I came across this post on PR Squared that discusses the ethical use of Wikipedia by public relations professionals. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia created by people who are knowledgeable about a certain topic, and it can be edited and changed by others. According to the blog, marketers have been known to take advantage of this public editing option by creating or editing entries that would be considered a conflict of interest to them. There are rules on Wikipedia that discourage self-promotion. Even if the people monitoring Wikipedia don’t catch you, competitors or other readers will.
Wikipedia is not the most reliable source of information and fact checking is required, but many people are not aware of this and take Wikipedia as fact. So it is important for PR professionals to monitor Wikipedia posts about their client or organization because it can severely damage their reputation if incorrect information is posted on the site. Because of this PR professionals argue that they should be able to edit the information themselves in order for it to be accurate.
What role do you see Wikipedia playing in public relations? Do you think PR professionals should work the system in order to post about their clients and organizations?