What’s Up With Wikipedia for PR?

WikipediaWikipedia has an enormous impact on the perception of any company or individual, yet most PR people don’t have a Wikipedia strategy for clients. It’s somewhat understandable. Wikipedia is an enigma wrapped in an enigma, an endless frustration for PR professionals. When a client says “Write me a Wikipedia page” or “Fix my Wikipedia page” you have to say … well, it doesn’t quite work like that.

I last wrote about Wikipedia in 2009 for PRBlogNewsWhat is your Wikipedia strategy? Since then, Wikipedia has loosened up a bit. There are now identifiable editors. You can request a review of your Wikipedia page, and there are more readily acceptable solutions to correcting a bad Wikipedia page.

Why bother?  Wikipedia often comes up top in search results. It is the 6th largest site on the Internet for web traffic. An inaccurate or skewed Wikipedia page can undermine years of PR effort.

What not to do.  As a PR professional, or a member of a company, you cannot edit a Wikipedia page in which you have a vested interest even if it is grossly inaccurate. You will be slammed by roving bands of Wikipedia editors and the damage will take a long time to undo. Witness the recent comical case of author Philip Roth’s tussle with Wikipedia in which it was determined initially by Wikipedia that Roth was not a credible source to set the record straight on his own book.

What to do. Hire Influence Consulting : ) We integrate a Wikipedia strategy into the earliest stages of a PR program. We identify authorized editors who can assure that a Wikipedia insert is accurate and up-to-date. We create a Newsroom that serves as an excellent PR and SEO channel, and a single source for Wikipedia editors to pull reliable, published news on a company or individual. – Mark Rose

Comments

  1. This post is very interesting. I learned about the difficulties of Wikipedia when I tried to set up an account for the company I interned with this summer as part of a marketing plan. Needless to say, my fellow interns and I didn’t get very far. However, I do think setting up an ACCURATE Wikipedia site is important for the clients of a PR professional if possible. In all honesty, Wikipedia is my go-to site if I want a brief overview of what a company, person or place is all about. Therefore, it’s crucial that your client has an accurate, but favorable, Wikipedia page!

    Jessica Ruffin
    Contributing Writer and Editor, Platform Magazine
    platformmagazine.org
    @Jessica_Ruffin | @platformmag

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