Could PR be the answer to GDPR?

Everyone in the events industry who we met last week, at Event Tech Live in The Old Truman Brewery, stopped to speak to us about GDPR. Not just because it was written in massive type on the back of the stand, but because these four letters are causing anxiety and concerns that need to be addressed.

The challenge faced by any marketer under the new GDPR regulations is one of generating sales enquiries and leads from prospects that may not be fully opted in. Without the evidence of double opt in the data is unusable for direct digital marketing. That is, you cannot email anyone who has not given you specific permission to market to them and, if you do, the fines are eye-watering.

So, how do you comply with GDPR without hobbling your digital marketing efforts?

Social media is probably your first tool. You can drive traffic to your website and promote engagement with your existing followers using social media. You are still faced, however, with the challenge of winning new followers and subscribers when they have no idea who you are. Faced with ballooning volumes of social media updates, people need a good reason to follow, subscribe or engage with your organisation. It’s up to you to offer something of value in return for their attention, difficult to achieve purely using social media channels

What about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and getting yourself found on search engines? If you want to put your offer directly in front of your prospect, SEO works. But SEO is not a quick fix, it takes time and effort to benefit from an effective and long term search presence via SEO strategy alone, domain authority takes time to build. But this direct, straight to the prospect communication, is further compromised if your prospect doesn’t recognise your organisation when they find you.

Could Public Relations be the answer?

This is where ‘traditional’ trade Public Relations (PR) steps up. PR is a discipline for managing perceptions. PR is used to create, adapt and maintain the audience’s perception of an organisation.

By building your reputation through structured and planned PR, you greatly increase the chances of prospects and audiences engaging with your social media output, or clicking your promoted link on a page of search engine results.

As the power in the sales relationship moves inexorably towards the prospect, and the point at which they choose to engage with a supplier moves closer to the point of purchase, PR offers the tools and techniques you need to ensure those opportunities are not wasted through lack of recognition.

It will not take long for organisations in the wider events industry to make their preparations and plans for the post-GDPR world of marketing. We're an adaptable industry, and the changes precipitated by GDPR could be profitable opportunities for those organisations already poised to take advantage.

If you would like to discuss how PR could be the bridge across GDPR to successful marketing please give us a call on 01433 445001

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If you want to work with a pr company that specialises in the broader events market, one that has a broad skills base and understands live events, conferences and exhibitions, then please get in touch.