GDP-urgh! A guide to GDPR and PR

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If you’re still confused about GDPR nearly a year in, here’s a roundup of useful articles on the specifics of GDPR and PR…

Despite the abundance of GDPR advice, it’s an area that still causes confusion amongst many in the PR sector. 

Some advice is very generic and doesn’t address how to conduct day-to-day PR activities in a compliant manner, whilst other guidance feels open to interpretation. For example, what’s the yardstick for ‘legitimate interest’ being legitimate enough to contact someone?

GDPR is a topic that comes up fairly often in my client work so below is a roundup of articles that I’ve found particularly useful.

GDPR: The industry view

Here’s a pretty lengthy ‘big picture’ overview of the issue from the PRCA.

It covers a range of topics from general guidance on processing personal data and using the ‘legitimate interest’ argument, to fines and the impact of Brexit.  Lots of links to sources of further info are also included.

GDPR & Media Relations 

So does GDPR mean the end of unsolicited pitches to journalists?  Does using a media contacts database automatically mean you are GDPR-compliant? 

These and other questions are answered in this simple guide to conducting media relations in a GDPR-compliant way by ResponseSource founder and chairman Daryl Willcox.

Daryl was also interviewed by Stephen Waddington in an article that busted GDPR myths around working with media databases and lists.

You can get a legal take on things with Nellie PR’s interview with award-winning business lawyer and GDPR expert Suzanne Dibble.  The interview covers a range of topics from how to communicate with journalists and influencers, to what to do if you client asks to see your media database.

GDPR & Marketing 

Away from media relations, another area you will need to be aware of GPDR is with your own marketing. 

GDPR still applies to B2B marketing if you’re processing personal data, typically if you have someone’s name and details on file or their corporate email address uses their name.  

But forget GDPR, are you aware of PECR, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations?  Did you know that any form of electronic marketing must comply with both PECR and GDPR?

If that’s an acronym too far, then this guide from the Information Commissioner’s Office explains the rules around B2B marketing within the context of both GDPR and PECR.

For those that want to build email marketing lists, this video from email marketing provider Email Blaster is great.  It may not be the snazziest to watch but it clearly outlines how to build a GDPR compliant mailing list using a range of techniques including historic data, sign up forms, social media and order pages.

If you use sign up/ opt-in forms, here’s a handy infographic from digital agency SendInBlue showing what info you should and shouldn’t be including. 

General Advice

The Information Commissioner’s Office is the place to go for official advice.  As most of my clients are small business and sole traders, here’s a link to the ICO’s guidance for those types of businesses including check lists, guides and an advice helpline.

Over at The Difference Collective, they looked at the measures freelancers specifically should be taking. 

Finally, the previously mentioned Suzanne Dibble runs a free Facebook Group on all things GDPR which is packed full of resources and advice.

Hopefully these articles have helped clarify a few things and now it’s a case of GDP-aha!

NB: This article doesn’t constitute legal advice nor am I endorsing any of the featured blogs, products or companies…I’m just sharing articles that have helped my understanding of GDPR.

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