This guide is intended to provide clear and detailed advice on how PR professionals should engage with the Wikipedia community. It also aims to highlight best practice and equip public relations professionals with the advice needed to navigate the grey areas of Wikipedia engagement and with an understanding of how to protect an organisation's or client's reputation openly and transparently.
Commenting on the launch of this guide, Stephen Waddington Hon FCIPR, Chart.PR, CIPR President 2014, said:
"There is zero gain to be had for any public relations firms or their clients in subverting the rules of any online community. Wikipedia's rules on editing are clear. Paid-for advocates and those with a clear conflict of interest should not directly edit Wikipedia for an article for their client or employer.
Monitoring Wikipedia pages for modifications has become a key part of managing the online reputation for any organisation, but any redress should always be sought via the community's own workflow. We have worked with Wikimedia in the UK to advocate an approach which takes an interest in improving content on the site relating to their work, in an open and transparent manner.
In all actions a good public relations professional seeks to deal openly and honestly with the public at all times. Public relations without transparency is unprofessional, and a direct contravention of the CIPR's code of conduct."
This document was updated in July 2014.
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