Build a Bridge or Burn One … Which Should You Choose?

by Dan Ward

“Dan, I did not take precious time out of my day to send you a personalized email only for you to never even read it.  It’s unprofessional and personally unbecoming.  Please remedy – thanks!”

In full disclosure, the author of this email (who I am not naming but whose email address touts their “way with words”) was absolutely correct.  I never read the email.  I don’t even recall seeing it.  I get hundreds of emails every day and admit that I don’t read every email I receive.  Some that should be caught by spam filters, aren’t.  Others that shouldn’t be trapped by spam filters, are.  And when I purge my files to clear room on the server, inevitably some messages get lost.

But this email definitely got my attention.  You see, it came from a person who had originally sent an employment inquiry and résumé.

Anyone applying for a job in public relations should know that persistence is important.  As my peers who occasionally pitch media will attest, journalists often delete our messages without even looking at them.  Our job is to be persistent, to find other communication channels to reach them, to develop creative new ways to get their attention … without ticking them off by calling them unprofessional.

This job seeker could well have written, “Dan, I see that you deleted my email before having the chance to read it.  I assume it must have been an oversight related to your busy schedule.  I make that assumption in the knowledge that if you HAD read my email and résumé, the quality of my prose and the depth of my relevant experience would have led you to call right away.  I’ve attached another copy of my résumé for your review, and encourage you to take a couple of minutes to read it.  Looking forward to your reply.”

That’s a message that might have built a bridge rather than burning one.

One Response to Build a Bridge or Burn One … Which Should You Choose?

  1. We hear from group managers occasionally when an important email ends up in a member’s spam folder, or worse yet, gets filtered out altogether. Fortunately, this a rare occurrence as spam filters are usually pretty good at their job, but here are five precautions you can take to work with spam filters towards the betterment of your mailing lists and inboxes everywhere.

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