4 Steps to Writing a Corporate Wiki

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This post is part of our series on Wikipedia for Marketing


In this post I’d like to give marketers a few tips on how to write or improve an article on their company, while following Wikipedia’s guidelines for neutrality, verification and biographical tone.

If you haven’t read the first post on whether Wikipedia is right for you, I’ll be right here when you get back.

Assuming you feel there is value for your organization and Wikipedia, lets dig in. Here are four steps to follow when creating your company’s Wikipedia page. Follow along and come back to let us know if you got your page up successfully.

1. Research

Wikipedia’s rules for verification require every fact have a citation or source. “The threshold for inclusion of information in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth.” You may have intimate knowledge of the subject, but according to Wikipedia that’s original research.

Your article should be a hub of information – consolidated from across the Web – and that means finding publicly verifiable sources of information on how the company was founded, financial performance, leadership, culture and yes, products too. Avoid linking only to your company site.

2. Writing

I suggest writing a text-only version of your article in Microsoft Word first, and circulating it through proper approval cycles. Don’t forget to not only write in biographical tone, but to enforce that tone throughout the review and approval process.

3. Biographical Tone

Review what you wrote. Remove adjectives, remove words associated with marketing. Strip it down to a series of irrefutable, verifiable facts that don’t express an opinion or value judgement. Even words like “comprehensive” or “interactive” provide an assessment not suited for an encyclopedia.

4. Coding And Posting

So maybe you never learned HTML. Take a look at some other Wikis to get a sense of how citations, information boxes, bullets and sub-sections are coded. Copy/paste code as needed from other Wikis and fill in the blanks. Before making any major revision on a page, post a draft on your user page (or through Wikiepdia’s sandbox process) and provide a link on the Talk page soliciting the community for feedback.

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Some organizations are simply unable to get neutral, biographical tone, marketing free copy approved. Wikipedia’s bar for neutrality is very high. Right when you think it’s neutral enough, you’re halfway there. Keep going!

In truth, there’s hundreds, maybe thousands of specific situations. Awards are grey areas, editors with a Conflict of Interest can’t edit highly controversial Wikis and sometimes things are more complex. But these four stages/tips should give the amateur Wikipedian some substantially better odds in welcomed improvements on Wikipedia.

Good luck! And if you do have a question, I’ll be checking on the comments.

 

 

PSSST…

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