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Why GDPR is an opportunity for PR agencies

Noticed that you are receiving a lot of communications from companies asking you to opt in to their emails recently? That's because we are now just days aways from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) across the EU and potentially massive fines for companies who transgress it (up to €20 million or 4% of annual turnover, whichever is greater).

In spite of its imminent implementation there is still a lot of discussion about how publishers, agencies and brands should respond to it. For example, the publishing industry and Google are still at loggerheads as to how they will work together in the future. Two weeks ago execs of four major groups; Digital Content Next, European Publishers Council, News Media Alliance and the News Media Association, which represent over 4000 publishers, issued an open letter to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, criticising the company for its plans for GDPR which it unveiled last month.

Meanwhile the FT reports that ‘With weeks to go before new data protection rules come into effect confidence has fallen sharply among British company bosses that their businesses will be ready in time. Only six in 10 members of the Institute of Directors believe their organisation will be fully compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation.”

The adtech industry has its own issues with ensuring that its products are compliant, while some brands have taken the nuclear option and completely scrapped their email databases. One thing is for certain is that the reach of direct emails from brands is sure to take a hit as companies tidy up their databases in a bid to ensure that they are GDPR compliant, while also looking again at their ad options.

This then creates an opportunity for PR companies. In an article in PR Week Nicholas Dunn-McAfee, head of public affairs at the industry body the PRCA, said: "PR and communications - an industry built on trust and reputation - stands well placed to take advantage of the gap in the market that GDPR presents. Specifically, as direct marketing takes a hit clients will look to PR and communications practitioners to lead and shape external affairs focused on targeted content that is legitimately interesting for the end-user, media relations that reaches the ideal audience, and compelling communications strategies."

In the light of the recent concerns about Facebook around privacy and security, and question marks about the effectiveness of using more more image based social media platforms, many brands are re-examining their marketing activity and we personally think this can only be good news for agencies like Clarity.

The level of trust consumers have in established media - whether that be national newspapers or industry-leading trade titles - is very much on the rise again. Stories in these publications are likely to be read, shared and engaged with. For many companies media relations has become ever more important as marketers see coverage in respected titles as not just part of their integrated campaign, but perhaps the most important element of it.

If you want to know more about our media relations strategies, from creating messaging through to delivering stories that reflect this and getting those stories in front of key media influencers contact us here.



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