Eleven prominent public relations agencies published a statement last month pledging to respect Wikipedia’s terms of service. The action followed a recent roundtable discussion organized in Washington, D.C. between PR professionals, the Wikipedia community and academic representatives.
Ongoing tension has existed between the PR industry and Wikipedia for years with some PR pros favorably altering their company or clients’ pages, which conflicts with the site’s editing guidelines.
This new resolution appears to be the first step in righting the wrongs committed and helping to educate the industry on the proper use of the site. The statement’s signatories plan to continue meeting with Wikipedia representatives to establish guidelines for dealing with future violations.
Time will tell whether all agencies commit to following the site’s rules, but this statement has certainly brought the issue to public light and set a precedent for the industry moving forward.