Eleven major PR firms have recently pledged to act ethically in the way they treat client entries on Wikipedia. This was after the Wikimedia Foundation had investigated over 300 fake accounts set up by people acting for a PR agency intent on removing damaging facts from client entries. The BBC report1 made no suggestion that any of these eleven signatories were involved.
This really goes to the heart of what good PR is about, which is managing the perception and reputation of clients. This particular episode does neither the agency in question nor its clients any good at all. Wikipedia is an incredible information asset built largely on trust, and to abuse that is not spin but sin!
It’s vital for PR professionals to build confidence in the reliability and accuracy of material produced for clients.
By Ronnie Gunn
- PR firms pledge ethical use of Wikipedia http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27816379
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