The alternatives to advertising: how else to reach schools.

Whatever you might think of GDPR, I guess most of us can agree that the intention of the EU was not to have the incredible upsurge of emails that occurred as the big day came.

But that is exactly what happened.  However now the day is past, so what happens next?  Well, in effect there are two different camps emerging which I will summarise very briefly.

One is most certain that sending out promotional emails to people without their express permission is now a contravention of EU rules.   Companies in this camp are working towards finding alternative means of promotion and I’ll summarise these below.

The other group argue two things. First, that there is nothing in the GDPR regulations to stop the sending of generic emails to schools or anywhere else (ie those that start “office@”) because these contain no personal data.

And second, that even if there is a person’s name in the email address (such as the relevant regulation here is the  “legitimate interest” clause which allows the sending of relevant emails.

So, people are making the choice: to continue emailing schools using the generic lists which contain no personal data, to continue using email addresses that contain the name of a teacher, or to find a different method that doesn’t use email at all.

In terms of the “different method” approach three alternatives have emerged.

The first two you will be familiar with: solo postal campaigns (with the benefit of potentially much higher sales, and the ability to test a promotion before it goes out) and shared postal mailings (reaching almost all schools for around 8p each).

The third approach you may be less familiar with: it is UK Education News. This is a rolling news website that is updated every five minutes with headlines from the major education news sources (the BBC, Guardian, DfE etc).  Click on a headline and you go straight to the news page.

In between the news stories there are occasional headlines that lead to promotional pieces about school equipment and services.  The stories, like the news items, start at the top of the page and work their way down over the period of about 5 days. If you have never seen it, do take a look here.

Allied to UK Education News we are also setting up a resources website which will contain links to all the companies that advertise with, divided by subject area, etc, so that if you are not emailing schools, there will be a resource centre that teachers can refer to and which will contain details of all the companies that advertise with ourselves.

If you would like to talk about any of our approaches – that is generic emailing, the continuance of personal emailing, shared postal mailing, solo postal mailing, or UK Education News, please do simply call 01604 880 927 or email 

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