Clark is front-runner for chair at XPRL

The XPRL steering group - launched at the end of 2001 to help develop a globally recognised computer language for the PR industry - is set to appoint its second chairman when Anne Gregory steps down in February.

Alison Clark, formerly public affairs chief for the then Shandwick International, is the front-runner to succeed IPR president-elect Gregory.

The 12-strong XPRL executive committee has proposed Clark as a candidate, but Gregory said further nominations are welcome.

The group - which has the backing of the IPR, PRCA and Global Alliance of PR bodies - is set to decide whether an election process should go ahead at its meeting on 11 February.

During Gregory's tenure, the XPRL group has begun developing a code for press relations work, which is designed to create an agreed format for data interchange between companies.

It is hoped that the format will speed up the process of creating and distributing news releases, and improve efficiency across the PR sector.

'What we have to do is build a technological infrastructure behind XPRL, as it is essentially about producing a code specifically for the PR industry,' said Gregory.

'We have done the first stage and got something for the press relations area nailed down, but we are beginning now to look at other areas,' she added.

The steering group is working with the Public Relations Society of America on planning to develop codes for financial comms, which will need to be compatible with a wide range of organisations, including accounting firms.

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