The GDPR will have a considerable influence on the work of marketing, communication and PR professionals. That fact was brought home to us once again at the Bloovi Conversion Day 2017. Five takeaways to remember:


Lesson 1: 25 May 2018

That date probably rings a bell. 25 May 2018 is the date when we are expected to be 100% GDPR compliant. It still seems a long way away, but if you consider all the changes that need to be made, it suddenly seems uncomfortably close. So make sure that you are ready on time! 😉


Lesson 2: Start reactivation campaigns

You have probably built up a substantial database over the years. Unfortunately, you can’t just carry on using that list of information after 25 May 2018. You will only be able to use the data if you have permission to do so. That is the case even if you did get permission in the appropriate way years ago as the result of a purchase. The best way to get the all-clear from your contacts is to set up a reactivation campaign: an e-mail campaign in which you specifically ask whether you can use and process the data.


Lesson 3: Get into data mapping

A business has an immense amount of data. Where is that data stored? To get yourself completely on track for the GDPR, it is particularly important to establish where exactly your data is and who uses it. The important questions are: where are passwords collected? Who has what passwords? Who has access to which accounts? Who has access to your data? Where is all your data located?

PS: Tools like Slack or Trello belong on this list as well.


Lesson 4: Data processing does not mean using data to communicate

It is important to understand this distinction properly in the age of the GDPR. You are allowed to analyse general data and attune your marketing and communication to it. What you are not allowed to do is filter out personal data and then use that data for other activities. You need permission for the latter.

You can ask permission for such use on your website by providing a check box on forms stating ‘I agree to the general terms and conditions’. Include a link to the page containing your general terms and conditions, and describe clearly in those conditions what you intend to do with the personal data. Data obtained through other tools and platforms is a different matter. European tools such as Flexmail will ensure that they are GDPR compliant. American tools such as MailChimp, however, are not worrying about the GDPR because they are not subject to the new regulations. So there is a significant difference between the two tools even though they do the same thing. In any case, you remain responsible for the data you upload at all times, whatever tool you use.


Lesson 5: The GDPR is not just an expense

There are a lot of professionals who see the GDPR as an irritating expense. However, it is more than just that. It can even present opportunities. Besides the fact that you will deal with personal data responsibly, your database will get a thorough spring clean and your data storage will be better structured. That increases the chance that you will approach people with a greater interest in your company, and ultimately you will reel in higher-quality leads.

Do you need more GDPR material? Read Miek’s 6 GDPR tips, specifically for PR professionals.