Ethical Public Relations in the New Age of Wikipedia

Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia

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David King, EthicalWiki.org
@EthicalWiki

David King, Founder and Director at Ethical Wiki, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to talk about the impact Wikipedia has on social media in today’s world, the future of PR, and how companies can better work with the Wikipedia community.

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Tweetable Moments

“The Bright Line rule is the [best] process for editing improper wiki articles” -@EthicalWiki (tweet this)

“At the end of the day, social is about people, not logos” -@JayBaer (tweet this)

Accurately Updating Wikipedia

David has vast experience in PR from his days in the Silicon Valley scene and has specialized his knowledge of Wikipedia to help corporations and firms accurately represent themselves on the site. While there’s a large market (and occasionally significant financial incentives) for putting a positive spin on, or covering up some past blunders of companies, David talks about keeping a serious focus on making sure the information is ethical and accurate to comply with Wikipedia’s intentions.

 Ethical Public Relations in the New Age of Wikipedia

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

Often, updating a company’s Wikipedia page is wrought with ethical conundrum because even simply adding a single piece of information, or deleting one can add bias to the profile. Maintaining accuracy and avoiding “Point of View Pushers” like other PR agencies and special interest groups with an agenda are key to accurately updating a profile in a way that adheres with Wikipedia’s guidelines.

As mentioned in the episode, following Jimmy Wales’ “Bright Line” rule is as close as you can get to a one-size fits all method for properly updating a Wikipedia listing. The basics include making sure you notify Wikipedia editors of your relation to the company and your commercial interest; backing your edits with credible sources and article references; and writing from a non-biased, fact based point of view. Tune in to this week’s episode to learn more about how David advises you approach your company’s Wikipedia page.

Social Media Number of the Week: 50,000 miles

It’s only February and Jeff has already surpasses 50,000 frequent flier miles with United Airlines, and he points out the challenge airlines face now that everyone is a publisher with social media.

He mentions the flight that needed to conduct an emergency landing, and the airline operating the flight needing to ask a Twitter user what the flight number was because they couldn’t update their own internal systems as quickly as a passenger could report the incident via Twitter.

While airlines certainly will have their hands full trying to maintain their own timely knowledge of what’s going on, Jay just cleared 16,000 airline miles and tracks his miles, flights, changes and delays with Tripit Pro.

Holy Social!

Water.org has been running an interesting and unique social media campaign for their non-profit mission to make clean drinking water available across the globe.

Below the slider on their website, you have the option to “Donate Your Voice” and in one click, supporters can donate their social media profiles to occasionally update with interesting facts and updates to drive more engagement with their clean water cause.

This leverages the power of their audience and allows those who may not have the financial means to lend their assistance in a way they can, by donating their voice.

The Big Two

What’s your one tip for becoming a social pro?
“Experience. I think one of the biggest differences between things like Wikipedia and Twitter or Facebook is barrier to entry.”  From his perspective, David says that anyone can be a publisher with most social media channels but Wikipedia requires experience and the test of time.

If you could do a Skype call with any living person, who would it be?
Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia or some of the top Wikipedia editors.

See you next week!