On Thursday, April 15, PR Newswire’s Global Director of Emerging Media Michael Pranikoff spoke to members of PRSA Maryland at the University of Baltimore about a subject that too few communications practitioners have mastered—the art of tagging.
Simply put, a tag is an identifier that enables Web content producers to organize ideas, and Web users to follow them. Think of a tag cloud—that cluster of words you see on a blog. These groups of Web-linked terms enable users to continue their search for associated information. The more often a particular tag is used by a blog’s author, the more prominent it appears in the tag cloud, giving the user a clue as to where a given information trail will lead. Communications practitioners adept at using tags can make this trail lead to specific online destinations.
Pranikoff had a lot to say about social bookmarking site Delicious, which relies heavily on tagging. Although commonly used for personal bookmarking (your ‘favorites’ can be saved to a Web page and are, consequently, always available on any computer connected to the Internet), Pranikoff uses it as a publishing platform for his professional audience.
On his delicious page (http://delicious.com/michaelpranikoff), you will find information that he bookmarks not for himself, but for his readers. Organizations can use delicious as a “newsroom outside of the newsroom,” as he puts it—publishing their own press releases and other information, which drives users to a specific location through the use of tags. Pranikoff issued a word of caution, though: be transparent. In other words, let your audience know who’s publishing the information on your Delicious site. (One way to ensure transparency is to put your organization’s name in the URL when setting up the account.)
Pranikoff says we should make our content “directional and easy to share,” and that we should use tagging in all of our social media pages to drive people to one place.
Follow Michael Pranikoff on Twitter: @mpranikoff.