Learn how your PR Agency can use and edit pages on wikipedia.
Did you know you can edit a page on Wikipedia? You can even create one. Of course, you need to follow their rules to do so. Also, any edits you make are subject to review and rejection by Wikipedia’s host of paid and volunteer editors.
Why would you want to edit a page? Well, this has to do with your business most likely. If you haven’t attained a certain level of public personae, this may not be an issue for you. However, if you have accomplished something that has been reported in reputable journals, even if only a few people have ever read them, you can still take the steps to create a page.
So, why would you want to do that? Well, think about it. How many times have you searched for something and found information about that topic from Wikipedia as one of the top results? In addition, many people accept information on Wikipedia as being 100 percent accurate. Spoiler alert, it isn’t. You should always verify any information you pull from Wikipedia with other sources.
If you want the very specific instructions on how to edit or create pages, you can find these at Wikipedia:Editing. However, you should know if you are being paid by someone to alter information about them or their company, you are required to disclose the conflict of interest you have with Wikipedia in suggesting the edits. Interestingly, this practice has become big business and is a frequent request on freelance writing sites such as elance.com.
Those who have learned the way to get this done effectively for clients can make a very good living at it, but they also admit they ignore the disclosure rules much of the time.
If you are talking about PR for a celebrity, conflict of interest disclosures may not seem all that important – yet they are. But when researching medical, pharmaceutical, or surgical information as a patient contemplating a procedure, it would be good to know the information is valid and not just a sales pitch. Some medical device companies make millions of dollars each year by selling particular equipment. If studies show the medical equipment used in the surgery doesn’t benefit the patient, the company doesn’t want that known.
Some companies have been known to use aggressive tactics to skew the information on Wikipedia in their favor. Wikipedia tries to stop them, but the amount of information provided through Wiki is so massive, it’s becoming impossible to make any guarantees.
Wikipedia is very aware of this issue and that’s why you now see a disclaimer on pages that have received edits. But if you see something wrong on a Wikipedia page, go ahead and try your hand at editing it. Wiki is a cultural phenomenon – it’s the modern day dictionary for so many.
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