How correct PR around data privacy can benefit your online marketing strategy

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
4 min read

There is a large amount of controversy about data and privacy for businesses and consumers alike in 2018.It has been highlighted by the introduction of GDPR in the EU on, may 25th, which includes heightened consumers’ concerns about privacy. Once you look at recent incidents such as for example Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, companies have already been alerted to making certain regulations are met and revenue isn’t affected. In this post, I’m likely to look at techniques businesses can easily see data privacy regulations as a marketing tool. I’ll include bad and the good examples to greatly help drive some points home.

Let’s look at a good example of where the reaction to privacy by marketing, perhaps goes too much, potentially impacting PR.

In 2017 Wetherspoons went the complete nine yards and deleted 656,723 members off its database. This produces an extremely aggressive method of online marketing strategy using privacy as a strength. The reason behind the removal was amid fears of litigation and fines, which many have been handed out through the preceding months. In March of 2017, Flybe was fined £70,000 by the info Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for sending out emails with the topic line “Are your details correct?” 3.3million times. That same month Honda was also fined by the ICO for sending 289,790 emails asking if people wished to receive marketing and sales communications.


This is seen as a bold online marketing strategy by Wetherspoons since it generated plenty of press & most likely a rise in their website traffic. This is in conjunction with their decision to turn off all their social media. With regards to business strategy this may be a PR masterstroke but can be a risk to revenue. It needs the web site to be visited for several offers and campaigns, that is not likely to produce nearly as high traffic as their social pages and email recipients would generate. The success of the may be temporary and the result of sales might take time and energy to trickle through.

How a weak data privacy strategy can change right into a PR nightmare

If your organization doesn’t have strong data privacy precautions set up, then there are always a selection of risks. This may come in the proper execution of rules being broken and heavy fines being levied, but another, more worrying risk, is really a data breach. Among this could be within the Dixons Carphone data breach that found light this week. They experienced a severe data breach earlier this season, involving 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records.

The PR nightmare includes the truth that they didn’t make the breach public or recognized to customers that it could have effected. With this particular been shown to be a very severe case that will not, on the facial skin of it, appear to have been handled in a specialist manner, it’ll only reduce brand trust and subsequently reduce sales. To create things worse these were hacked in 2015 and fined £400,000 by the ICO. It’s now in the hands of the media.Their control over security perception is lost with their current and potential prospects.

How a PR nightmare can change right into a strong data privacy strategy

The implications for Facebook following Cambridge Analytica data breach remain yet to be fully known. Interestingly their usage has actually risen significantly because the data breach premiered. This included sign ins and time allocated to the website as shown by the chart below.

facebook minutes per user 2018

A large amount of this traffic could possibly be related to people going to Facebook to see what has changed or been done. It must be said that this increase in usage is certainly unexpected at best, it might well experienced extremely undesireable effects on the business. The PR implications remain there for Facebook for the near future from the brand trust perspective.

A better strategy will be what Apple did in the wake of the scandals others have endured. They will have create a microsite to target specifically on the customer’s data privacy.

Apple Privacy

This update with their data privacy shows confidence within their strategy and subsequently gives confidence within their brand. The website enables you to see all data that’s connected with your account and/or download it. Furthermore, it is possible to request corrections, deactivate your account and request a whole deletion. This move by Apple has consequently been found by the media and given them an extremely secure standing with regards to PR.

What does this mean for the business?

Sending a straightforward GDPR or Data Privacy email could keep you squeaky clean and on par with other businesses. Updates to your policy are essential for you as well as your customers. Going the excess mile and rendering it among your forefrontal strengths is a thing that individuals are now likely to look for a lot more. Consider ways to tie in data security to your strategy and make certain users don’t have to ask in case you are. Online data security gets the spotlight onto it now also it makes business sense to create yourself well from people with questionable data privacy strategies. If your organization includes a brilliant strategy of this type then don’t hide it in a online privacy policy in all the facts, right now may be the time and energy to shout it from the rooftops.

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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