Today's question comes from Gina, whose email got buried in my inbox weeks ago (so sorry, Gina-- I know this answer is ridiculously late... but if it can't help you, hopefully it can help somebody else). Gina writes...
Recently I sent an email query to an executive at a TV Network regarding my TV pilot that I found in HCD. It didn't say anything about "no unsolicited submissions." The next day his assistant emailed me back and politely told me of their no unsolicited submissions policy. Is it okay to respond to the assistant and apologize and thank him/her for even responding to the email even though they didn't have to, or is it better to not respond at all?
Well, Gina... the truth is, either way is probably fine.
If you don't write back: no harm, no foul. These networks get thousands of submissions-- solicited and unsolicited-- a year, so if you don't write them and say "thank you," it's not like they'll remember you as some rude writer who didn't write them back.
If you do write back: sadly-- they still probably won't remember you, so it probably doesn't make much of a difference.
Having said that... there's never any harm in being friendly and polite, and every positive interaction can help form a foundation for a relationship... and, in this business, there's nothing more valuable than relationships. So there's certainly no harm in shooting back a short, friendly email to say thanks. It will probably get deleted immediately from the assistant's inbox... along with your name from his/her brain... but so what? In a best case scenario-- if you live in L.A.-- maybe you and that assistant will meet at a party, or a bar, or in a job interview sometime soon... and, thanks to that polite "thank you" email, he/she will remember you... and that's just one small thing to help you curry their favor!
If you do choose to write them back, I'd just keep it SUPER short... literally, something like-- "No worries, thanks so much! - Gina." Or, "Cool... I appreciate you getting back to me! - Gina."
Hope that helps... and again, sorry it took me a while to get back to you, Gina!