What is GDPR and What Does it Mean for You

What does GDPR stand for?

The General Data Protection Regulation.

What is GDPR?

It is a regulation by which the European Parliament the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU).

Who does it affect?

The GDPR applies to ‘controllers’ and ‘processors’ or in layman’s terms anyone who stores information about people.

When did it come into action?

The regulation came into full effect on the 25/5/18.

MediaHQ has you fully covered in this new GDPR era. Given the penalties, it is extremely important that you and your business make the suitable investments.

Whether it be from an educational or strategy perspective, you need to ensure you are abiding and being fully compliant under the law. We will answer some core components to the new GDPR regulation below.


Can you show where you got your data from and how you use it on an ongoing basis?

MediaHQ has a database of over 50,000 people working in the Irish and UK media industry. This has been curated from information provided directly from media organisations or journalists themselves.

Our MediaHQ clients, including commercial, government, not for profit, and charity organisations, use our system to send press releases to these journalists. We tag journalists so that lists can be built and press releases sent to targeted sectors in the media. In terms of what data we collect, each media contact’s profile contains their professional work email address, work address and telephone number, a photo and a career description. Their LinkedIn and Twitter page may also be added to their profile.

In addition to having traceable permission for all the contacts on the MediaHQ system, we implemented a traceable opt-out function when GDPR came into affect on May 25th 2018. This allows you, in a simple way, to track and manage those journalists that don’t want to get press releases from you.

In 2017, we started preparing for the new regulations by adding GDPR permissions gathering functionality into the backend of our system. Our team of researchers input how they got the information and if there is ever a query from a journalist or client, we are able to check against this.


Can you show you had a valid reason for collecting this data?

As a media directory, we provide communication professionals with a system to issue press releases or pitch emails, which are a globally recognised format for communicating news and stories to the media.

We have a zero tolerance, one strike and you’re out, spam policy. Spam is anything that doesn’t fit the recognised format for receiving information from public relations professionals.

We also have a media List Hub feature that provides access to over 210 media lists that are tailored by topic to ensure journalists only receive relevant press releases.


Can you show how you are keeping your data up to date and not storing it past its ‘sell-by date’?

Because MediaHQ is the chosen tool for the distribution of press releases, for a very wide number of organisations, we get to see who’s moving in the media very quickly.

Our research team are constantly monitoring media movements and promptly updating profiles on our system. We have a special feature that allows clients to flag profiles or organisations if they think they need to be updated. We also check any email addresses in our system that bounce. We periodically carry out checks with media organisations to ensure everything listed is up to date.

Clients are also allowed to upload their own contacts to the system. It is a requirement of the client to ensure that these contacts are GDPR compliant.


Can you show how safely you are keeping your data?

All of our data is stored in managed virtual servers over a number of secure locations.

On an individual basis, only MediaHQ clients can access our media contacts database under a strictly controlled password. We have a very strict policy in cases where we believe this password has been breached. We immediately disable all access to the account and there are protocols for getting it reopened.

This ensures that if any issues arise, clients or journalists can come to us as a point of contact. When people request to be removed from the system, we delete their profile immediately and do not keep a record of their emails. We note their name, organisation and position so that they won’t be added to the system unless they request it.

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