June 11, 2014 — The Council of Public Relations Firms has added its support to the effort underway to forge a better relationship between communications firms and the Wikipedia community.  PR firms should have the opportunity to contribute to Wikipedia on behalf of clients, but they should also agree to comply with Wikipedia policies.

This initiative is aligned with our own Code of Ethics and Principles, which is signed each year by our members. By doing this, Council members are committing to many of the core principles included in the new Wikipedia pledge – accuracy, truthfulness, transparency and disclosure.

We strongly endorse a movement that encourages practices that will increase society’s confidence in the practice of public relations.


Statement on Wikipedia from Participating Communications Firms

On behalf of our firms, we recognize 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.

We therefore publicly state and commit, on behalf of our respective firms, to the best of our ability, 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 Service
  • 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 publicize our views and counsel our clients and peers to conduct themselves accordingly.

We also 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.

Read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Statement_on_Wikipedia_from_participating_communications_firms