According to a recent survey, conducted by EthicalWiki - a US consultancy specialising in Wikipedia management, business has 'missed an opportunity for long-term value through ethical Wikipedia engagement'.
I’m sure this is something all engineering PR firms and technical PR agencies can agree on, based on your own Wikipedia page and those of other businesses in your sector (if those pages exist!) However, the study warns that editing your own page, could mean taking part, ‘in a controversial practice in ethical grey areas that are ripe to put the firm through media humiliation'.
This is very true, particularly bearing in mind the various Wiki-Nightmares the PR industry has gone through recently, which we reported on last month.
The CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations), to which most of our consultants belong, has recently issued a set of guidelines suggesting ways in which agencies can deal with Wikipedia. They have also offered the guidelines to the public, asking for feedback, as this article in PR Week illustrates.
So, what’s the ‘in a nutshell’ action we can take based on both the survey and the guidelines? For me the answer is fairly straightforward, Wikipedia is not a place for editing and posting company profiles. However, providing the right content to Wikipedia’s army of voluntary journalists, so that they can edit entries in whatever way they see as appropriate, is a very good idea.
If you want help with this, want to add Wikipedia editing to your campaign or don’t have an account with Stone Junction already (shock!) and want to discuss one that includes Wikipedia editing, just get in touch.
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