PR professionals present at Wikimedia UK AGM

London, 15 May 2012 - Over 40 volunteers from Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects gathered at London’s Science Museum on the 12 May for the Wikimedia UK Annual Conference 2012, where PR experts Neville Hobson and Philip Sheldrake spoke about the relationship between PR practitioners and Wikipedia.

The main focus of the PR experts’ presentation (available here) was on Wikimedia and the PR industry beginning to work together to achieve ‘common goals’, and how this may be achieved.

A best practice paper on Wikipedia guidelines for PR practitioners has been posted by the PR industry. Interested parties will be invited to contribute their ideas to this before a first draft is published in June 2012. 

Francis Ingham, PRCA Chief Executive said: “I’m delighted the PR industry was represented on Saturday. The mood in both camps is that strengthening the relationship between Wikipedia and the PR industry is beneficial for everyone.

“After this strong start, I look forward to the PRCA talking with Wikimedia about exciting new projects.”

Neville Hobson, communications expert and Wikimedia AGM speaker said:  “There's hard work ahead to bring down barriers. But I believe that the seeds of mutual goodwill have been firmly planted. It's now up to all of us to want to do this and, so, make it happen."

Philip Sheldrake, author, PR professional, and social media expert said: “Building mutual understanding and goodwill between the Wikipedia community and the public relations profession should be mutually advantageous. For me, that can only start with public relations practitioners building an affinity for the Wikipedia community's goals, values and procedure.”

Steve Virgin, Wikimedia UK Trustee and Board Member said: “This is a positive first step in improving relationships between the Wikipedia community and the PR industry.
“We've identified areas of common ground and look forward to sharing improved best practice guidelines on how the PR industry can work with Wikipedia in the near future.”

Wikimedia UK are also working with PR member agency Montpelier PR, and their CEO Guy Woodcock -a PRCA Board Member -on the ‘Monmouthpedia’ Wikipedia project.



Click here for the full PR presentation from Wikimedia’s AGM.

‘Monmouthpedia’ is the first ‘wiki- project’, in the town of Monmouth, Wales. The project aims to cover notable places, people, artefacts, and other sights in Monmouth, using QR barcodes that can be scanned by a smartphone. It is due to launch the weekend of the 18 May, 2012.

More information is available here.

Notes to editors

For PRCA media enquiries please contact Aeneas Tole on 020 7233 6026

For Wikimedia UK media enquiries please contact Steve Benton on 020 7065 0993

About the PRCA

Who we are: Founded in 1969, the PRCA is the professional body that represents UK PR consultancies, in-house communications teams, PR freelancers and individuals. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and internal communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.

What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.

How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.

Who we represent: The PRCA represents many of the major consultancies in the UK, and currently has more than 250 agency members from around the world, including the majority of the top 100 UK consultancies. We also represent over 70 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and leading UK public sector organisations.

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