Add your voice to the PR and Wikipedia conversation

Here’s a plea to PR practitioners this Jubilee Bank Holiday Monday and Tuesday – give just 15 minutes of your time in contributing your thoughts to the online discussion about public relations and Wikipedia being spearheaded by the CIPR and some members of the Wikipedia community.

The discussion is focused on the CIPR’s draft Best Practice Guidelines for Wikipedia that Philip Sheldrake and I outlined in a concise presentation to the Wikimedia UK annual general meeting in London last month.

The draft document was prepared by the CIPR’s Social Media Panel. It’s intended to be a cornerstone of plans in development for education and awareness-raising among CIPR’s membership about Wikipedia, PR’s relationship with it and best-practice approaches to engaging with the community to address content creation and editing.

You can read the draft guidelines on a Wikimedia wiki, and add your opinion and comment to the talk (discussion) page.

If you read what’s currently in that page, you’ll note that there are many comments from Wikipedians – most startlingly frank – but it’s extremely light on comment from the PR community. The stalwart voices in there are primarily Philip Sheldrake and the CIPR’s Phil Morgan.

If you’re in the PR business, you surely do have opinions about Wikipedia. That’s certainly what I hear from a great many PRs, usually talking about how difficult it is to edit content, often accompanied by comment about how obscure and mysterious Wikipedia is, and how little help you get.

Well, here’s your opportunity to join a public conversation where you can address such topics, and add your voice to influence where the overall conversation goes. You have a great opportunity to influence the opinions of others and even influence the shape of eventual policy of the UK organization that represents the public relations profession in this country about PR and Wikipedia.

In the process, you might even understand more about Wikipedia and Wikipedians and what makes the whole thing tick.

If you’re put off by having to edit a wiki the Wikimedia way – not an easy task for some people especially if you’ve never done it before – the CIPR’s Andy Ross has written a most helpful 3-step guide to being part of the wiki debate that includes advice on how to set up a user account on the Wikimedia wiki and then add comments to the talk page. Very handy.

If you prefer, you can add your voice to the conversation on your own blog, if you have one; on a social network like Facebook or Google+; or any other place online where you’re comfortable talking.

There’s still time before the CIPR takes the draft and considers comments before publishing the guidance as version 1.0 later this month.

The main point is – if you have an opinion, add your voice! Thanks.

Additional reading:

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. James Crawford

    The notes and guidance is all fairly comprehensiveness Neville and I can’t think of anything else to add. In fact I’ll bookmark this on Delicious so I can share it with new starters as guidance. Also, possibly relevant for clients too.

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