Eye on Privacy: Will Privacy Efforts Survive Budget Cuts?
You're on your third round of budget cuts and your fifth cup of coffee. You're asking yourself, "Can I really afford privacy compliance in this economy?"
You'll thank yourself later.
We're all in the same financial dilemma, so here are some tips for maintaining your privacy compliance—and maybe improving it—without tanking your budget.
1. Use your Direct Marketing Association membership and explore the organization's Web site. There is a wealth of information there to help you do your job.
The DMA tracks legislation affecting marketers. It works with lawmakers to shape legislation that will benefit consumers without obliterating your marketing efforts. It communicates the progress of federal and state bills. Trying to do this work yourself seems overwhelming, but reading and responding to these DMA updates is feasible. Subscribe to the association's Triple Bottom Line Bulletin and to Politically Direct to stay current on the regulatory environment.
The DMA provides self-regulation recommendations for marketers called Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice. They are a great source of policies and practices for your staff to follow. These guidelines are on the association's Web site along with "Do The Right Thing" commentary, which provides explanations and examples.
The DMA also provides free webinars on a variety of topics. Why spend time and money traveling when many courses are offered for free?
2. Share training with your clients or service providers. Let's face it, training is expensive. And, whether you've developed classroom instruction or computer-based courses, you've invested time and money. Most likely, your business partners—both clients and service providers—have done the same. Think how much more efficient it would be if we shared our efforts.
If you are a data provider, you probably train your staff on accessing, storing and transferring the data in a compliant manner. This training also would benefit companies that use your data. The same is true for marketers using third-party processors for their customer files. Their staff training on file protection also would benefit their service providers.