Tag Archives: wikipedia

The ultimate guide to editing Wikipedia pages for PR execs

PR editing wikipediaDon’t do it, don’t do it, for the love of all that is good and holy, don’t do it.

Wikipedia is not a place for  brand messages, it is a fact-based encyclopedia. PR has no business messing with it.

But, I just wanted to…

No! No! No! What the hell is wrong with you? Just leave Wikipedia alone – write a blog post or something instead.

But…

NO! Wikipedia has very clear guidelines about this – as a PR person you have a conflict of interest, you are not allowed to edit pages on behalf of a client. Even if you’re smart enough to do it in secret and mask your IP behind a proxy server (which, let’s face it, you’re not) you still shouldn’t be doing it – there are plenty of channels for you to pimp your client’s brand, but Wikipedia is not one of them.

Not even if…

Look, the rules are very clear. You are allowed to correct factual errors and to provide links to reputable independent sources which support the facts presented in a page, but let’s be honest, you can’t do that because you’ve been indoctrinated into the PR machine and it’s now impossible for you to objectively write anything that isn’t on message,  you just can’t help putting a spin on things.

Oh.

Yes, oh. Your best bet, if you really, really truly believe that you’ve got an objective, salient fact that will genuinely improve the quality of a particular Wikipedia page (and we all know you haven’t, but let’s just roll with this for the sake of argument) is to create an account and add a comment to the ‘talk page’ of the article – be transparent about who you are and lay the facts out with supporting citations. If the Wikipedia things you have a good point, an independent editor will eventually update the page. But probably not, because you’re really just looking for an excuse to add a link to that positive piece of coverage you got.