September 29, 2022

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Radio Roundtable: Wikipedia, Are blog comments worthwhile, and should we stop blogging about PR mishaps?

Radio Roundtable: Wikipedia, Are blog comments worthwhile, and should we stop blogging about PR mishaps?

This week I was joined by co-host Chip Griffin to talk about PR pros and Wikipedia, whether blog comments are worthwhile, and if we in the PR community should stop blogging about PR blunders.


  • First, Chip and I discuss Wikipedia and the “PR problem.” Wikipedia rules prohibit firms from editing their own entries, citing bias. Some solutions have been put forward, but most are inadequate. Phil Gomes and Stuart Bruce both wrote posts saying it’s high time Wikipedia sit down with PR reps and figure out a way to address this issue in a way that is more fair–and responsive. Chip relays that he’s worked with companies that have had some success going the route Wikipedia suggests, but admits that Gomes is right in that the process takes time. I wonder if Wikipedia has the interest to address the problem, as a PC Mag article back in August that Jimmy Wales noted the source is losing contributors. In any case, it seems as though PR folks are going to be pushing harder for a solution to this problem.
  • Next, we talk about a GigaOm post titled “Yes, blog comments are still worth the effort.” I guess I’m still surprised there’s even a “spirited debate” about this–hey, if blog comments work for you, have at them, if not, don’t. Chip says he’s consistently surprised at how awful some of the comments on TechCrunch can be, even with the Facebook commenting requirement. He adds that some, like Fred Wilson’s blog, have great and insightful commenting communities. Chip also notes that there’s a broader discussion that could be entered about the overall value of blogs and where they are headed.
  • Finally, we discuss the post on Arik Hanson’s blog that sparked a post on Spin Sucks that asks if we (as a PR community) should stop blogging about PR/online mishaps. I say no–there’s much to be learned. Chip points out that of course we can talk about failure–it’s *how* we talk about failure that needs to change. It’s useful to talk about failure in constructive terms–Chip thinks there’s still too much of an instinct to go for the jugular.
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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the Director of Marketing Communications for CARMA. She is also the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for more than 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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