What are 3 major benefits of GDPR for PR Pros?

GDPR, Media Tips, MediaHQ
June 5, 2018
by Conor Shields

Believe or not…GDPR is actually a good thing.

Since it was rolled out over a week ago, most of us can probably agree that our inboxes have been filled with emails with subject lines reading, “We’ve updated our Privacy Policy…”, right?

Although some companies may have found it difficult to wrap their heads around the new regulation and probably spent hours upon hours making sure all of the data is in order, this will not be in vain. The General Data Protection Regulation is ushering in a new era for business, an era in which we can leave all uncertainty over data at the door. Over the past couple of years, the news has been littered with stories about data breaches, data mining and data swapping, leaving us bewildered and concerned about what kind of information companies have about us.

Now, GDPR will make sure companies who process data must do so in a secure manner, with the consent of those whose data is being used. Otherwise, they could be facing a hefty fine (maximum of €20 million or 4% of a company’s turnover to be exact). But what are the other benefits of having such a strict law on data controlling/processing, especially for those sending press releases?

1. Promoting Good Practise

As PR pros, it’s important that you uphold good standards in the workplace. Cutting corners with your approaches to press releases and media relations is not only discrediting to you as a professional, but it also means that you’re not giving your clients the best service possible. Spreadsheets full of outdated, irrelevant media contacts aren’t doing anyone any favours and it means you’re not getting to best possible reach for your client. GDPR will help enforce certain practices within your firm which can only be beneficial, including keeping your media contacts up to date and creating connections with journalists to acquire their consent.

 

2. Reaching the right audience 

With GDPR, any journalist who receives your press release needs to have the option to opt-out of any future releases if they feel that it’s not relevant to them. This may sound bad for you as PR pro, but it’s actually quite useful. This shows you who you should actually be reaching out to, rather than wasting your time contacting a journalist who just doesn’t cover the type of stories you put out. Spend your valuable time creating connections with reporters who care about what you have to say. You’ll soon find that you’ll be getting more coverage than before. (MediaHQ provides an automatic opt-out button for each press release you send…just saying)

3. Clarity is key!

Under GDPR, if you have someones’ data, you must be able to show where you got it from and why you have it. Now, this doesn’t mean you’re going to a have a queue of angry journalists hammering at your door looking for print-outs. This just means that you need be transparent about the data you use and how you use it. This avoids any unnecessary drama or confusion from either party on the issue of sending press releases or emails of the like. Everyone is clear on all sides and journalists have a full understanding of why they’re being contacted.

While we might joke around with GDPR, anyone in breach of the regulation will face some pretty serious fines. If you’re using Google Sheets or an Excel to store your data, you may want to think about how secure the information is. To learn more about what happens if you don’t comply, or to see how MediaHQ can help your PR become GDPR compliant, please click here.