Sixty percent of Wikipedia articles about companies contain factual errors, according to research published today in the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) scholarly publication, Public Relations Journal. Findings from the research will help establish a baseline of understanding for how public relations professionals work with Wikipedia editors to achieve accuracy in their clients’ entries.
- Wikipedia rules, policies and guidelines need to be clarified to consistently reflect what public relations and corporate communications professionals should and should not do concerning the editing of entries.
- Public relations and corporate communications professionals should regularly review their employers’ and/or clients’ Wikipedia articles for accuracy and balance. Inaccurate or misleading information should be brought to the attention of Wikipedia editors via an entry’s “Talk” page, and regular follow-up and dialogue should take place between public relations professionals and Wikipedia editors.
- If errors are found or if public relations professionals believe content needs to be added or changed, they should refer to the Wikipedia Engagement Flowchart, available on Wikimedia Commons, for guidance on requesting edits.
“The editing of Wikipedia by public relations and corporate communications professionals is a serious issue and one that needs to be addressed by everyone,” says DiStaso. “The status quo can’t continue. A high amount of factual errors doesn’t work for anyone, especially the public, which relies on Wikipedia for accurate, balanced information.”