5 Steps to Getting Your Own Wikipedia Page
One of the top requests we receive as an agency is to help clients create a Wikipedia page.
It’s understandable since having a Wikipedia page for your company or an individual is sort of like the official Internet stamp of approval.
Like it or not, we see Wikipedia as having a high level of authority…if Wikipedia says it, it must be true!
Keep in mind that Wikipedia is open source.
It’s a wild, Wild West of people trying to create and edit pages, held in check by volunteer editors who act as the overseers.
The slightly dark side of editors is that, like anyone who is a human, they are subject to their own biases.
Therefore, it’s not correct to view Wikipedia as unbiased. The text may read as factual, but just keep in mind that the content is not always “the Truth” with a capital T.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT TRY AND CREATE YOUR OWN PAGE WITHOUT CONSULTING AN EXPERT FIRST
Did I shock you? Good.
Because the number of people who tell me they tried, and failed, to create their own Wikipedia page is staggering.
Here’s the bad news.
Every attempt you made that was deleted by their editors makes it that much harder for your next attempt.
What this means is: do not try and create your own page until you fully understand what is needed.
I’m going to repeat this because it will save you a ton of heartache: do not try and create your own page until you fully understand what is needed.
Here are the exact steps you should take to maximize your chances of getting a Wikipedia page to stick.
One: Write a rough draft of your first page.
The content should be kept to a very low word count.
Stick to just the basic key facts.
Goal is to get a barebones page approved first.
From there it is easier to make additions later on.
If you try and write a very long Wikipedia profile page for your company, you create a high hurdle to get approved.
Best to start small and work your way up.
Two: Establish “notability”.
Notability is key to Wikipedia. It’s everything.
Think of it as answering the question “why do you deserve a Wikipedia page”?
How they define notability is too complex for this email, but here’s the entire scope in their own words: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Notability
Three: Keep your copy free of any marketing jargon.
In fact, keep it free of any adjectives.
“Just the facts”, as they say.
“Industry-leading”? Get rid of that.
Strip your copy to the bare basics.
Four: Get media articles
Now for the hard part.
Yes, everything up until now has been relatively easy.
You need to start getting media articles that back up your claims and your notability.
This really is the key to success in Wikipedia.
Every claim you make has to be referenced to a reputable source.
And I’m going to save you time: press releases are NOT considered an acceptable source.
Neither is information on your company blog.
We usually counsel clients not to even think about a Wikipedia page until you have at least 4, ideally 6 to 8, media articles about you.
These articles don’t have to be the Wall Street Journal or New York Times (although that certainly helps).
Articles in highly reputable industry trade magazines are just as good.
Here’s how Wikipedia puts it: “Sources of evidence include recognized peer-reviewed publications, credible and authoritative books, reputable media sources, and other reliable sources generally.”
For example, if you were truly first to market with a significant product, that in itself may be notable.
And if an industry news site writes in detail about it, then you can cite that as proof.
Five: hire an expert
Yes, Wikipedia is open source which means you can do it yourself.
But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
The byzantine rules and quirks of Wikipedia means you need someone who truly knows the ins and outs of their policy.
Should you try and do it yourself, you risk getting flagged for deletion.
And once you’re on the radar of their ban-happy editors, you’ve made it that much harder for yourself.
So. If you don’t have media articles about yourself, that’s step one.
Here’s where a public relations agency can help, big time.
Once you have the articles, check if your agency knows enough about Wikipedia to take it on.
If not, search on sites like Upwork to find Wikipedia contractors with strong reviews.
There you have it. If it sounds hard, that’s because it is.
It’s not going to be quick and easy. If it were, everyone would have a page.
But like everything in life, if there’s a high barrier to entry and you take the time to do it properly, you immediately have a leg up on your competitors.
The good news is, it is absolutely doable, especially if you’re already starting from a place where you have past media coverage.
Firecracker PR has been helping companies large and small get those precious media sourced articles that Wikipedia requires, and have also helped brands create their own Wikipedia pages. Contact us today if you have any questions.