interbiznet: The Recruiting News

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It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


The Electronic Recruiting News is a Free Daily Newsletter For Recruiters, HR Managers, Advertising Agencies and Clasified Advertising Operations

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Losing Money
(January 31, 2003) - For a brief moment, it looked as though this would be our last column. Gasping as the title unveiled itself in our email box, we were certain that our tribulations in the recession were over as we read the attention getting title of the email: Wanted: Customer Service Representatives. "Shooee", we thought, "our ship has finally come in."

On a separate front, we're waiting patiently for our $20 Million check. This very private and confidential transaction is conducted on behalf of a beleaguered South African family. After receiving about 3,600 pieces of email diligently requesting our help, we finally succumbed. The really good news is that we'll be losing a lot of weight while we wait. Our no-pain diet formula will be arriving by mail as well.

We'll be the skinny, rich, glassy eyed (we ordered herbal viagra, too) fellow.

Thank God for the spam; we'd never have had all of these fantastic opportunities without it.

The funny thing is that the spam mentality is being copied by PR people and marketers from vendors in our industry. From the issuance of press releases to the discussion of new products, form letters are being issued at fast and furious rates. Weirdly, some companies are selling "talent pools" and the tools to bombard them with spam as a recruiting gambit. Their brethren are peddling job board accounts to multi-level marketing schemes.

Here's the sales pitch: "Hi! Would you like a dose of brand cancer?" "No? How about giving us one?"

That's what you get when you send crap in the mail titled "Company XXX, Important" while asking for time to explain your latest deal with TMP. Surprise! Everyone has seen deals with TMP. It's spam unless you give value with the note.

That's what you get when you bombard mailboxes with "offers". It's what you get when you think that a "relationship" constitutes "permission" to send form letters to a "community". It's what you get if you send more and more email because your first one didn't get the response you thought you deserved.

Sadly, it's worse than that. Recently we got a series of pleas for our time with the following pitch:

Sorry to hound you, but, and without sounding obsequious, you've got your
finger on the pulse of what is happening out there.  I've got an interview
and story coming out with a high level reporter at Reuters.  I really would
like to touch base, just so I'm up on everything and am not suprised. 
Somehow, having an email address entitles us to be hit on to support someone who hasn't done his homework. It may be worse than spam. Ranting aside, be sure that you know what your employees are doing with email. The damage that can be done to your brand by an ill-prepared PR flack is nothing short of amazing. The ruin you can create in your potential labor pool may be non-repairable.

- John Sumser  

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

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