Wikipedia is the largest online encyclopedia in the world, according to Wikipedia.
It may not be entirely true, but it is true enough for some judges to take judicial notice of the information it contains. And if it's good enough for court, it is probably good enough to be part of your marketing plan.
Are You Big Enough for Wikipedia?
Adding Wikipedia to your marketing plan is actually a great idea, based on internet search engine results. Internet searches often return Wikipedia pages in the top tier of results. And it is free to use Wikipedia and to place content on its pages. It even has an article on law firm optimization.
However, there is a significant cost in time to properly upload acceptable content to Wikipedia. It depends on how worthy your content is and how notable your law firm is. A Wikipedia page may be created "if a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject." Self-promotion of a law firm, as compared to independent reporting about a law firm, is not allowed.
Reliability and Credibility
If information about your firm is reliable enough, then Wikipedia will add another level of credibility to your practice. The media, online and otherwise, tend to follow each other and increase visibility for their subjects.
But like the definition of newsworthiness, "reliability" is somewhat subjective. Wikipedia editors, who fact-check information provided by aspiring contributors, are the gatekeepers. Generally, the editors consider mainstream media as reliable as well as some websites and blogs, including FindLaw's news sources.
However, your firm's website, press releases, and self-authored publications will not be considered reliable for Wikipedia's purposes. The exception may be when a lawyer is published through an independent media outlet, like the ABA Journal.
Take Your Best Shot
If your firm is not notable enough for inclusion on Wikipedia, you can plan for the future by seeking coverage in the mainstream media. By building a website's presence on the internet, issuing press release on significant cases or legal subjects and contributing to other online media, your firm may get "big enough" for the world's largest online encyclopedia.
- Judge Says Wikipedia not a Reliable Source for Citations (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- More Courts Citing to Wikipedia (FindLaw's Technologist)
- Judges Want to See Your Young Lawyers in Court (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Top 5 Unanswered Questions in Legal Tech (FindLaw's Technologist)