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Wednesday, July 17, 2013
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Cutting Through the Clutter of Apathy

On a recent flight I noticed a similarity between the lack of attention given the flight crew while preparing for takeoff and that which professional communicators face.

Every flight starts with the standard emergency procedure warnings, and nearly all passengers show a disregard to receiving some portion of this important message. You only need a short time in a creative position to realize that this is analogous to: 1) the ambivalence shown a commercial break on any media; 2) an indie artist "getting a break"; and 3) being an advertiser.
"There's a new level of clutter matched with a higher degree of apathy, and it's being strengthened through an unparalleled fragmentation of attention."

The question is how do you get a group of people to pay attention? It's rhetorical, and has no single right answer.

You may be an indie artist, internet radio operator or advertiser, but everyone shares two goals that are most important - drawing attention and giving reason for an audience to return. The "how" in accomplishing each is usually mangled.

"Drawing attention" comes from a premise that everything has a starting point, wherein only the creator realizes the brilliance presented.

Giving reason to return is the other side. There are so many options for a consumer that drawing them back or having them tell a friend about your brilliance - see "going viral" - has become as difficult as being discovered.

Today's buzzword is "going viral," and we saw a great demonstration of how that works with KTVU's infamous naming of the pilots. "Captain Sum Tin Wong," "Wi To Lo," "Ho Lee Fuk," and "Bang Ding Ow" will forever be remembered as "Pulling a KTVU" - drawing attention for the wrong reason. But draw attention, they did.

Putting viral aside, let's settle on this side of reality: No matter what your message contains, getting word out means standing out. Most don't succeed.

Years past there was only a small selection of stations within range, far fewer bands sought fame, and advertisers spent time crafting a commercial. Consider what's available today; each of these muddles through a cacophony of noise, which creates this heavy fog of apathy.

The flight crew members giving emergency procedure warnings on my flight looked worn, as if tired of talking to people who aren't paying attention. It's the same look (or sound) that comes from many artists, station owners and advertisements.

There's a new level of clutter matched with a higher degree of apathy, and it's being strengthened through an unparalleled fragmentation of attention.

Cutting through the clutter requires more effort today. Even more effort must be given to get through consumer apathy.

We all now gather audience attention one-person-at-a-time, stuck in a world where everybody is talking and nobody is listening.

What are you doing to stand out?

Today's indie artist introduction is to...
Pop artist Carmin Blinn
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Carmin Blinn

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We listen for songs that evoke emotion; fast, slow, female, male, group, it doesn't matter. When an artist has the power to please, they should be given a chance to be heard.

Give Carmin Blinn's "I Wish" a listen.

Add it to your playlist, free! Such is the new world of music distribution.

It's time internet radio programmers reach into a huge pile of untapped talent.
It is here where new hit songs will increasingly be found.

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