How the Testy Topic of Tags Applies to Press Releases

What are tags and Why do I want them? Our first webinar of the year, Lost in MySpace?, hit a chord with clients. Almost 500 people showed up last Friday…and we’re STILL answering questions for those who attended.

The 45-minute presentation targeted those inexperienced in Web 2.0 and while we made some progress, it’s clear our clients are hungry for as much enlightenment as we can provide on how this organic landscape applies to press releases.

One of the thorniest issues seems to be user generated tags–NOT metatags, which are the coding on a webpage that helps search engines categorize the content for serving up to searchers. We had dozens of questions on tags.

What are tags and why should PR practitioners, marketers and even savvy small businesses care about them?

Fact is, Web 2.0 presents huge opportunities for your press releases to be shared, re-purposed, reformatted and reused–in other words seen and read–by the billions of people surfing and searching the Web. The more you embrace tools like tags, the more you facilitate that sharing and re-purposing, therefore increasing the chances of your press release being seen and your message communicated.

Tags help by making it easier for people to find, share and read the copy you so painstakingly have put together. Think of the Internet as this big, fat filing cabinet. In it are billions of documents or web pages. Consider your press release a web page–because that’s exactly what it is, once it slips from being a Word or Mac document to an interactive webpage hosted by Business Wire, EON Enhanced Online News, or posted on your website.

Continuing the filing cabinet metaphor, the press release is the document you’re going to file. How should you label it so you can find it later? How will others interested in that document find it? And, Mom was right: you’re judged by the company you keep. Think about the kind of content with which you want to be associated, because it will also come up when tagged like yours.

The tag is the the label you put on the page to facilitate finding, storing, and sharing of the content. The tag helps give your press release a life BEYOND that first news spike, since it facilitates the saving and sharing of it later.

For more press release tips, check out our delicious page. Also, leave us a comment with your take on tags.

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