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This post on Wikipedia pages came during a discussion I had with Caroline Calloway, CEO and founder of Bolt PR with public relations offices in Irvine, California, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Dallas, Texas.
Owners running a small business need to get their business noticed and some outlets may not be a good fit now but could be in the future. Read this to see if Wikipedia works for you and your company.
Let others do the talking
Wikipedia strives to have content that is neutral and comes from third party sources. This means you can't jump on and only write positive things about yourself or your company.
Someone else needs to get on and write about you. After a page is up and live, other contributors can jump in and edit to add information or possibly delete information.
How many sources talk about you?
If the only place you've ever been mentioned is on your best friend's blog then don't create a Wikipedia page for exposure.
Citations are important for Wikipedia to agree that your page is notable.
If you have been interviewed in community newspapers and credible online sites that's great. Those are third party sources that can be cited. Press release sites could get flagged and deleted as not being credible and a warning to readers could appear on the page.
For companies that have been around for decades, there may be books or files in the local historical society or local library.
We know that companies and people make mistakes even as we strive to be successes. Not every word said about you on Wikipedia should be stellar compliments. Ask yourself, "Do I trust someone who never claims to have goofed?"
Have you had to defend your company in court or has some organization taken action against you? Those details may come out on your Wikipedia page.
However, Wikipedia strives to be neutral so there shouldn't be anything egregious, either.
The facts should be reported without adding an editorial slant.
What happens if my page …
Has only partial information or no references?
It's possible the page can go live but "badges" will appear at the beginning asking contributors to add information and cite references. A page can be started as a "stub" and information added by future contributors.
Who works behind the scenes on Wikipedia pages?
Volunteers of varying degrees of expertise make Wikipedia hum along. These are "users" who may have their own pages with a list of contributions made.
There are templates to work with to get a site up and volunteer editors will check submissions to clean up technical errors and review that information has a neutral point of view.
Wikipedia can be a great place to expose your business, but the site strives to be an encyclopedia of information for readers.
If you can envision your company or the key executives who work with you giving out encyclopedia-type information then you will be able to create a high quality Wikipedia page.
The site usually ranks high in search engine results but there's no need to rush in and create a page if you only have scant information.
Wikipedia should be seen as one part of an overall public relations and marketing effort, and the site will be around for a long time to come.
Click here for Wikipedia's neutral point of view standards.