30 Years of Pocket Books in the Caboolture Region

Pocket Books® started with a humble beginning in Victoria with its first phone book publication for a small town of Bacchus Marsh in the north west of Melbourne in 1991. Since then, Pocket Books® has been expanding not only to other areas but also to different platforms of advertising such as online and mobile - but about that a bit later.

After producing the first book in Victoria, Gerry and Nevenka, had been pondering about moving to Queensland. It was Gerry’s wish from his young age to live in Queensland. While their link with Victoria has never been lost, Gerry and Nevenka have established their life and anchored their business in Queensland since 1992.

Caboolture region was the second region where Pocket Book® directories were established and the first region in Queensland.

Starting with a core region of Caboolture, it later included also Kilcoy, Burpengary and later also Bribie Island. Recently Bribie Island has been separated into its own publication, as the area has grown substantially during the last thirty years. The Bribie Island residents had been asking us to do a separate book for a while.

One might ask why did we decide to produce directories for regional areas. We felt regional areas are many times ‘forgotten’ by our bigger competition chasing money in big towns from big business. People running businesses in regional areas are often disadvantaged by having to spend ‘big bucks’ on advertising to be noticeable alongside bigger firms while the money spent might not correlate to the benefit arising from such spend.

Caboolture region seemed to have been a good example of the above. Tucked 50 km north of Brisbane, Caboolture was directory-wise included in the Sunshine Coast Yellow Pages directory while Bribie Island was included into the Brisbane Yellow Pages directory. Pocket Book® aimed to give Caboolture its own deserved identity. The slogan used many times was ‘keeping business in our town’.

Most residents have quickly realised the value of having ‘businesses at their hand’ for local area and Pocket Book® has become progressively the main local directory. In turn, businesses benefitted by cost-effective advertising managing to build and keep their business in their local area.

Pocket Books® has maintained its vision of helping businesses in the local areas and of serving the residents by giving them a handy aid to find businesses in their local areas also with the advent of new platforms like digital and online platforms. As early as in 2004 Pocket Books® had their website promoting local businesses. Online platforms only took off once search engines appeared, enabling easier retrieval of information from the internet.

Pocket Books® has developed since a fully independent internet platform for advertising thus offering to local businesses to be found either on the Pocket Books® website or in the book.

However, one of the main search engines, Google has become an advertising company also itself and in its dual role - as a search engine and as an advertising company - it started to utilise its platform to eliminate its competition from the arena of advertising. We know that today many newspapers are gone, and many local directories have been affected by, what could be seen as, unfair Google competition. Some directories have adjusted and have become in essence Google sales agents, that is, businesses can buy Google ads (or Facebook ads) through them. Pocket Books® have not done that. As always, we stand independent and serving only one purpose, to help businesses being successful having in mind local community integrity and coherence.

We thank the residents of the Caboolture region who support the Pocket Book® by using its book and the web directories and we thank the businesses who put trust in us during all these years.