Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The PR Drumbeat - £500,000 to be invested

Over the last week, the biggest thing to hit Public Relations practice for ten years has begun. It includes a $500,000 investment. It is gaining powerful support across the world and it will affect all PR practice from now on.

It is the re-emergence of XPRL.

Imagine, just for a moment that you use an PR agency who produce documents, reports and working papers, a research company, a media list provider, an evaluation company, an events organiser and a photographer. Not an extensive list but they all produce content. They all fit into your planning and management scene.

It is content that you have to manage and integrate. As the media scene grows and you have to deal with the web, on-line news clips, blogs and even more stuff there is more content and it is becoming ever more complex.

You seek tools that allows you to integrate this content, these data.

The tools you seek, these computer programmes, have a problem. The data has to be manhandled, it has to be pasted from one tool to the next. In many cases the data is incompatible. Evaluation data cannot go into your media list. The event organiser data does not go into your calendar or project planning software. You do not have 'interoperability'. Your efforts have been foiled. Its an expensive nightmare.

But... what if.... deep inside these computer programmes there was a PR specific language that did allow these disparate data to be used in PR tools and computer programmes?

This is the big idea.

It's XPRL.

It has been developed as part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) XML initiative.

It is an initiative re-enervated by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (the inventor of the World Wide Web) in June this year who said "The challenges here are real. The ontologies that will furnish the semantics for the Semantic Web must be developed, managed, and endorsed by committed practice communities."

XPRL.org has responded on behalf of the PR industry world wide. It now seeks the support of the whole industry and its associated value chain.

XML has already been a powerful driver in the sciences, medicine and other areas of research and development. In management its most notable contribution has been in the area of accounting, financial reporting and on the bourses of the world.


The XPRL initiative began in 2001. With its own web site, A scope of PR document.

Ged Carrol, blogging in 2002 provided the first blog post about XPRL.

Alison Clark became chair in 2004 and there are a number of initiatives reported online.

XPRL formally launched in Italy

By 2004, the Global Alliance had accepted the significance of this development with an offer of funding.


In 2004, Fuse PR put XPRL into context in this article.

XPRL based PR tools began to appear.

Its is described by Mike Manuel like this.

What is does is offered in this example.

The 2006 initiative came alive when new media practitioners sought modern day solutions for for PR tools as in the case of the New Media release initiative. People like Brian Solis, Todd Van Hoosear, Chris Heuer , Todd Defren.

More questions and interest came into the public domain.

I commented on the reality for PR practice in August this year.

So, I wrote a paper which, updated by participants today is the latest in the saga. It identifies a $250,000 offer which, if the industry can match it, will be a tremendous boost to PR.

Toni Muzi Falconi, once again became involved.

XPRL is discussed by the New Media Release initiative in this podcast.

The Paper 'XPRL Game On' was considered at an XPRL Meeting last week (a 'minute' was posted by Chris Heuer here).

Further comments here from Anthony and Sally here.


The paper is published here.