Steps for public relations, human resources, and communications professionals to ethically update its company's Wikipedia articleBy Marjorie Comer
October 21, 2021
Wikipedia can be a blessing for many people as they seek information and conduct research. It can also be a frustration for organizations and companies who need to ensure their content is accurate.
Many companies ask their PR firm to write Wikipedia articles on their behalf. We have even heard (and seen) that some companies hire PR professionals to edit Wikipedia pages to delete negative information and make the company look better than it is. This is not an ethical practice.
Here are several steps PR and HR professionals can take to ethically ensure your company is updating your company’s Wikipedia page.
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- Create an account on Wikipedia. This allows your IP address to remain hidden.
- As you update your account, disclose any conflicts of interest like your clients, your employers, or other information that may cause concern.
- When you update articles, try to avoid posting or changing articles that may have conflicts of interest.
- If there is an issue in your company’s post:
- Find objective, published articles and sources to prove the inaccuracy.
- Post on the Wikipedia Talk page and share what you believe needs to be corrected, the current content, the sources to cite your belief, and your conflict of interest.
- Upon posting on the Talk page, a Wikipedia volunteer will typically get back to you within 48 hours with a resolution.
- As the issue is corrected, thank the volunteer and continue to self-monitor the post for future issues.
Wikipedia articles are meant to have a neutral point of view. For those in the internal position of public relations, human resources, and communications within their company or an external vendor serving in the capacity of PR representative, you must maintain an objective point of view, which is why these steps are so important.
Book a consultation today to review your company’s Wikipedia situation.
Clients love Marjorie’s work ethic, speed and diligence. She has worked with Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Marjorie graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Learn more about Marjorie.