GDPR presents a real opportunity to harness the power of PR, and here’s why…

– By Nikki Ackerley, managing director of Property House Marketing


Are you a marketer? If so, you might have found yourself sifting through dozens of GDPR-related, panic-inducing emails from legal advisers and – as you attempt to understand exactly what is required of you – wondering what impact this new regulation will have on your marketing strategy come 25th May.

The rules

You’ll know by now that GDPR will bring in tighter rules for how businesses handle and store personal data – and how this processing is communicated – and you’ll definitely know that the financial penalties for non-compliance are severe. Key changes include the way that we market directly to consumers (generally, they will need to give us their permission before we contact them for marketing purposes – opting in, not out) and it needs to be really easy for people to request that their information is deleted.

However, while working out what is required might seem a little bit like wading through treacle, we don’t think you need to tear up your marketing plans and go back to the drawing board necessarily. We think that the regulations can present a real opportunity to harness the consumer data-free power of public relations.

Where does PR fit?

The clue is even in the name of the regulation – PR. The rules for contacting consumers will change the way you talk directly to your customers, but what if you were to contact them via a third party? Say, a journalist?

Business-to-business data regulation differs slightly. While processes must still be made clear and communicated simply, and the option to be forgotten made very easy, a ‘legitimate interest’ means that we can connect with our business contacts if what we’re sharing is reasonably believed to be something they want to see. This means we can continue to provide journalists with your content, resulting in media coverage read by your customers, without the need for consumer data.

Using social media achieves a similar outcome. As the broadcaster, you don’t need access to personal data to target your demographic and reach your audiences (although if personal information is exchanged, consent must be granted for marketing purposes). The rules around paid-for content are still undergoing some fine-tuning, but in the meantime, sharing content on a public platform is a great way to connect on a wide scale.

So, while GDPR will affect your marketing plans, we think it provides a great opportunity to think a little differently. PHM delivers PR and social media services to companies of all shapes and sizes; get in touch if you’d like to find out more. In the spirit of data regulation, you can also let us know if you’d like to be kept updated with all of PHM’s news by opting in to our mailing list.

This blog does not intend to provide, nor should it be taken as, legal advice.

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