What Would You Do? A Case of Rude Behavior Online

I traded emails with a very interesting rude company today, and I am honestly perplexed at how to respond! I am hoping to lean on you guys for some sage advice.

I got an email from…let’s just call him Andy from marketing company x. They wanted a free copy of my book to review. Now, they aren’t journalists. They do have a company blog which seems fairly new.

Here is the discourse (names concealed for privacy sake)-

They said:

Hello Shama,

I would like to review your book The Zen of Social Media Marketing for xyz.com.

Could you possibly send me a review copy when you get a chance?

Cordial Regards,


I said:

Hi Andy,

Thanks so much for the offer to review it!

At this point, all bloggers are purchasing their own copies. If you

like it, you are MOST welcome to review it.



SIDE NOTE: At this point, I had already chosen multiple bloggers to send review copies too, and the book has sold thousands of copies in two weeks. All in all-I’m pretty satisfied! Any more reviews that were going out were from bloggers who purchased the book and enjoyed it enough to share with their readers. This was a blogger from a marketing firm, so I had no problem suggesting they grab a copy. (All journalists looking to review the book can grab a free copy. So can all non-profits (no review necessary).

They responded (retaliated?)

Hello Shama,

Standard PR practice includes providing review copies.

Our site is a solid PR 4 site focused. A backlink from us is worth about four times the price of your book.

This was a bit of a test actually. To see if you are as savvy as you say you are.

No worries. Maybe with some experience you’ll improve.

Cordial regards,


Now, I have to wonder! Does the fox think the grapes are sour, or was I remiss?

I decided to share this story with you guys, because I think there are multiple lessons to be learned here. I have not responded to “Andy” – but I am curious as to what you think I should do…or have done?


She is the founder & CEO of Zen Media. She has been named the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by FastCompany.com. Forbes, Businessweek, and Inc have all recognized her as one of the Top 30 under 30 entrepreneurs in the field of marketing. Shama has built a global audience and is known for helping brands succeed in the digital age. She is a bestselling author, an international keynote speaker, and has been named one of LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in Marketing for four years in a row.



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