Actively help shape our industry - Wikipedia and PR

Wed, Jun 20 2012

Following suggestions of undisclosed editing of Wikipedia entries by individual public relations firms late last year, a partnership is being set up to create mutual understanding for mutual advantage between PR professionals and the Wikipedia community.

The first step is guidance for public relations professionals outlining how best to engage with the Wikipedia community. The guidance has been hosted on an open wiki and is open for editing until 23:59 (GMT) on Sunday 24 June. This is your chance to help shape our industry on this important topic.

A bit more background

The CIPR (our equivalent in the UK) partnered with Wikimedia UK, the local chapter behind Wikipedia in the UK earlier this year following these suggestions.

Jane Wilson, CIPR CEO, said "the guidance is open to public relations professionals to offer their view, but most importantly, we want Wikipedians to give us balanced and constructive feedback on our proposal. The end result will be a set of guidelines for public relations professionals to use if they want to engage with or through Wikipedia. Take a quick look at the talk page and you’ll see that the debate is already extensive. Take a longer look and you’ll see the challenge that lies ahead". 

Jon Bisset, PRIA CEO is excited about being involved in the initiative, and what it means for our membership.  "This initiative opens the floor up for our members in Australia to be part of the international conversation shaping the industry on a global scale.  We are delighted to be involved in the process and encourage our members to participate", he said. 

You can read the entire release here.

The entry as it is now

What you can do

This draft document provides an opportunity for you to be part of the debate, to discuss your views, your opinions and your experiences of the Wikipedia editing process. It also provides an opportunity to show that we can work together with Wikipedians, to build mutual understanding, and produce an evolving resource that will shape the way our profession interacts with a resource of such influence.

You can read the entire article here.

How you do it

Scroll down this article for your step-by-step guide on how to make your suggestions.

Why you should do it

This gives you the opportunity to be part of an international conversation around important matters that shape our industry.  With the goal posts moving and shifting with the ever changing (digital) landscape, take this opportunity to have real input and impact on the final outcome. 

Want to know more?

Tune into at 17:00 GMT 20 June 2012 (3am on 21/06 here!) to see for yourself the well documented (and sometimes volatile) relationship between the public relations profession and the Wikipedia community.

To hear both sides of the debate, tune into CIPR TV where guests David Gerard, active volunteer for Wikimedia UK, and Philip Sheldrake, Founder of Meanwhile and regular presenter of CIPR TV, will discuss how best practice guidelines for public relations professionals are the first step on a long road to mutual respect between both communities.

You can be a part of the show by submitting your question either via the website or tweet using the hashtag #CIPRtv.”

We will send you a youtube link once the show has aired.

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