Feb 6, 2018
According to Alexa, Wikipedia is the sixth most visited website in the U.S. and the fifth most visited in the world. When you Google famous people, places, or companies, their Wikipedia pages usually come up as the first or second result. If you’re a company that already has a Wikipedia page, then monitoring what’s written on it is vital to your reputation management strategy. If you don’t have your own Wikipedia page, then you may aspire to create one for yourself.
But this is where companies often get into trouble. Wikipedia has strict conflict of interest rules, and the site’s army of dedicated editors and admins are often quick to reverse undisclosed edits from conflicted parties. Abuse the rules too much, and you may get yourself banned or, even worse, attract attention to your page from activists who want to do your brand harm.
So what’s a company to do if it wants to edit its Wikipedia page without running afoul of Wikipedia’s rules? You’ll want to call a guy like Bill Beutler. Beutler, founder of a company called Beutler Ink, has been conducting Wikipedia consulting for almost a decade and led a coalition of PR firms in developing a code of ethics for Wikipedia editing. I spoke to Bill about how he fell into his line of work and how he navigates Wikipedia’s regulations on behalf of clients.