What’s your thought on editing Wikipedia?

February 14, 2012

PRSA Chair and CEO Gerard Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA, is circulating a letter to leaders with this request. Read on and take the survey…

I am writing you today to provide information on a matter of importance to every PRSA member. PRSA has been engaging in a series of discussions regarding the proper role of public relations professionals in editing entries on Wikipedia, the self-described “free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.” Given that Wikipedia is one of the most widely used information resources in the world, we believe it is important that our members are made aware of this ongoing debate.

Marcia DiStaso, co-chair of PRSA’s National Research Committee, has developed a survey that examines the profession’s experiences with Wikipedia. You can take the survey here.

Survey: Wikipedia and PR

We believe that PR professionals should engage with Wikipedia in a responsible manner that respects the community’s rules and protocols, while also ensuring they act in their clients’ best interests. But the engagement must be a two-way street in which Wikipedia is willing to see and accommodate both sides of the issue.

We have made this position clear in a variety of forums. Recently, I wrote an op-ed for technology news publication, Techdirt, in which I made the case the for PR professionals editing Wikipedia. We have also provided the profession’s perspective in PRWeek, The Financial Times and through a special Facebook group dedicated to this discussion.

There are many other initiatives and causes in which PRSA is currently engaged.  From modernizing the definition of public relations to enhancing the business value of public relations, we are committed to advancing the profession and the public relations professional. We hope you will continue to stand beside us in this commitment by encouraging your members to share their wisdom via this important PRSA survey.

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. Your input is always welcomed and appreciated.

Best regards,

Gerard Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA
PRSA Chair and CEO