CIPR signs up to international movement of communications agencies and organisations to ‘do right by Wikipedia’
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has added its support as a signatory to an international movement of communications agencies and other participating organisations who are working together to further the understanding of Wikipedia.
In doing so, the Institute commits to ‘do right by Wikipedia’ and advocate the principle that professional communicators' actions should support Wikipedia’s stated goals of accuracy and objectivity.
This comes just weeks after the CIPR Social Media Panel published an updated version of their ‘Wikipedia Best Practice Guidance for Public Relations Professionals’.
Statement on Wikipedia from participating communications firms
On behalf of our firms and other participating organisations, we recognize Wikipedia's unique and important role as a public knowledge resource. We also acknowledge that the prior actions of some in our industry have led to a challenging relationship with the community of Wikipedia editors.
Our firms and other participating organisations believe that it is in the best interest of our industry, and Wikipedia users at large, that Wikipedia fulfill its mission of developing an accurate and objective online encyclopedia. Therefore, it is wise for communications professionals to follow Wikipedia policies as part of ethical engagement practices.
We therefore publicly state and commit, on behalf of our respective firms and other participating organisations, to the best of our ability, to abide by the following principles:
- To seek to better understand the fundamental principles guiding Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.
- To act in accordance with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, particularly those related to "conflict of interest."
- To the extent we become aware of potential violations of Wikipedia policies by our respective firms and other participating organisations, to investigate the matter and seek corrective action, as appropriate and consistent with our policies.
- Beyond our own firms and other participating organisations, to take steps to publicize our views and counsel our clients and peers to conduct themselves accordingly.
We also seek opportunities for a productive and transparent dialogue with Wikipedia editors, inasmuch as we can provide accurate, up-to-date, and verifiable information that helps Wikipedia better achieve its goals.
A significant improvement in relations between our two communities may not occur quickly or easily, but it is our intention to do what we can to create a long-term positive change and contribute toward Wikipedia's continued success.
Participating firms and other organisations
The following list comprises the names of all firms and other participating organisations who have signed up to the statement above:
- Beutler Ink
- Ogilvy & Mather
- Porter Novelli
- Voce Communications
- MDC Partners
- Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Background and further information on how to participate can be found via Wikipedia.
This is a significant milestone in promoting greater understanding and a better working relationship between public relations professionals and Wikipedia editors. I hope that other public relations practitioners and firms support the lead of this initial group of agencies and organisations and pledge their support.
Notes to editors
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.
The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).