Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Financial Public Relations must get XML to compete

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is in the final stages of a four-year technology initiative designed to speed up transactions and reduce costs by one fifth. This will lead to 24/7 trading quite soon. Trading round the clock will create added pressures on the PR industry and its suppliers such as information and (even) press clip vendors.

The LSE has already increasing the real-time transfer rate from 30 milliseconds down to just two and the only way that delivering financial information to the Market, Traders, Analysts, Shareholders and the media so they can also benefit is by using XML tagged data.

Financial data is transferred this way using a format called XBRL.

The element that includes statements, reports and backgrounders, the words, now needs to be implemented in XPRL, the PR industry standard which received a major boost with this week's announcements.

While many financial PR companies have failed to invest in interoperability (or in XPRL) they could still have a window of opportunity but time is slipping by and the opportunity out of their grasp.

Right now, of course, they cannot claim to offer comprehensive communication services because they do not have the tools to do it.