IABC agrees to stick handle the Social Media Release

I've had some less-than-positive things to say about the concept of Social Media News Releases and their execution in certain cases, but I've also said all along that I see merit and vaue in the overall idea of reinventing the way we do things in this respect.

Part of my concern up to this point has been that there was a lot of individual experimentation, and some interesting innovations from a number of vendors, but I felt that much broader and more inclusive discussion and collaboration was required across the industry.

If we, as professional communicators, collectively agree that the old way of doing things needs a complete rethink in light of the disruptive changes wrought by first the Internet and then all this Web 2.0 loveliness - then we should find some collective way of addressing the rethink.

To this end, I was greatly encouraged to read yesterday's news at Shel Holtz's blog that the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) will be taking on sponsorship of the Social Media Release initiative and coordinating development efforts towards some standards.

This is great news. As I said in a comment at Shel's blog: there are extremes at both ends of this discussion, but at the centre lie some real needs and opportunities. Only through the authoritative support of an objective industry body will we move towards true consensus.

I fired off a note to the IABC contact shortly after reading their announcement and I'm happy to say that they welcomed my petition to join the working group. This should be interesting.