Over the years, what has often concerned me about the PR industry is that it is unregulated. In particular, this has been a cause for concern in terms of business development and the perception of PR – if PR is not delivered by qualified, experienced professionals it can lack credibility or be undervalued.
While, in general, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) may be viewed as an onerous task and one that resulted in overflowing inboxes with requests to stay in touch or to review privacy policies in advance of May 25th, I believe it has facilitated significant progress in the PR industry. Due to the GDPR and the measures undertaken by businesses to ensure compliance, the role of PR professionals and consultancies is now strengthened, particularly when it comes to media relations. An established relationship and legitimate interest exists between NUJ, PRII and PRCA members. On the other hand, contacting journalists is not a legitimate interest of non-PR individuals or businesses and, therefore, could be considered unsolicited.
It begs the question – Is DIY PR and media relations a thing of the past? Does the GDPR pave the way for a regulated PR industry? I think it is an interesting and welcome development and one that has helped to solidify our profession.