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“The Attention That Comes From Being Different”

KPIG is a local radio station (107.5 FM in Freedom, CA) and recently I had it on as I was driving. It’s an eclectic mix, to say the least. An ad came on for “Reverend Billy’s Rhythm Revival,” challenging me to tune in from 9 to 11 p.m. for “wild, jumpin’ R&B, boogie-woogie, and gospel from the 1950s.” I dance both East Coast Swing and Lindy, so this is my jam.

The KPIG website describes the show this way: “Rev. Billy C. Wirtz tells you about the circumstances under which the song was recorded, the original label it was on, and what the sax player ordered to-go from the nearby Chinese restaurant… Listen for just one hour, and you’ll be amazed at hearing a song that you always associated with one genre of music, played in an entirely different manner, with an entirely different groove.”

I mentioned it to my wife. “Oh I’d totally listen to that,” she said. “It’s like appointment radio. I love it.”

So, last night, I tried to find a FM stereo in the house, and failed. I couldn’t stream the show online as I’m not a member (this would have popped the bubble on the experience a bit anyway). So, I went out to the car, tuned in, and went on a trip with Rev. Billy.

The “high tech” world of musical algorithms promises to help me find more of the music I like. The method works. But I’ve never been a fan of “if you like this, then you might like” options, because they further silo my music choices.

So how refreshing to have someone curate a musical experience for me. Fifty years ago, this was the norm. But today, it feels like a treat. I liked handing the plane over to a pilot other than me, and just seeing where he flew me.

We all know how difficult it is to get people’s attention. One way to do it is to zig when others zag. When the norm is an algorithm, having an expert curate the experience for me gets my attention. When the norm is connecting through Instagram posts, having a real phone conversation gets attention. When the norm is sending an email, sending a hand-written letter gets attention. (And a hand-written thank-you note gets a LOT of attention.)

To be noticed, be different. It’s a simple concept with a large impact.

Need inspiration? “From the sacred to the (mildly) profane, tune into the Rhythm Revival, and get a dose of that “Healin’ Feelin’ on the Rhythm Revival, Rev. Billy C. Wirtz. AMEN!!”

This week’s mission:

What marketing channel are you using that isn’t getting attention? Experiment with making it different than what you did before, and different from what others do. This might mean the method of delivery, what is delivered, who delivers it… there are endless possibilities. It almost doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you make it unexpected. Push the envelope of your creativity. What’s the worst that can happen? People will notice.

Thank you to all of you who continue to share your thoughts back with me. Keep ’em coming.




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I'm Ron Evans. I dramatically improve individual and organizational performance. If you found today's topic intriguing and want to apply it to your situation, I'll brainstorm with you. The few who follow through and take me up on my offer will benefit greatly. Strike while the iron is hot! 


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