Wikipedia Consulting Case Studies

Crisis Management:
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Wikipedia article about one of the best-known corporate executives in the world was changed to include a statement that the executive had been indicted in Europe for a corporate crime. In fact, the sources (including media in other languages), revealed that an ordinary citizen had filed a complaint against the corporation and its executives asking that local investigators look into company based on a novel theory of malfeasance. The corporation’s lawyers wrote a lengthy statement explaining the full facts and we were approached to try to get the inaccurate language replaced. We cut the length of the proposed language substantially and recommended we ask that as an alternative, the incident be removed entirely from the biographical article because it misrepresented the sources and the incident, involving only a citizen complaint, did not belong in the career summary of the executive under Wikipedia BLP policy.  An independent reviewer considered the matter and deleted the statement entirely within one hour of our request.

Crisis Management:
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Article about a very prominent media executive misrepresented his involvement in a high-profile controversy. The Wikipedia editor who wrote the section would not agree to an accurate, neutral statement, so we brought in more independent Wikipedia editors into the discussion. Consensus decision agreed with our position and the language was changed. The hostile editor persisted, however, with other unjustified changes, so we began 24×7 monitoring of the article. We wrote extensive explanations of the relevant Wikipedia standards to judge the misleading and biased statements.  A full-blown Wikipedia dispute process, involving 10 editors, commenced, and after a vote, the language/incident was removed entirely from the article and an administrator closed the dispute permanently.

Corporate Identity‚Äč

Main article about one of the best-known technology brands in the United States was out-of-date and incomplete. We redrafted the article, being respectful to the work already done by other editors, but updating the facts and adding extensive sections on the history of the company. We were strict in our use of reliable sourcing, maintaining a neutral point of view and  to including “puffery,” as required by Wikipedia policy. After the draft was approved by the company, we located an independent editor (unconnected to us in any way) and submitted it for review, disclosing we were paid consultants, strictly following Wikipedia rules. The independent reviewer asked for small clarifications and then accepted the draft, publishing it as the new article. 

Corporate (Products):
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Company with a variety of consumer and B2B products asked for an article. After reviewing more than 100 sources, the article was organized around product lines, with tight sourcing for each product. The article was accepted after an independent review based on the showing of product notability. The reviewer requested more detail and more reviews, improving the article. After a significant new product line was introduced, with a shift in direction for the company, an update was proposed with a new lead and new product description, which was quickly accepted by the prior reviewer.

Executive:
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CEO of technology company had an article about him written and submitted by his PR firm. The article was rejected for failing to show notability. After an exhaustive review of dozens of sources, including college alumni magazines, foreign language publications, and many financial media sources, we were able to redraft a more comprehensive biography with sufficient sourcing for it to be accepted.

Executive:
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Executive with storied career requested article requiring review of sources going back more than 30 years. Archival and book research went far beyond sources available on the internet. Rich portrait of the individual emerged, backed by a wide array of highly credible sources. Resulted in an extensive article. Previous attempts by the subject to expand the article had been rejected as ‚Äúpromotional‚ÄĚ because the language was not in the tone of an encyclopedia and was not properly sourced. Our changes were reviewed and approved.

Executive:
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Redrafted article about major international angel investor. Had it translated and approved in multiple languages. Each Wikipedia project in a different language has its own policies, guidelines, formatting, submission and review process.

Crisis Management:
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A large technology company had its article repeatedly attacked by users sophisticated enough with Wikipedia to provide superficially supporting citations for their extreme attacks. As a result, the language remained on their profile for months and eventually found its way to the Google Infobox about the company, displayed on search results, at which point we were retained. We composed a memo that meticulously examined each of the sources that was used to support the attacks to prove that their use violated Wikipedia policies and guidelines (e.g. no use of discussion boards as a refernce; no use of one-person blogs, etc.) The memo was reviewed by an independent editor and the damaging claims were removed within days. Ultimately, in discussion with a Wikipedia admin, a decision was made that the article, which covered a product and the company, should be split in two, so the new company article could take a more holistic view. Google Infobox eventually picked up on the new company article, completely reversing their fortunes.

Crisis Management:
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Fought proposed deletion of article about company executive on the grounds that it was duplicative of the company article. Engaged in extensive discussion during formal review process by multiple editors. Background research into nominating editor’s Wikipedia history uncovered an undisclosed conflict of interest, providing additional ammunition in the discussion as to the motives of the nominator. We added even more reliable sourcing during the course of the review to shore up the article and the ultimate decision was in our favor.

Corporate:
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Corporate profile for this 20-year old firm with more than 200 employees had previously been deleted. We rewrote the article after extensive archival research and submitted it along with an article on the CEO/founder and an article about a major project that had received considerable attention. Each article supported the importance of the others. All three were independently reviewed and accepted for publication.

Start Up:
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Article about start up prepared by in-house PR people was deleted as ‚Äúpromotional.‚ÄĚ We were hired and wrote a new version written in a neutral, encyclopedia term and supported by every reliable source that had been published about the company. Independent reviewer approved the new article for publication.

Investment firm:
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Hired by venture capital firm with large fund and no Wikipedia presence. Crafted an article about the fund, its history and founders. Created the ‚ÄúComprehensive Portfolio Review‚ÄĚ chart to explore each of the fund‚Äôs investments, with name of company, industry, company description, investment(s), co-investors and exit, if any. Each line in the chart backed by its own independent reliable sourcing.
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Project:

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Large open source technology project, run by a corporation, required review of both popular press and academic literature to create a comprehensive article.Significant technical information summarized for a non-technical audience. Links back to corporate sponsor‚Äôs Wikipedia article (as well as link to the new article on the company‚Äôs article) solidified the relationship between the entities.

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