Developments in online media are throwing up a range of new challenges for those of us in marketing and public relations.
In a previous edition of Crystal PR's newsletter, I spoke of the threat posed by inaccurate stories which while they may be subject to a correction in the printed format of a publication, may still appear online following a search of the media’s archive, without any reference to the correction, unless action is taken to ensure the media revise the online entry.
In recent weeks the Wikipedia site has been the subject of considerable controversy within the PR sector. PR practitioners at some of the biggest agencies have been accused of sureptitiously registering with the online giant in order that they can amend the ‘inaccurate’ entries of their corporate clients. In turn, PR professionals have argued that they had to resort to this action because untruthful and potentially damaging information on a company was remaining on the site for far too long before the Wikipedia content providers took action.
It is an unsatisfactory situation which both sides are hoping can be resolved. PR Week has reported that representatives from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and Wikipedia’s owners are planning to draw up a best practice guide. This would sit alongside the process by which individuals can apply to amend inaccurate content which is already available for everyone to use.
No one can afford to ignore the potential impact of the Wikipedia site whose entries are invariably on the front page of any search results and which expects during the course of this year to reach 500 million unique users a month.