XPRL (Extensible Public Relations Language) is an open specification for an XML-based language being developed for the public relations sector. XPRL is similar to the Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), but more specific to public relations applications. The aim of the U.K.-based XPRL initiative group is to standardize the way that industry-specific computer data is stored and shared over the Internet. According to the XPRL Steering Group, the new schema-based markup language will benefit not only public relations professionals, but anyone dealing with that business sector, including journalists, content aggregators, and public relations management.
Developers can use XPRL to write programs for the automation of common public relations tasks. For example, when an online version of a press release is written, tags will be generated that identify document components, such as images, headlines, dates, and so on. Through these, each version of the document can be identified, and changes automatically tracked and managed. When a journalist writes a story based on the press release, that story will also include the tags. Any content aggregator or cutting agency will be able to automatically capture copy for delivery to clients.
As a field, public relations has not been as quick as others in moving towards automated processes and Internet-enabled data sharing. XPRL is expected to accelerate this transition. Because XPRL is compatible with the XML Schema Definition (XSD), it will facilitate data exchange with other specialized data exchange languages, such as XBRL and NewsML (News Markup Language).