3 reasons why GDPR can boost better practice in PR

GDPR, Media Tips, PR Pain Points
June 18, 2018
by Conor Shields



The four letters you’re probably sick to death of hearing by now, am I right? Since its introduction on the 25th of last month, most of us have put the new data protection law to the back of our minds. Time for a breather. Sure its all over now…right?


Even if you’ve managed to become completely compliant by the deadline, the General Data Protection Regulation should always be an ongoing consideration across all aspects of your business. It should power your database regulation and ultimately drive good practice within your firm.

We here at MediaHQ have been anticipating the introduction of GDPR ever since we first knew of its impending arrival as it directly affects the service which we provide. As tedious as this may sound, we feel that we have actually benefitted from the restrictions which have been put into place. This may sound alien to a lot of PR pros out there who have had to completely overhaul their practices in order to meet compliance. However, let us show you why GDPR could be your greatest ally for competing within the highly-competitive PR market.


1. Transparency

“We have updated our Privacy Policy…”, sound familiar?

Your inbox has most likely been flooded with emails carrying this subject line or some similar. All jokes aside, this is an extremely important aspect being GDPR compliant and one which can help your business.

A privacy policy should highlight how you process and store data, for what reason you store this data and how you manage requests for this data to be amended or removed. By publishing this on your website, you are showing those whose data you store (journalists, media outlets, etc) your legitimate reason for doing so. It’s good practice to be as a transparent as possible when processing data. It ensures that your databases are clean and not full of outdated, irrelevant contacts that could lead to some trouble down the line.


2. Legitimate Interests

This is probably the biggest plus to come from GDPR, but one which will need cooperation from all PR pros, not just your own firm.

‘Legitimate Interests’ refers to the idea that the main reason why you should store an individual’s data is that it’s relevant to the work you do. So for example, a PR firm would be exercising a ‘legitimate interest’ in storing journalist contact information in order to provide them with relevant information in the form of press releases.

While obtaining active consent from the journalists on your lists is ideal and can help develop positive relationships, it can be extremely time-consuming in the process. To have a legitimate interest in the data you process doesn’t equate to blanket consent across the media industry, but it does help provide PR firms with the reassurance that the data they process isn’t going to be targeted by the new regulation.

By respecting the privilege that is ‘legitimate interests’ and operating to the highest possible standards within it, we can help to form a general consensus of “this is how things should be done”, all across the media industry.


3. Security

GDPR also provides us with an opportunity to review our digital security protocols…sounds fancy doesn’t it?

Let’s face it, most businesses probably update their security measures once every few years. Why fix what’s not broken right? However, GDPR places a major emphasis on keeping your databases secure and is an essential element of remaining compliant.

Use this opportunity to look at your security systems with utter scrutiny and find ways of upgrading that you never would have thought of before. It’s an opportunity to keep on top of updates that you would typically put on ‘snooze’ and promote a ‘do-it-today’ culture within your workplace. Standards start with Security.


Or if you don’t feel like constantly updating your media lists, let MediaHQ do the work for you! We maintain a GDPR compliant database of over 6,500 journalists and media contacts all over Ireland. Click here or give Gaye a call today at 01 254 1845