Learning PR 2.0 Technology

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?