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The General Data Protection Regulation comes in on 25th May and the new privacy rules have got marketers in a bit of a flap. That's no surprise when you read the document itself. It’s opaque and chock-full of jargon.

If your business is updating its privacy policy or writing to customers about the changes, it’s up to you to break things down simply.

Here are three tips for doing that.

1. Show people you care

Privacy is a hot topic lately. So GDPR is an excellent opportunity to do things right and earn your customers’ trust. You can do that by writing clearly and focusing on what matters to your reader.

  • Keep it concise.
  • If you’re asking the reader to do something, make it clear.
  • Point out what you’re doing to help.

Facebook missed a trick here in their press ad. (Whoops.)

Notice how it’s ‘the regulation’ that will protect you, not Facebook. There’s a passive remark that ‘you will be asked’ something at some point, which is confusing and vague. And to add insult to injury, the call to action seems to be ‘go and read the full text of GDPR when you’ve got a sec’.

2. Fix the formality

The text of the GDPR itself is heavy going. Take this snippet for example:

The arrangement referred to in paragraph 1 shall duly reflect the respective roles and relationships of the joint controllers vis-à-vis the data subjects. The essence of the arrangement shall be made available to the data subject.

If you’re writing your new privacy policy and you want people to have half a chance of knowing what they’re signing up to, you’ll need to do some translating. Here’s our go at rewriting that extract.

3. Spring clean your content strategy

As marketers contact their mailing lists asking them to re-register, it’s judgement day for repetitive, boring communications. Now’s the perfect time to rethink your strategy so you can send messages of quality, not quantity, to the loyal people who’ve stuck around.

That means thinking beyond the Easter egg gif for cracking deals in April. Instead, start planning your messages around what’s important to your reader. For example, a small business owner will usually be interested in a new government budget announcement. So that could be your cue to get in touch.

Speaking of emails… You can sign up to our semi-regular eThing.

0 min read, posted in Writing tips, by James Robinson, on 16 May 2018