Why ‘Wikipedia editing’ should be on your skills list

It might sound crazy, but this author argues that every PR pro and marketer should include in their list of skills the ability to properly edit Wikipedia articles. Here’s why.

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It is time to add Wikipedia to your list of communication skills.

Yes, you should know how to create and edit a Wikipedia article.

Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia. If you represent a company or client that pays you, though, writing and editing are, for the most part, out of bounds. Your Wikipedia competency must include an understanding of the often labyrinthine process for changing an article.

The issue of marketing and PR workers editing articles on their clients’ behalf has been around nearly as long as Wikipedia has. But the mounting revelations of misbehavior did little to curtail the practices, mainly because there wasn’t a specific mandate for communicators to abide by Wikipedia’s often confusing, and sometimes contradictory, policies and guidelines.

Most people in the Wikipedia community don’t seem to have a problem with a paid representative making simple, factual corrections. Say your client employs 15,000 people, but the Wikipedia article says 150,000. It’s OK if you delete that extra zero.

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