Diigo: A PR Tool for Social Media Releases

While I have been researching the elements needed to  make a press release relevant in the digital age I’ve become a big fan of Diigo. I’ll be presenting this research at the PR News Digital Summit in NYC on October 5th.

One of the additions to a social media news release that journalists find useful is a bookmarked research page with all resources and notes they might need to write the story. Very few PR people are providing this with their releases.  It really helps a journalist to have this information in one place.

Many educators and researchers have discovered Diigo and once PR people realize what it can do, it’s bound to become a staple in the Digital PR Toolkit  too.

What is Diigo?

Diigo is a free social bookmarking tool that makes it easy to share content and facilitate conversations around that content.  It certainly makes it easier and faster to produce a resource page for a news release.

There are three main areas of the site:  My Library, My Network and My Groups.

The Research feature allows you to annotate, archive and organize your content, crating the resource page.   You can highlight text on a web page, just as you would on a paper document.  You can choose different highlight colors for various sections and add personal notations using their sticky note function.  These highlighted sections and notes will be visible on the page when you, or someone else you have invited, visit that page in the future. These pages are bookmarked and become a part of your online archive.

Adding Sticky Notes

Highlight a section of text in the supporting article or news release and right click it.   You will see an option to ad a sticky note.

Use folders to organize the supporting data for different releases. You can even make a folder with a specific blogger or journalist’s name on it. Put in 3 or 4 links and notate each one with commentary like “this supports the quote on hotel growth.”

When you bookmark a page in Diigo you can choose to capture a snapshot or cache of the page.  This way Diigo saves both an HTML version of the page and captures it in an image.  This way a link you have bookmarked can never disappear.   The links on your resource page for your news release will always be available, even if the link breaks or the content goes away.  This is particularly useful for links to articles in the mainstream media that are open to view for a short period of time and then go behind a pay wall. There’s nothing as frustrating for a journalist on deadline as receiving a link that does not work.

Adding tags is a feature journalists have requested in news releases so that the content is easy to find online.  Since all your bookmarked content is in the cloud it can be accessed and searched from anywhere.  All the links tagged with a particular keyword can be shared via an RSS feed.  Be sure to choose a tag that fits the list of  links for each release and don’t duplicate this tag in other releases,  otherwise you won’t have a clean list of links for each release.

Once you have them all tagged correctly simply click the RSS icon and copy and paste the feed URL to your Social media news release.   You can also promote the feed URL to your custom list of bloggers and journalists.  Remember to bookmark your own release and tag it with this keyword too, so it appears in the feed.

Another way to organize and display a collection of bookmarks for a specific release is the “list” function.  Create a list and name it with a relevant keyword and write a short description of the links in that list.  Find the resources you want to share with the bloggers and journalists, bookmark them and assign them to that list.   Once your list is complete you can share it with others in several ways:

  • Email the list to colleagues, bloggers and journalists
  • Tweet it right from Diigo
  • Use the Share This button which gives you the option to share the list on a plethora of social sites

One of the most useful features of Diigo is the collaboration and sharing tools.  You can create a network of people on Diigo  and invite industry experts as well as bloggers and journalists you work with on a regular basis to join Diigo and become part of your network.  You might even find some bloggers and journalists who are already using the site.

In the My Network area of the site you can create a network of people interested in your industry and use the tools provided to generate conversation around your releases.  If they are not Diigo users you can still send them your annotated links.

You can create a group and invite people to join.  Group members automatically get email notifications of new bookmarks added to the list, comment on or off the bookmarked pages and have threaded discussions about the content.

As your bookmarks are stored in the cloud they can be accessed via any mobile platform that Diigo supports.  With Diigo Powernote for Android smart phones or the Diigo Offline Reader for the iPhone you can read your bookmarks or the pages you marked Read Later while standing in line, on a train or a bus, or waiting for a meeting

Watch the video

Getting Started

Sign up for an account and install the Diigo Toolbar. Click the Install Diigo Toolbar button. It’s easy to do on Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Google Chrome.

Read later: Diigo incorporates a read later button in its Firefox toolbar. You can save an item directly into Diigo to review and tag it later, which is a great time-saving feature.

Publishing to my blog: Diigo has a very useful feature for bloggers – you can publish links you’ve saved along with annotations directly to your blog.

Diigo also offers a web‐based “Diigolet” that provides limited functionality, but does not require installation like the ful toolbar does. the Diigolet is also available for the iPhone and iPad.

Educators have adopted the use of Diigo and are using it to great effect in the classroom.  It’s just as effective for PR use and it’s the perfect choice for organizing, annotating, and sharing supporting information for social media news releases.  The tools on Diigo make research and collaboration much easier, and allow for a better flow of communication between PR colleagues, bloggers and journalists.

There are currently just 386 people on Diigo who have tagged their profiles with PR or public relations. I see only a handful of the Digital PR luminaries, such as Brain Solis and Chris Abraham.

Get in on the ground floor – join my network on Diigo and start using this tool with your news releases.

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