Vinci: Wikipedia links in executive biographies
Biography pages on the French construction company’s website signpost senior leaders’ entries on the global online encyclopaedia as well as their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
All biography pages for directors and senior executives on Vinci’s global site include three logos – for Twitter, LinkedIn and Wikipedia.
For people with a presence on Wikipedia, the relevant icon is shown in black on their biography page; if they do not have a Wikpedia entry, the icon is greyed out.
If the person has a LinkedIn and/or Twitter account, the relevant icons are displayed in blue; if not they are again greyed out.
Providing links from senior leaders’ biography pages to their Wikipedia entries is a rare feature on corporate sites – but one with a number of advantages.
First, it conveys a positive impression of openness and transparency.
Second, it supports SEO: Google’s search algorithms look favourably on web page content with validating links to third party sources.
Third, it sends the message that Vinci’s senior leaders have made a sufficient mark on the world at large to warrant entries in a revered global encyclopaedia.
But it carries risks, too. Companies that take this approach need to accept that the content on their executives’ Wikipedia entries is beyond their direct control – and resist any urges to try to spin it.