A group of agencies – including Ogilvy & Mather, Ketchum, Edelman, Porter Novelli and more – have teamed to uphold the principles of Wikipedia and investigate potential violations of Wikipedia policies.
Making the announcement on Wikipedia, the group stated: “On behalf of our firms, we recognise Wikipedia’s unique and important role as a public knowledge resource. We also acknowledge that the prior actions of some in our industry have led to a challenging relationship with the community of Wikipedia editors.
“Our firms believe that it is in the best interest of our industry, and Wikipedia users at large, that Wikipedia fulfill its mission of developing an accurate and objective online encyclopedia. Therefore, it is wise for communications professionals to follow Wikipedia policies as part of ethical engagement practices.”
This is not the first time that the industry has spoken out against undisclosed editing of Wikipedia entries by individual public relations firms. In 2012 the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) announced plans to work with Wikipedia, to provide members with guidance on how to interact with the Wikipedia community.
Of the new commitment Marshall Manson, EAME head of Social@Ogilvy, said: “Through a day-long discussion, and weeks of follow up conversations, we realised that it was up to the industry to take the first step.
“The result is today’s statement, in which Ogilvy, together with other agencies including Edelman, Burson-Marsteller, FleishmanHillard, Ketchum, VoceConnect, Peppercomm and Allison + Partners, reaffirms our commitment to following Wikipedia’s principles and pledges to do our utmost to ensure that employees and clients do the same.
“This represents the first time (that any of us can find), where a group of agencies has expressed itself with one voice on an issue like this.”
The partnership between agencies will see the group seek opportunities for a productive and transparent dialogue with Wikipedia editors, with the aim to provide accurate, up-to-date, and verifiable information that helps Wikipedia better achieve its goals.