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Utilizing Wikipedia as a PR Tool

Dec 09

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia covering just about every topic out there. It is maintained by a worldwide community of volunteers, who routinely edit and update the information. PR professionals can help their clients be part of Wikipedia either by creating an original article (often referred to as “entry”) or ensuring an existing article is up-to-date.

How Wikipedia Helps PR

  • It’s credible: With high standards for its articles, Wikipedia maintains accurate information that consumers and media can rely on.
  • It’s popular: As one of the leading online encyclopedias, it’s estimated that traffic has risen by about 170% in the past few years alone. If your content is there, people will have easy access to it.
  • It’s editable: Because articles can be edited by anyone, you have some control over what is published, and you can report inaccurate information.  As your clients evolve, so too can their Wikipedia entry.
  • It drives traffic: The site is highly ranked by Google and other search engines; an article in Wikipedia can greatly boost traffic to your website.

Wikipedia Checklist

Before submitting an article for Wikipedia, make sure you fit the required criteria:

  • Be sure your topic is notable. By Wikipedia’s standards, a topic is considered notable if it has been written about or featured in an independent, authoritative publication.
  • Make sure your article is unbiased. Write from an objective point of view.  Read Wikipedia’s page on neutral point of view here.
  • Study the most popular pages on Wikipedia to get a sense for how they are written. Examples are here.

How to Leverage Your Wikipedia Article

Once your article is posted to Wikipedia, there are several ways to leverage it within your PR campaign strategy.

  • Explore Wikipedia to see if any other topics naturally relate to your content and provide a link from one to the other to generate additional traffic.
  • Include external links to other content on the company/company employees. These are valuable for referral link traffic, although harder to keep listed.
  • Consider consulting a backlink analyzer to discover which external websites are linking to your Wikipedia page (such as Yahoo! Page Links).

Wikipedia is a valuable tool in a PR professional’s toolkit, allowing for the dissemination of accurate company information, while simultaneously generating site traffic.

Lisa Graham
Zer0 to 5ive Strategist
Twitter: @LisaMargetich

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