Dear all,

I've informally had discussions with some of you about how to tackle this
in the Indian context, so cross-posting this.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: William Beutler <>
Date: Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 12:05 AM
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] "Statement on Wikipedia from participating
communications firms"

Hi, everybody. Longtime lurker, first time writing to the list—the first in
a few years at least.

You may have seen some news coverage today about an initiative from a group
of public relations, marketing, and communications agencies offering a
statement, posted as a user essay on Wikipedia, stating in a public way
their intention to follow Wikipedia's rules—especially regarding WP:COI—to
educate themselves more about Wikipedia, and educate their colleagues and
clients in turn.

   - Here's the statement on Wikipedia:
   - Here's a good treatment of the subject from PR Week:
   - Here's a good blog post from Phil Gomes (User:Philgomes) about his
   agency's participation in it:

This is a project I've led for a few months now, following a meeting in DC
in February, bringing together a number of big agency representatives with
individuals from the Wikipedia community, and some with academic
backgrounds. These included User:Ocaasi, User:Harej, and User:Fuzheado.
Some who watch this list may well have been invited as well, and while I'd
love to have had a bigger group, the conversation that day was very good,
and has led us to this point.

We're also very mindful that this was only one step—as User:Pigsonthewing
has reminded me, not the first such step—but I think it could be a good
one. U.S. agencies going on the record as pledging to follow Wikipedia's
rules is a new thing, and we hope can renew this conversation.

Following this message you'll find the statement in full, and a list of all
agencies (and other organizations) signed to it, as well as names +
usernames of the representative from each.

Bill (User:WWB / User:WWB Too)


*Statement on Wikipedia from participating communications firms*

On behalf of our firms, we recognize Wikipedia's unique and important role
as a public knowledge resource. We also acknowledge that the prior actions
of some in our industry have led to a challenging relationship with the
community of Wikipedia editors.

Our firms believe that it is in the best interest of our industry, and
Wikipedia users at large, that Wikipedia fulfill its mission of developing
an accurate and objective online encyclopedia. Therefore, it is wise for
communications professionals to follow Wikipedia policies as part of
ethical engagement practices.

We therefore publicly state and commit, on behalf of our respective firms,
to the best of our ability, to abide by the following principles:

   - To seek to better understand the fundamental principles guiding
   Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.
   - To act in accordance with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines,
   particularly those related to "conflict of interest."
   - To abide by the Wikimedia Foundation's Terms of Use.
   - To the extent we become aware of potential violations of Wikipedia
   policies by our respective firms, to investigate the matter and seek
   corrective action, as appropriate and consistent with our policies.
   - Beyond our own firms, to take steps to publicize our views and counsel
   our clients and peers to conduct themselves accordingly.
   - We also seek opportunities for a productive and transparent dialogue
   with Wikipedia editors, inasmuch as we can provide accurate, up-to-date,
   and verifiable information that helps Wikipedia better achieve its goals.

A significant improvement in relations between our two communities may not
occur quickly or easily, but it is our intention to do what we can to
create a long-term positive change and contribute toward Wikipedia's
continued success.

*Participating agencies*

   - Beutler Ink (William Beutler, User:WWB + User:WWB Too)
   - Ogilvy & Mather (Marshall Manson, User:Tmmanson)
   - FleishmanHillard (Sam Huxley, User:SamHuxleyFH)
   - Peppercomm (Sam Ford, User:Leumas712)
   - Burson-Marsteller (Patrick Kerley, User:Patrick at Burson)
   - Ketchum (Tim Weinheimer)
   - Porter Novelli (Dave Coustan, User:Extraface)
   - Voce Communications (Dave Coustan, User:Extraface)
   - Edelman (Phil Gomes, User:Philgomes)
   - Allison+Partners (Jeremy Rosenberg, User:Jeremy at A+P)
   - Glover Park Group, (Brian Gluckman, User:Bgluckman)

*Other participating organizations*

   - MDC Partners (Michael Bassik, User:Mbassik)
   - Chartered Institute of Public Relations, (Andrew Ross,
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