Though Wikipedia may not gain as much attention as its social networking cousins, professional communicators may find that it carries a lot more weight and garners a lot more attention than one-off tweet-fests or short-lived Facebook campaigns.
It is virtually impossible to do a Google or Yahoo search without having the site turn up. In just 10 short years, the not-for-profit encyclopedia has grown to encompass more than 3.5 million English language articles and pulls in almost 4 million unique visitors a month. In the United States, Wikipedia now outranks sites such as Apple and The New York Times in terms of page views.
For professional communicators, Wikipedia also distinguishes itself as a pure-play PR opportunity. The site does not accept advertising and will quickly remove any entries that are seen as being overly promotional in nature. But in this arena, PR pros are the masters: We know how to walk the fine line between informing and promoting.
Given the devout neutrality of the site, communicators must tread carefully or they risk having their content pulled down by Wikipedia’s “cabal” of editors. Even so, there are multiple ways that using Wikipedia can help you achieve your communications goals. Here are three: