For people who are serious about discussing the PR-and-Wikipedia-related matters covered in yesterday's posts, I've created a group on Facebook at the suggestion of John Cass. This was in the context of a discussion on Kevin Dugan's Facebook related to my original open letter.
Owing to the name, I anticipate that the bulk of the members would be PR folks, but I strongly encourage people of all views to participate because, frankly, that's the only way we'll get closer to the goal.
And what is this goal? This will become clearer over time, but the core idea rests on four pillars:
- Corporate communicators want to do the right thing.
- Communicators engaged in ethical practice have a lot to contribute.
- Current Wikipedia policy does not fully understand #1 and #2, owing to the activities of some bad actors and a general misunderstanding of public relations in general.
- Accurate Wikipedia entries are in the public interest.
The group is open. There's not much of a there there yet, but that's where you come in.
And, yes, I realize that there's some philosophy-shear in terms of using a proprietary resource to discuss matters related to an open-source one. This is trumped (if slightly) by the very "PR" consideration of going where most of the interested parties already are and integrating it into people's day-to-day online experience.
Hoping people support this effort and take it up in the spirit it is intended.
Responsible editing by public relations practitioners is welcome on Wikipedia provided our conflict of interest guidelines are followed.
Most reported trouble involves over the top behavior.
Posted by: A Facebook User | Monday, January 30, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Hi, to the author of this article, I'm a PR practitioner that has been quietly working on a solution to this issue for a while now, and I've come up with something that has satisfied several administrators and even a member of WMF. Feel free to contact me for more information. My Wikipedia username is I'm Tony Ahn
Posted by: Tony Ahn | Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Wikipedia has strict notability and content guidelines that would seemingly put it immediately at odds with Public Relations purposes.
There’s no worse PR than when some politician’s office or PR company is caught editing entries for their clients. I’m sure it can be done – extremely carefully so it flies below the radar of most Wikipedia editors.
Any steps taken to reconcile the open-source ethos of Wikipedia with corporate PR needs are a positive thing, in my opinion.
Posted by: Joe | Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 08:02 AM
I followed a link from Wikipedia to this blog. I am interested in increasing the number of companies with a Wikipedia entry. I have witnessed first hand the bias at Wikipedia against adding such material (see for example the article about Realtytrac that was only revived recently after being deleted more than once).
I am dismayed though that you have chosen to communicate through a Facebook Group. I wonder why the contents of this Group are not available to the public (I will not join Facebook)?
Posted by: oth | Friday, May 04, 2012 at 11:03 PM