be obsessed with content marketing and the mission of achieving outstanding results for our clients.

  • We will always be based in the beautiful city of Canberra, Australia.
  • We will always create rewarding careers for our staff.
  • We will always make a positive contribution to the communities in which we work.

Opportunity abounds.

If you’d like us to help you tell your story in order that you can achieve your objectives please contact us.

We’d love to hear from you.

Public Sector Content Communication Weekly Updates