Learning PR 2.0 Technology

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I read so many great articles when I was on vacation last week.  The article, “Drupal vs. Joomla” I thought was especially helpful. It appeared in the June issue of Entrepreneur Magazine.  Now you’re probably wondering why I would be so enthusiastic about an article (really it was a chart) on content management systems.  Well, it’s because PR professionals are becoming skilled in different technology platforms.  Today, we need to know and understand this information as we’re working more with Web and IT departments.

It’s tremendously important to familiarize yourself with a few of the key differences between the various content management systems (CMS) because we’re listening and observing people and behaviors in web communities to build better relationships.  These platforms, including Posterous, WordPress, TypePad, Drupal, Joomla and Vignette (as identified and detailed in the chart) enhance or facilitate the communication between parties.  As PR professionals, we need to know which are the best ways for our brands to build communities and what types of platforms or technology will serve this purpose (to make an even greater experience for their stakeholders).

So, for example, when we are discussing two-way communication, sharing social objects and building community, should the brand be using Posterous? Or, a more advanced CMS such as Vignette.  The article outlines what might be the needs of the brand, what the CMS is good for and what it’s not so good for, some of the famous users, as well as the price.  Yes, we need to think about every step of communication and the technology that helps to make interaction and collaboration more successful.

For starters, here are a few key difference when it comes to CMS and what to use based on what you need:

  • Posterous: Used for a blog, is free and easy to use.
  • WordPress and Typepress: Used for blogs, homepage, uploading photos and videos.  WordPress is free but you may pay for design services if you want a customized site. Typepad has a monthly charge of $8.95.
  • Drupal & Joomla:  Used for blogs, homepage, uploading photos, videos, ecommerce, ad servers and community features.  Drupal is free but it’s open source so according to the article there are many plug ins that you can use, but you may need to be a “ninja coder” for the install.  Joomla is also free but you will need assistance from experienced designers and programmers to build and maintain the platform.
  • Vignette is everything mentioned above and you can practically add in the “kitchen sink.”  Vignette is for large businesses, with big budgets that want major customization on their websites and features such as reservations and online payments.

I hope that you will check out the Entrepreneur article and keep in mind the different platforms as you are strategizing for the best way to build a relationship or a community experience for your brands.

What platforms are you familiar with and what have you found to be helpful?

9 Responses to " Learning PR 2.0 Technology "

  1. […] Learning PR 2.0 Technology Published: June 28, 2010 Source: Deirdre Breakenridge I read so many great articles when I was on vacation last week. The article, “Drupal vs. Joomla” I thought was especially helpful. It appeared in the June issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. Now you’re pr… […]

  2. Dave Toole says:

    We use Drupal for several of our sites with our sister companies. There is a strong community and it makes a significant difference in how to publish and organize our content.

  3. Elizabeth Sosnow says:

    Thanks for writing about this important topic. If you had told me 5 years ago that I would need to understand the merits of Drupal, I would have chuckled. Now, it’s a regular discussion. That said, I don’t think that many PR folks are ready to to tackle this…and that worries me. It’s yet another “arrow” that someone can use to marginalize the industry. I’m very glad you are pushing folks to think about it!

  4. Deirdre says:

    Hi Dave! Thanks for sharing your experience with Drupal. I think it’s important for PR people to know the different options especially because many think of WordPress or TypePad for blogs.

  5. Deirdre says:

    Hi Elizabeth! I feel the same way. Years ago, the thought of managing site content and being on the backend of a website was far from my mind. I never thought it would be a part my daily activities. I’m hoping that technology becomes an opportunity rather than a task, or something that is not considered a part of our job description. Thanks for your sharing your insight on my blog 🙂

  6. Terry Hayes says:

    @Dierdre @Elizabeth This knowledge isn’t just relevant for PR pros, but really anyone in business. What scares me is how few people graduating from college understand that. If you’re late 20s or under, a basic understanding of these technologies is mandatory.

    I think if people focus on what the technology gives them (ex. very valuable data) instead of the technology itself, they will be more willing to learn.

  7. Deirdre says:

    Terry, you make an excellent point. Having a business background, I agree 100%.

  8. Sherrie Bakshi says:

    It’s so ironic that you publish this post at this time. Why? For years, I thought I didn’t need to know CMS. About one year ago, I didn’t even know what the acronym referred to, but since joining my current company, my knowledge and the ability to use these systems have grown. I use WordPress and ExpressionEngine frequently. And, I am slowly understanding basic HTML.

    Thanks for the great post.

  9. Deirdre says:

    Hey Sherrie! For a long time felt the same way (and I was in an agency where I could have learned CMS much earlier than I did). Sounds like your current company is providing you with great knowledge and the opportunity to grow with technology. I’m not familiar with ExpressionEngine, but I will check it out. Good luck as you learn new things and thanks for sharing 🙂

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