April 21, 2009 Wikipedia POV Page3 of 4
Wikipedia editors and users appreciate articles enriched with relevant images,diagrams, logos, audio, video, and other media. Most biopharmaceutical companies have a wealth of such media assets. If they are willing to make these assets freely available under the GNU FreeDistribution License (GFDL)
they can upload them to WikiMedia Commons
then make their availabilityknown on the talk pages of relevant articles.
Correcting simple errors.
Editors from industry can build trust with other community members, whilegaining valuable experience in the Wikipedia editing process, by correcting grammatical mistakes,misspellings, punctuation errors, neutral errors of fact, and other simple copy edits. To be sure you
adhere to Wikipedia’s markup and style conventio
ns, consult the Editing Help page
Engaging with Wikipedia comes with a definite learning curve; requires an ongoing investment of time and aclear risk-management strategy; and delivers a softer ROI than many marketers are used to. Not engaging,however, with this highly visible, influential, and rapidly evolving source of health information
at least on aminimal level
carries its own risks and costs and is, in our opinion, an unacceptably missed opportunity.For those companies that choose engagement, Digitas Health recommends the following best practices
Name a single point of contact.
While multiple individuals within your company can and should beaware of Wikipedia content relevant to their professional responsibilities and interests, only one personin your organization should be empowered to interact directly with Wikipedia
or to delegate to othersand supervise them in doing so. Given the culture of the Wikipedia community, and its vigilance inrooting out promotional or otherwise self-interested content, it is highly desirable that the Wikipediapoint person not come from marketing but from a more neutral function, such as corporate affairs orinvestor relations, that is accustomed to providing information for use by external media and/oranalysts. For areas where special expertise is required, delegate to individuals from non-commercialfunctions, such as medical affairs, clinical development, or drug information.2.
Create and promulgate a clear policy.
and every external marketing and PR agencyworking on your business
should know exactly what the rules of engagement are and who they shouldcontact if they have questions, concerns, or suggestions.3.
Audit your company’s editing history.
Use WikiScanner to identify any individuals who may have, in the
past, edited Wikipedia articles on your company’s behalf,
and make them a priority for educating about
your company’s new policies.
Monitor your sphere of interest.
Every Wikipedia article has a “Watch” tab, which logged
-in users canclick to place the article on a watchlist, which summarizes all changes made to that article. Identify allof the therapeutic categories, drug classes, conditions, corporate executives, products, and trademarks(your own and those of your competitors) for which articles already exist, and place them on yourwatchlist to be sure you are aware of all developments in the highly fluid Wikipedia environment. Alsokeep a regularly updated list of relevant topics for which no articles yet exist.5.
Document inaccuracies and provide evidence.
If you find information you believe to be factuallyincorrect or incomplete, make careful note of it, then assemble the evidence to rebut or complete it.
Wikipedia’s guidelines require that articles be based on “reliable, third
-party, published sources with areputation for fact-checking and accuracy
and articles with inadequate sourcing are subject tochallenge and deletion.6.
Wikipedia policy does not permit company accounts, and evidence of account sharing isgrounds for blocking the account. Create separate, identifiable, accounts for all individuals in yourcompany authorized to participate in Wikipedia (as direct contacts or WikiProject participants) and
declare their affiliation prominently on their profile pages. (Wikipedia’s username policy disallows
usernames including company names or website addresses, but strongly encourages declaration of affiliation in profiles.)