Who done it? Accountability counts.

Accountability.  As a public relations student and intern I am beginning to understand that accountability is the ‘executioner’ of the PR world.  You must be accountable for your work, accountable to your client, and most importantly be certain that any outside sources you are working with are actually accountable for their information. 

Accountable: there, I said it again.  The day following President Obama’s inauguration, I decided to Wikipedia our incumbent president.  I was curious if a devoted individual in the wonderful world of wiki had updated his Wikipedia entry.  Instead, I was redirected to a page that read “the antichrist.” 

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Now, personal political affiliation aside, I couldn’t help but scoff at the negligence of Wikipedia’s site monitoring staff.  I mean PUHHHLLLEASE! Hardly accountable for their work. 

I then emailed Wikipedia alerting it of the heinous misrepresentation and I received no reply, no confirmation.  I felt bereft and alone with my keyboard.   Above all I realized that your public is just as important, if not more important than, your client.  If public opinion is down, so is your client.  One small word can spiral out of control into a claws-out battle.

 I went on to post the link to this nasty little site on Facebook and received 30 messages over the following 2 days.  So eat that Wikipedia.  Take the wrath of social media and shove it!  

Lastly, in the world of PR you just have to take your lumps along the way.  Learn from your mistakes, apologize if necessary (ahem, Wikipedia) and come out more educated and careful because in the digital world, nothing can ever be hidden. 

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~ by kristaberlincourt on January 27, 2009.

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