The original MediaConnect business was founded in October 2000 as bContent Pty Ltd by respected technology journalist Phil Sim and business partner Darlene Myles.
Our initial concept was the ITJourno portal, a web site designed to be a one-stop information destination for technology journalists. The service provided news and articles about the IT media, IT PR and vendor contact information as well as our famous Media Request RFI service. While the scope of the company has expanded well beyond the original media portal, our original mission of helping journalists to be more productive and informed, remains with us and is a distinguishing characteristic of the company.
Not long after the launch of ITJourno, the company launched MediaConnect - a sister site for PR companies and communications departments. Over the ensuing years, this site became the key revenue generator for MediaConnect with our customers relying on the service for unique intelligence about media movements and trends, our forward feature database, online media monitoring and our unparalleled media contact database. bContent began trading as MediaConnect Worldwide.
In 2003, MediaConnect launched the first IT Journalism Awards, in partnership with foundation sponsor Sun Microsystems and then launched the first of its hugely successful media conferences, hosting the Face the IT Media Forum, which brought together for the first time more than 50 Australian technology journalists to hear from many of the world's leading technology vendors. Held at the Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, the Forum began the rich tradition that has evolved into the MediaConnect Forum series of events.
International expansion followed, with MediaConnect Asia launching in the same year in Singapore and replicating the successful MediaConnect business model for the South East Asian region.
In 2004, MediaConnect greatly increased the sophistication of the MediaConnect website, incorporating contact management tools that enable PR professionals to better manage their interactions with journalists. The first MediaConnect Forum event was held in Asia.
The following year, saw a significant restructure of the MediaConnect business, with the Asian and Australian businesses becoming separately owned entities and Phil and Donna Sim taking full-ownership of the Australian operation, which was re-birthed as MediaConnect Australia.
Meanwhile, MediaConnect Australia moved from its home in Crows Nest to a new lakeside-office in the burgeoning Norwest Business Park in Sydney's north-west. In 2007, MediaConnect Australian launched its PRWire service before launching a complete redevelopment of its software platform as a PR management tool in 2008.
MediaConnect celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2010 with work well-under way for a major expansion of the business over the next couple of years. In 2011, MediaConnect re-launched its software platform under the Influencing brand and entered into a beta-period with expansion beyond its IT roots. It celebrated ten years of MediaConnect Forums and in 2012 hosted the tenth annual IT Journalism Awards.
However, 2012 was most significant for the realisation of the vision as Australia's only end-to-end PR management platform. Launching a raft of tools that had been honed over a two-year testing period, Influencing became Australia's most advanced PR workflow solution offering media list management, news distribution, online monitoring, sophisticated reporting and much more. Meanwhile, its database grew to encompass more than 10,000 journalists and editorial contacts across more than 6,000 outlets and it has quickly become the engine driving many of Australia's largest and best PR agencies.