Wikipedia is one of the World’s most important sources of information online, accounting for 8% of global internet traffic with around 60 million unique visitors a month. As such, it can play an important role in managing a company’s public perception and reputation – but recent research has revealed that firms are failing to actively manage these challenges and capitalise on the available opportunities. 

The study by Lundquist, an international strategic communications consultancy, looks at how Italian companies are featured on Wikipedia and forms part of its research series examining how companies are taking advantage of new trends in web communications. 

The study found that, despite having dedicated Wikipedia articles, information on most major Italian companies is generally limited, scoring on average just 8.4 out of a possible 18 points for completeness. One reason could be that companies have been scared off engaging with online communities following a variety of scandals involving corporate manipulation of Wikipedia articles.

Effective public relations with online communities has had proven success, however. Fiat, for example, has achieved high viewing figures for its corporate information on Wikipedia as a result of engaging directly with the site’s editors. 

“The most important thing for companies is to realise that Wikipedia can boost their international profile,” said Joakim Lundquist, founding partner of Lundquist Srl.

Tips from the report include:

  • Respect the Wikipedia community and understand how the site works
  • Only edit the verifiable facts in your article, such as no. of employees.
  • Make copy-right free images and media available for Wikipedia
  • Use discussion pages to interact with Wikipedia editors and express opinions
  • Monitor your Wikipedia article for updates and vandalism.

For more about the study and its findings, download the Executive summary >