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    Katie Delahaye Paine (twitter: KDPaine) is the CEO and founder of KDPaine & Partners LLC and author of, Measuring Public Relationships, the data-driven communicators guide to measuring success. She also writes the first blog and the first newsletters dedicated entirely to measurement and accountability. In the last two decades, she and her firm have listened to millions of conversations, analyzed thousands of articles, and asked hundreds of question in order to help her clients better understand their relationships with their constituencies. People talk, we listen..

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March 24, 2010

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go into the Discussion tab and provide the facts and nothing but the facts, with full disclosure that you work for the company, then ask the writers and editors of Wikipedia to change it on your behalf.

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I am also intrigued on what is going on with wikipedia. Every time I visit the site, I see are banners asking for money.

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Scott,

Totally agree. 99% of the time a company who cared can catch a change or wrong information faster that the fan or reader.

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Every time I see blogs as good as this I KNOW I should stop surfing and start working on mine!

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They also investigated how public opinion forms a Wikipedia article, looking at both the number of edits for an article (rigor) and diversity (total number of unique users). As it turns out, there's been a significant shift in both rigor and diversity for many companies, depending on the degree to which they have been in the headlines and how engaged they are in social media.

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Life is on its way to further complications, further deepness and mystery, further processes of becoming and change.

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Or put another way, how can a corporation, which may have a better grasp of some of the facts, be respected and accepted in this environment?

Marcia DiStaso

For more information on this research please see the full article available in the Public Relations Journal at http://www.prsa.org/Intelligence/PRJournal/

Steve Bennett

Scott, I'm a longtime Wikipedia editor. We respond well to respectful approaches from any concerned party, especially when the approach is essentially "hello, I think there is an error, please have a look at this independent resource". We respond less well to "please remove these lies, they are totally refuted in our in-house magazine". On sensitive issues, the discussion page is not the best place - it can become a shark feeding frenzy. You can email to the OTRS team in those cases:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Contact_us/Article_problem

In general, clear errors with good sources as proof will lead to swift correction. Issues of bias, undue emphasis etc will take longer to resolve, if at all.

Gregory Kohs

Unfortunately, most of the companies and academics and Wikipedians that I see discussing how corporate entities should monitor and interact with Wikipedia are (frankly) wrong. That's why I'm finishing an e-book on that very subject, forthcoming in May 2010:

http://www.mywikibiz.com/Directory:Your_Business_and_Wikipedia

KINGRPG

I like that you think. Thank you for share very much.

Marcia DiStaso

Scott,
The creation of corporate Wikipedia entries puts companies in a difficult position. Topics that many companies would rather not have highlighted often have prominent placement and there really is nothing a company can do (or should do) about it. That is, unless it is not factual information. Then, and only then, can a company edit the content in its Wikipedia entry. To do this you should post a discussion disclosing that you are writing on behalf of the company and request a change to correct the error. Another option is to send your request to info@wikimedia.org. Either way, you must provide the correct information and back it up with a citation such as media coverage. If the fact can’t be cited, it is unlikely to be changed. Plus, if the information posted is incorrect but is cited from a credible source, you are probably out of luck unless you can cite a more credible source. Factual information that is not worded as a company would like or about a topic it would rather not have highlighted should be left alone. As you mentioned, it’s a slippery slope – just remember that every change on Wikipedia is recorded and IP addresses can be traced and editing beyond the fixing of errors is unethical.

Please contact us with any other questions at mwd10@psu.edu.

Marcia & Marcus

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Scott,

Totally agree. 99% of the time a company who cared can catch a change or wrong information faster that the fan or reader. Wikipedia is an interesting resource; there is a lot of info, but hard to sort out the accurate stuff.

Kim

Hi Scott,
Try this: go into the Discussion tab and provide the facts and nothing but the facts, with full disclosure that you work for the company, then ask the writers and editors of Wikipedia to change it on your behalf.

It doesn't always work, but it's the least abrasive way to try to edit your company's Wikipedia page.

Good luck.

Kim Bratanata
PR & social media
SWIFT

Scott Monty

Great reminder, Katie. But the real conundrum for corporations isn't the monitoring aspect; it's how can a company credibly change its own Wikipedia entry, without backlash from the Wikipedia community that values unbiased perspectives in its entries?

Or put another way, how can a corporation, which may have a better grasp of some of the facts, be respected and accepted in this environment? Having an agency change it for them is a slippery slope, and employee engagement is questionable based on Wikipedia's rules. There's certainly the fan base, but unless the fans are rabidly following the news, there may be some errors on the page that the company would find before the fan. I can't see companies issuing alerts or advisories to fans, asking them to help correct the entries on a regular basis.

Have you heard of a reasonable way to approach this?

Scott Monty
Global Digital Communications
Ford Motor Company

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