Just for fun, I did a quick analysis of the contents of my work inbox for the past 24 hours.
Personal from outside the company: 3
Real spam: 4
Mailing list stuff I want: 5
Mailing list stuff I once wanted: 3
PR messages o' joy: 51
The categories aren't that hard and fast and the numbers aren't bombproof, but it's good enough. Internal covers a multitude of sins, including notifications from various stat systems, our copyflow process, cc-to-all things of glancing interest... you know. Lots happens on IM, too. I'd say maybe ten of those internal emails are actually must-reads. Most of my personal email goes on in my personal inbox, unsurprisingly, so I'm not quite as sad and friendless as that figure may indicate, and it's nice to see our spam filters are clearly working well.
So that leaves 51 messages of burning importance from my friends in the press relations industry, including an exciting update on how a company I've never heard of has helped improved a mobile portal in the Czech republic, right under the sort of headline that makes me seriously consider blindness as a career option: "MARKETING, MEDIA AND ADVERTISING TOOK CENTER STAGE DURING SOLD OUT MOBILE MARKETING FORUM".
There's good stuff in there too, but by Jiminy it's a hard thrash pulling it free of the wreckage. It's not so much that it takes that long to plough through fifty messages, it's the sheer mental misery of having to decode the blasted PR speak and break down the haul into the following subcategories (today's figures included):
Stories I'll write about (0)
Stories someone else may want to write about (0)
Stuff I won't write about, but am glad to know (5)
Stuff I won't write about, and should know (12)
Stuff I won't write about and care less (23)
Non stories by any description, be they:-
Rank balderdash sent out to keep client happy (7)
Clueless agency (4)
Chancer hoping to tweak my sense of humour (0)
So if you're a PR and wondering where your email went -- always assuming you've remembered I'm on your list at all -- it's a jungle in there.