The Public Relations Society of America published a new survey
of public relations professionals on the relationship between brands and Wikipedia, following up on the one it published last year.
The survey of 1,620 PR pros found that 80 percent of respondents believe that the public sees Wikipedia as a credible resource. About 60 percent of PR pros feel it is common practice to edit Wikipedia articles on behalf of a client or employer and 12.5 percent of PR pros in North America believe it's common practice to pose as someone else to make edits.
Out of the 40 percent of respondents that made edits to Wikipedia, about three-quarters made the edits directly rather than proposing changes on the Talk page of the article. Wikipedia's community news site, the Wikipedia Signpost, noted that the study shows the majority of PR pros that participate are violating Wikipedia's conflict of interest policy, which "strongly discourages" editing articles where you have a financial connection. The guideline warns that the practice of editing pages directly may be illegal and that it can create risks of media exposure that damages the client's brand equity.