A Letter Designed to Get Past the PA

Haribo selling

PA’s are guardians of their bosses time and attention. They have an important screening role. So there can be a challenge to work out how to get past the PA.Here’s an interesting technique. I came across it on LinkedIn and wanted to share…

Dear Secretary of Ms Anderson

I hope you are well.

I do apologise for not addressing you by name. I did try to find out, but was unable to. Google was no help either. I’m sure you have a lovely name, though.

If Slaughter & May is like other companies, I believe that one of your responsibilities will entail sifting and sorting Ms Anderson’s mail. I’m sure she receives lots of letters, some important and some useless, and- as guardian of what reaches Ms Anderson’s desk – you are responsible for deciding which letters reach her, and which are forwarded on to Human Resources for a response.

By now, you will have noted the two packets of Haribo taped below. They are for you. You can share them with your colleagues if you wish, but I wouldn’t if I were you – they’re only little. The reason there are two packets is because after consuming one, you always want another. And that’s why there is another.

The packets are for you for ensuring that the attached letter reaches Ms Anderson’s desk. If you’re unable to do that, you can have the packets anyway for taking the time to read this letter.

I would recommend you eat the Tangfastics packet after the Starmix packet because, otherwise, the sourness of the former will not allow you to savour the real sweetness of the latter.


It looks like an effective strategy to me. It gets you noticed. It provides a bit of fun and light relief. There is some humanity and charm. It probably won’t work with everybody – but then again, no single style works for everybody!

While I try to find out if it worked, what other tactics do we all have for getting past the PA gatekeeper?

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