Report: PR pros should not edit their client’s Wikipedia entries

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations joined with several other PR trade groups to form guidelines for editing Wikipedia entries. The PRSA, however, sat this one out.

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Don’t dive in there and correct it yourself, according to new guidelines from the U.K.-based Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

“Public relations professionals should not directly edit Wikipedia under any circumstances where they have a conflict of interest and should instead suggest amendments for consideration by Wikipedia’s editors,” the CIPR said in a press release.

The recommendations come after several high-profile instances of PR firms or departments caught manipulating Wikipedia entries, most notably Bell Pottinger in the U.K.

“The main theme of the guidance is quite simple,” Jane Wilson, chief executive officer of the CIPR, said in a press release. “Where there is a clear conflict of interest created by the relationship between the public relations professional and the subject of the Wikipedia entry, such as a client or employer, they should not directly edit it.

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