Wikimedia UK hosts CIPR guidance for PR profession
Wikimedia this week agreed to host draft guidelines for the public relations profession on using Wikipedia. The guidance, which was written by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Social Media Panel, is now open for consultation before being finalised later this year.
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.
The Wikipedia guidance is openly available for anyone with an opinion to comment so if you have a relevant view about Wikipedia and public relations that you wish to share, this is your time, your place and your opportunity.
Wikipedia is a community and the public relations profession respects the community's right to set its own rules. If anyone believes the rules should be changed, then the case has to be made in a public forum for open debate, and what better forum than the community's own.
As a CIPR member, I have long been irked by the actions of some people to ‘massage’ Wikipedia content to favour their companies or clients. As a Wikipedian, I have also occasionally reverted edits that were plainly made by in-house or consultancy staff to remove negative comments or add a more ‘promotional’ tone’. As someone who has long had a foot in both camps, I am looking forward to there being some clarity about how PR people can contribute to Wikipedia; this is a positive step forward.
We welcome this approach from the PR community in what is a very sensitive area.
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).