Wikipedia is probably the starting point for anyone wanting to know something about anything – so why does its entry on public relations need a clean up? Is this an example of poor PR for PR?
I’m not suggesting the entry needs to be censored or whitewashed as the Guardian recently revealed some organisations are doing. But the existing explanation of PR is a mess and Wikipedia notes it needs improvement to reflect the site’s quality standards.
As a profession we need to be honest and explain the many facets of public relations to those seeking to know more – that includes acknowledging some questionable practices and PR’s historical legacy of propaganda. The current entry focuses far too much on Bernays and too little on standards of practice. It is light on fact and contains unsubstantiated assertions – reflective of many PR materials, unfortunately.
By its very nature, the Wikipedia entry is likely to contain many different viewpoints on PR, but who should rise to the challenge and raise the standard of the current entry? Should it be the professional bodies, academics, students or practitioners? Any volunteers?