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Comms agencies “intend to do right” by Wikipedia

Ogilvy & Mather, FleishmanHillard, Weber Shandwick and more sign statement on online encyclopaedia
Wikipedia logo

Following a roundtable discussion earlier this year, a number of communications firms and professional bodies have issued a statement on their commitment to Wikipedia and its continued credibility.

Published on Wikipedia, the statement was backed by more than 30 leading firms, including Ogilvy & Mather, FleishmanHillard and Weber Shandwick. Other signatories active in the healthcare sector include Porter Novelli, Edelman and the Chandler Chicco Companies.

The statement was also supported by professional organisations the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the Institute for Public Relations and the Council of Public Relations Firms.

“We recognise Wikipedia's unique and important role as a public knowledge resource,” said the statement, acknowledging the growth of the website as the first port of call for patients and healthcare professionals when it comes to healthcare information.

“We also acknowledge that the prior actions of some in our industry have led to a challenging relationship with the community of Wikipedia editors,” it added, before going on to commit to abide by the following principles:

  • To seek to better understand the fundamental principles guiding Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects
  • To act in accordance with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, particularly those related to 'conflict of interest'
  • To abide by the Wikimedia Foundation's terms of use
  • To the extent we become aware of potential violations of Wikipedia policies by our respective firms, to investigate the matter and seek corrective action, as appropriate and consistent with our policies
  • Beyond our own firms, to take steps to publicise our views and counsel our clients and peers to conduct themselves accordingly.

The signatories also agreed to 'seek opportunities for a productive and transparent dialogue with Wikipedia editors, inasmuch as we can provide accurate, up-to-date, and verifiable information that helps Wikipedia better achieve its goals'.

“A significant improvement in relations between our two communities may not occur quickly or easily, but it is our intention to do what we can to create a long-term positive change and contribute toward Wikipedia's continued success,” concluded the statement.

Article by
Tara Craig

30th June 2014

From: Marketing, Healthcare

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