Many in the world of advocacy, associations, and politics have concerns about one or more entries in Wikipedia. Perhaps there’s something inaccurate or misleading in an entry you care about. Or maybe there’s an entry you wish talked about your organization’s efforts. You have heard that people get in trouble for editing their entries, and you want to be part of a group working to improve the way Wikipedia and communicators interact.
A few years ago, Phil Gomes recognized that many of us struggle with how to handle Wikipedia — and many Wikipedians are distrustful of all public relations people. So he went and did something about it. He created a Facebook group called Corporate Representatives for Ethical Wikipedia Engagement.
He outlined his case in a blog post:
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 maintains active discussions about how professional communicators engage with Wikipedia — including news reports about Wikipedia’s plans, organizations being called to task for their Wikipedia activities, and information about how to influence the future direction of the site.
For those of you who are concerned about how Wikipedia impacts your organization, check out the CREWE Facebook group.