Adding CSR Efforts to Wikipedia: Go the Indirect Route

It is against Wikipedia policies to add your CSR efforts (or anything else) to your company’s Wikipedia entry. Instead, what you currently have to do is rely on the Wikipedia community of editors to make the necessary edits, says Marcia W. DiStaso, PhD, assistant professor of public relations in the College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University, and Marcus Messner, PhD, assistant professor of mass communications at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

This can be accomplished by following these guidelines:

1. Never directly edit your Wikipedia entry.

2. Communicate with the Wikipedia community through the talk pages by notifying them about the content you wish to add. This content needs to be:

A. In a neutral tone.

  • B. Supported with references from reputable news organizations. Information without references will not be added and, on the same hand, existing content without references should be removed if you ask.

  • C. Flagged with {{edit request}} to aid in it being dealt with relatively quickly by the Wikipedia editors.

  • D. Made with your identity and affiliation disclosed.

3. When adding CSR content consider adding content that focuses on the output or the actual benefits of the effort. 

PR News subscribers can read more about CSR entries in Wikipedia in the article: "Increase CSR Awareness: Add Your Organization’s Successes to Wikipedia."

Follow Scott Van Camp: @svancamp01 

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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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