Impress Media passes a major milestone today – May 27 marks the 20th anniversary of John Harris registering South Australia’s first PR agency to specialise in IT. Back in May 1991, John had the idea that there might be a crust in setting up a public relations agency that focussed in communicating the benefits delivered by technology.

He stuck his toe in the water by writing a first press release for QikDraw Systems, an Adelaide-based CAD software firm run by the amiable Peter Chan. After that, he did a survey gauging the industry interest in an IT PR service: Of the 100 local computer companies surveyed, an amazing one third actually replied.

In the subsequent two decades, Impress Media has seen the public relations industry transform from a typewriter and fax-powered industry to the cornucopia of communication that exists today. In that time, Impress Media has provided services for clients ranging from global companies including CA, Sun, Microsoft and IBM to Australian successes such as Internode, PCRange, EBS and Virtual Ark. John Harris also wrote the computer section for The Advertiser for six years and remains a technology commentator for ABC Radio.

Today, John, who grew up on a dairy farm in New Zealand, has less hair, more children and is still pounding away at the keyboard – as this sentence testifies.

“The best thing about running Impress Media for the past 20 years is the entrepreneurs I’ve met,” he reflected. “Some of them have been brilliant, some were rogues, but there’s something innately interesting about someone who wants to build a technology business in the gap between how the world is and what it might become.

”It is certainly more fun than milking cows!”

As a 20th birthday present for Impress Media, John is ditching Windows for Macs. “Using Windows for 20 years has given me great empathy for the pain people experience using PCs, but now, I just want the technology to work,” he explains.

If you want to know what the people who matter think of Impress Media, check out what its clients say.

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