WIKIPEDIA’S “BRIGHT LINE” RULE FOR PR PROS
Marcia W. DiStaso, Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University Survey with 1,284 responses conducted with PRSA, IABC, IPR, WOMMA, and NIRI members 2/14-3/14 2012
60% of Wikipedia articles for companies and clients of respondents who were familiar with them had factual errors
74% of respondents who used talk pages thought the rule should change
Only 35% of respondents have engaged with Wikipedia
When requesting changes you should expect to wait 2-5 days for a response
23% said making changes was near impossible
LESS THAN 21% of PR/Comm pros know and understand the rule
When respondents made requests using the talk pages 24% never got a response
According to Jimmy Wales, "There is a very simple “bright line” rule that constitutes best practice: do not edit Wikipedia directly if you are a paid advocate."
WHAT THIS MEANS
- Wikipedia rules, policies and guidelines need to be clarified to consistently reflect what PR/communications professionals should and should not do.
- Regular reviews of Wikipedia articles for accuracy and balance need to be conducted.
- If errors are found or if you believe content needs to be added or changed, refer to the CREWE Wikipedia Engagement Flowchart available on Wikimedia Commons.
For full results and to learn more go to:
Measuring Public Relations Wikipedia Engagement: How Bright is the Rule?
Vol. 6, No. 2 Public Relations Journal
Exploring the Problems with Wikipedia’s Editing Rule for Public Relations
Institute for Public Relations
Infographic created by: Alexa Agugliaro & Samantha Temkin