A Few Basics When Creating a Wikipedia Page

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Whether you are researching a topic for a pitch, checking the details of a potential client, or just plain curious about a subject, Wikipedia is undoubtedly one of your top resources for information.  That being said, have you ever created or contributed to one?  When you think about it, having the know-how to design such a major asset for a client can be a huge win for them and your team.  Creating a Wikiedia page can be quite the task, especially considering the how-to that they provide.  Not that they aren’t informative, but WOW the amount of rules and regulations can be quite daunting.  There can be pressure to make sure a client is represented in a positive light, however you also must be honest and informative.  Here’s a few tips to get you started:

  1. First, if you want to contribute to Wikipedia you must create a profile.  It’s super easy and anyone can do it.  It’s the standard profile you would create on almost any other site.
  2. The number one rule of thumb within Wikipedia is to contribute true and referenced information.  Basically meaning any and all info you put up there must be verified elsewhere.
  3. Information presented cannot be praiseful, only factual.  Meaning if you want to write something in a positive manner you will have to get a bit creative, but that’s why you’re in marketing right?!  Here’s an example:

    UNACCEPTABLE: “John Doe’s website is amazing and he is the best at promoting himself as an artist.”

    ACCEPTABLE: “Doe has turned his moniker and website, “John Doe,” into a brand in itself.”

  4. When creating an article about a person, refer to them in a professional manner.  For the most part, this means addressing them by their last name:

    UNACCEPTABLE: “John is currently the highest grossing artist in the nation.”

    ACCEPTABLE “Doe is currently the highest grossing artist in the nation.”

  5. Use quotes!  The best way to add that extra bit of zing to an article is to add quotes from notable sources to share a clients accomplishments.
  6. Reference/contribute to other articles BEFORE creating one.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for creativity and blazing your own path, but in this case there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.  Look at the formatting, context, and content of other, well-established Wiki’s and take notes.  Better yet, do some research and add to those pages!
  7. DO NOT advertise or promote a business/client.  Remember, this is solely an informative site, not a place to sell.  This may be a bit confusing as isn’t that your job as a marketer?  Perhaps, but creating a relevant Wikipedia page that will last is doing just that: informing people on a topic of importance and interest.  If you put up a juiced up sales pitch that has no business being there, it will be taken down soon anyway and your credibility may go along with it.
  8. Reference everything!  Yes I said this in bullet point number two, however it is so important that I’m putting it twice.  Any accomplishments, quotes, contributions, ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING must be referenced.  This is what will give your Wiki credibility and keep it established.

These are just a few basic tips to get you started, there is A LOT more to go through, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you right off the bat (follow up post?).  Wikipedia states that you should not write about friends, a website, or basically topics you are particularly close to.  The idea behind this is that you may not present information in a neutral manner, I believe that as long as you can stick to their rules then go for it!  Bottom line…Wikipedia is an amazing tool where everyone goes for information, so why not play a part in creating another asset for your client?  Good luck!