Wikipedia, PR and the importance of transparency

A PR firm is embroiled in controversy over its promise to edit company Wikipedia articles using ‘sock-puppet’ editors. Staying above board is always better.

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Too many public relations crises are caused by a practitioner’s decision not to reveal his or her affiliation with a client. As more and more PR work moves into the digital sphere, where content can be scrutinized by a huge number of readers at any time, it is more important than ever to be transparent about the work of your PR team. Good PR teams push for more transparency and accountability, not less, and they work to build better trust in a company. When the opposite happens—on Wikipedia or elsewhere—it will create more PR headaches, not solve them. To avoid this kind of unforced error, apply what we’ll call the “Wikipedia test” and ask yourself and your team:

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