Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Waiting Game

I've been thinking lately about rejection. No, not on the personal level. Rather, the types of rejections received by freelance writers when querying publications, anybody when applying for jobs, and PR pros when pitching journalists. Or maybe I should say the lack of rejection.

Because in today's busy, busy, busy business world, that's what seems to happen most often. You hear nothing back at all.  You wait...and wait...and wait.

And that's a shame, since email should be making the rejection process so easy. After all, nobody anymore needs to type a letter on a sheet of paper, fold it, stick it in an envelope, and mail it. Or even just print a page from the computer and feed it into a fax machine. All anyone has to do is compose an email and hit "Send."

I can hear the snickers now. There's so much email coming in. There's no time to open each one, hit "Reply," type a short message or even just paste a form letter into text, and then hit "Send." It's so much easier and faster to just hit "Delete."

So I've devised a solution -- all that's needed is a techie to develop it. Instead of hitting "Delete" or "Reply," let's add another option to the email toolbar or pull-down menu: a "Reject" button.

When "Reject" is pushed, a pre-written form letter will automatically be sent to the original sender. For journalists rejecting PR folk like me, this could say something like, "Sorry. Can't do your story now. Go pitch it elsewhere." The pitchee is saved from having to endure even more emails and phone calls. The pitcher can move on to the next target.

For editors rejecting freelance writers: "Your idea is excellent but doesn't meet our needs at this time, etc.."

For HR execs rejecting job applicants: "Your qualifications are impeccable, but we have decided to go in another direction."

Sounds crass, but sure beats the waiting game.


  1. It's really unconscionable not to respond to a query. Maybe the applicant wouldn't want to work there after all.

  2. Les -- I LOVE this idea!!!!