There’s No Place Like Home

There's No Place Like Home

I want to say that returning to contentgroup has the same comfort as sliding on a favourite old pair of slippers. But it wouldn’t be quite correct.

Yes, there are many familiar faces still around the place – both colleagues and clients. Yes, I can’t wait to get stuck into the strategic communications work that I so enjoyed when I was here last. And yes, it has remained a dynamic firm built on strong client relationships and thinking outside the square to provide the best avenue to tell our own story and our clients’ stories.
When I first started working at contentgroup in 2005, we were a three-person operation working out of the bottom of the ‘The RUC’ club in Barton. The workspace was small but cosy, dark, segmented office that had a beautiful vista out of the gravel carpark behind the club. (I add that The RUC has since done a great job in renovating that area into an unrecognisable function room). But fair to say, if you didn’t know our office was there, you’d walk straight past it.
We had a great list of clients – as we do today – in a vast range of industries, with a diverse range of backgrounds, each with a unique and interesting story to tell.

Fast forward five years and what a change! Gone is the office space that was so affectionately labelled ‘the dungeon’. Here is the brilliant new, open-plan office space complete with natural light above King O’Malley’s in the heart of the city centre. (Yes, a number of people have pointed out the firm’s penchant for finding office space in extreme proximity to Canberra’s premier watering holes – as a recently returned employee, I’m not at liberty to comment.) The days of just three staff are a distant memory, with today’s 11-person team forging on with the same values and work ethic that made contentgroup such a great place to work ‘back in the day’.

And while we specialised in strategic communications and media relations back in the good ol’ days, we now feature a staff that are not only able to provide expertise in the aforementioned disciplines, but also in government, content generation and media production. Needless to say, it’s dizzying to realise how the face of communications has changed in such a short period of time.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have had some great experiences in my time away from contentgroup and I would not have changed a thing: four wonderful seasons as media manager for my beloved Brumbies, standing in as tour media manager for the Wallabies on their Spring Tour of Hong Kong and Europe last year, and working with the great people within the media unit of the Australian Federal Police. They have all provided me with countless once-in-a-lifetimes experiences that many people would only dream of.
Throughout this time I have maintained a close friendship with David Pembroke. Each time we casually caught up, he would bring me up to speed with the new developments and visions within contentgroup – usually unable to get the words out quick enough to convey what was going on. It was always exciting. It was always contemporary. New people with ‘runs on the board’ were joining the fold and there were exciting opportunities with incoming and existing clients.
When the opportunity arose to return, the decision was a straightforward one.

So, simple slippers may not accurately describe what it’s like to be back. Perhaps a pair of those designer ugg boots? A slight face lift on an old favourite, some new and improved few features, but still doing what they’re supposed to do and doing it well.
Regardless, it’s good to be home.

Nick Smith


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