If your company or organization isn't already the subject of a Wikipedia article, the question has probably come up: can my company have a Wikipedia page? Likely the first hurdle you've faced is figuring out whether your company actually qualifies—and the truth is, not every company does. Happily, there are guidelines on Wikipedia that allow you to assess if your company is eligible for its own entry. Let's take a look at the key guidelines and see what it means in practical terms for your company:
What Wikipedia says
One of the key guidelines for Wikipedia content is "notability". It's important to say: notability is not strictly a measure of importance. Most simply put, notability is the test to establish whether a topic meets Wikipedia requirements for a full, standalone entry. The specific notability guideline for companies and organizations states:
Wikipedia bases its decision about whether an organization is notable enough to justify a separate article on the verifiable evidence that the organization or product has attracted the notice of reliable sources unrelated to the organization or product.
The full guideline is rather long, but the above and the following quotes are what I consider the key takeaways for companies:
No company or organization is considered inherently notable.
And even if a key member of the company has their own page, that isn't enough by itself:
An organization is not notable merely because a notable person or event was associated with it.
And to hammer the point home, the guideline states again (emphasis mine):
A company, corporation, organization, school, team, religion, group, product, or service is notable if it has been the subject of significant coverage in secondary sources. Such sources must be reliable, and independent of the subject. A single independent source is almost never sufficient for demonstrating the notability of an organization.
OK, so what does it mean for my company?
Essentially what the above guidelines mean is that notability for companies is almost always based on the breadth—and depth—of sources like newspapers and industry journals, or the wider business press (they are the "secondary" sources to the "primary" sources you surely have, such as your own website or press releases).
To meet the notability test your company needs to have at least two, but preferably three or more profile articles (dedicated coverage, including interviews with company executives) published by well-known publications.
These profiles or interviews should:
- Not have been written by anyone related to the company, but by a staff writer at the publications.
- Be focused specifically on your company, rather than mentioning it as part of a broader discussion.
- Not be in small local newspapers or very niche industry press. Larger publications with a reputation for good editorial practices are best.
They also must provide enough information to answer the following questions about the company:
- What type of company is it?
- What does the company do / produce?
- What's the reason people have heard of the company / what it is the company known for?
All right, I get that. So what next?
If you don't yet have the media coverage needed for a Wikipedia entry, don't despair! This doesn't mean you can never have an article, just that you're not ready for one yet. Keep an eye on your media clips and assess again in a few months, or sooner if a major event brings your company some great media coverage.
If you do have a few strong profile pieces that fit the above criteria—good for you!—it sounds like you probably meet the notability standard and Wikipedia wants to have a page about you.
But, before you go any further, take a look around for other media coverage that might add more information to your Wikipedia entry. For example, mentions of your company in articles focusing on your industry in general. Will these add more context, and tell your story even better?
So how do I start?
Remember that the answer to the question "can my company have a Wikipedia page" is not always easy to answer. Your next step should be to work with the Wikipedia community, which can help you figure it out. One way to do this is to prepare a Wikipedia entry for submission, and take it to a new project called Drafts.
Not sure how to begin, or how to write an article that will stand up to scrutiny by Wikipedia editors? Start by checking out Wikipedia's Plain and simple conflict of interest guide, or contact our team at Beutler Ink—we love helping companies work with Wikipedia.