Industry groups release Wikipedia ‘manual’ for PR pros

William Beutler, founder of Beutler Ink, wrote the guide, and it’s being released in conjunction with the Council of Public Relations Firms and the Institute for Public Relations.

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In June, a coalition of PR agencies signed a pledge in which they promised not to secretly edit clients’ pages on Wikipedia. They also promised “to seek to better understand the fundamental principles guiding Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.”

Here’s the follow-through on that promise, a 20-page Wikipedia manual for communications and PR professionals, written by Beutler Ink founder William Beutler. Beutler Ink was one of the 35 agencies to sign the Wikipedia pledge, and Beutler himself was an outspoken proponent of the move.

The guide itself covers a lot of ground, such as what to do when you get into a disagreement with a Wikipedia editor, how to add images, what to do in the event that an article is derogatory, dealing with vandalism, and how to define a Wikipedia conflict of interest. It also digs into how agencies should implement organization-wide Wikipedia policies.

Here’s what it suggests could be added to a firm’s social media policy:

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