Monday 10 Jun 2019

How clean is your data? GDPR a year on

How clean is your data? GDPR a year on: Five star

Are you you a PR professional still using spreadsheets to manage stakeholders and contacts? If so, how are you meeting GDPR requirements?


Those four letters were the buzzword of 2018, with every second marketing email seemingly asking people to opt in or out of receiving all sorts of information. But GDPR (General Data Regulation Protection) isn’t just a one-off tick box activity.

While some organisations have excelled in shaping their marketing to be GDPR compliant, there are others that remain at risk of falling foul of the law and potentially hefty fines.

In recent comments, marking the second year of GDPR, the Information Commissioner indicated many investigations have been launched into GDPR breaches with outcomes expected soon.

ICO Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: ”..there is much more still to do to build the public’s trust and confidence. The focus for the second year of the GDPR must be beyond baseline compliance. Instead, organisations need to shift their focus to accountability with a real, evidenced understanding of the risks to individuals and how those risks should be mitigated.”


Ultimately, the responsibility for compliance lies with organisations themselves.

What’s the Good News?

The good news is that by using a contact management system such as PRgloo (rather than a spreadsheet or some other insecure – hard to update document) you are automatically one step ahead of the game. Contact management systems help your organisation meet some of the core requirements to show that your data has been collected lawfully, used for the intended purposes (and only these purposes), has been transparently collected and processed and provides the means to very simply to provide access to these records for the data subject. You should always be vigilant about what data you store on individuals and how you store it.  

What’s the Bad News?

If you don’t have your data house in order, you risk an investigation by the ICO and hefty fines to your organisation if a breach is reported.

Rather than just relying on the fact that people won’t complain, you should consider using some type of media management system to SHOW that this is what you are doing. Public relations software systems like PRgloo are useful for this because they SHOW exactly how and why you are using someone’s data, where it came from, how you keep it up to date and if anyone asks for their data (or proof of your compliance with GDPR) it’s all there.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Who do I hold data on?
  • Do I have any idea where this data came from?
  • Do I have any idea how current it is?
  • What's the point of me keeping this?

We all know that managing data is a pain which is why at PRgloo we like to provide simple tools to help PR professionals run a tight data ship. Here are some of the things we can help with…

Highlight Contacts to be Deleted: Within PRgloo you can easily see everyone who has unsubscribed or whose email addresses have bounced. use this to inform your data cleaning strategy. You can either delete them or mark them as inactive. All historical interactions with them will be retained so you lose nothing. Instead you gain a rather lovely sparkly clean contact database

Highlight Lists with Bad Hygiene: Within PRgloo we'll tell you how clean your lists are by telling you how many people within them have either unsubscribed or have had their emails bounce. You can then clean your lists so that you have the best chance of communicating your message effectively

Decide what to based on the kind of contact: In PRgloo you can classify people as stakeholders, community engagement, internal, influencer etc allowing you to perform different actions for each of these different groups.

Proactively ask for consent: In PRgloo you can send personalised emails asking contacts whether they still want to be contacted by the team. Now you don't need to do this for journalists, but it's a great idea for all of the other groups of people you communicate with.

If you'd like to see how PRgloo could help you keep your data house in order, give us a call. We have 5 star user reviews and we'd love to show you how we could save your time, money and sanity.