… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.


So lately I’ve been noticing an increase in the amount of unsolicited “Critical HR Information” emails I must read showing up in my inbox. Book reviews, author interviews, and product promotions are popping up more and more. On the one hand, that must mean I’m getting attention. Cool. On the other hand, they might as well be trying to get me send money to a Nigerian prince — it all amounts to spam. Sigh.

Now, I’m not talking about emails from people I know; that stuff I’m cool with. Why? Because if I’ve been chatting with you on or offline, that means you’ve taken the time to get to know me and wanted me to get to know you. In other words, you are doing this whole social media/networking thing right. I have no problem spreading the love when it comes to our little HR online community. It’s an important part of being a contributing member and it gives me a fuzzy feeling inside.

But these emails? They are completely different. These unsolicited messages never use my real name, are never personal, and if I call them on it (and I have), they never follow up. Despite how much me and my readers (that would be you) would apparently benefit from this incredible information they want to share with us, they can’t be bothered to make a personal connection with me first. Am I expecting too much? I don’t think so. And especially now with the new blogger regulations, why would I do it for an impersonal stranger? There are too many of you out there I actually want to help first.

7 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Trish McFarlane :

    Like you, I am getting more and more of these emails every week. I agree with you- in order to get me to respond, the PR firm needs to at least make some kind of attempt to know who I am, what I write, or what my name is (at a minimum). I recently hosted a presentation at work (PR Firm) on how to pitch to bloggers. Sounds like other PR firms need to be working on their outreach methods and refining it. Nice post Shauna.

  • 2 HR Minion :

    Trish – I agree, I think these PR firms better start keeping you busy! 🙂

  • 3 Ask a Manager :

    Ugh, me too. I've started referring some of them to this great article on the topic by Monica O'Brien:

  • 4 Laurie :

    No, really, read my book FOR FREE and then SPEND YOUR OWN TIME writing a review.

    Uh, thanks but no thanks.

  • 5 HR Minion :

    Ask A Mgr – Cool link! I may have to do that too!

    Laurie – Lol! 🙂

  • 6 Ben Eubanks :

    I actually got a great review request a few weeks back (for a service, not for a book). The person emailed me to discuss some blog posts, started following me on Twitter, and asked me a day later if we could talk about what he had to offer. I was thrilled to help. It's SO much different than a blanket email to dozens of people. It worked on me in the early days when I really loved getting free books, but there are too many now to keep up with.

    You tell 'em, Shauna.

  • 7 HR Minion :

    Ben – If they all would take the time, I do think they will get better quality and interest in whatever they are promoting. They deserve a cookie. 🙂