This month marks the 233rd anniversary of Paul Revere’s and William Dawes rides. From a business perspective, these rides are most interesting when looking at the effectiveness of both of these gentlemen’s messages. They both had the same exact message to deliver. So why it is that Paul Revere was not only more successful at delivering that message but is also most remembered for it?
Both men had very important news that needed to be delivered to many people in a very short period of time. If you look at this from a marketing perspective, their message was urgent, relevant to the people to which it was being delivered and at a time that people would be sensitive to the message.
Same message, same method, same time …completely different results.
According to the book, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, the difference was in the way that Paul Revere was connected to his community. He was a man who was very intensely social. As Gladwell wrote: “He was a fisherman and a hunter, a card player and a theater-lover, a frequenter of clubs and a successful businessman. He was active in the local Masonic Lodge and was a member of several select social clubs.”
(Interesting point to note here is the question: was Paul Revere so social because he was a successful businessman, or was he a successful businessman because he was so social?)
As Gladwell’s book points out, it isn’t that Paul Revere knew everyone; it is that he knew whom to alert to aid him in alerting the others. He knew, as Gladwell puts it, ‘whose door to knock on’ to get his message spread as quickly as possible. Paul Revere was most likely alerting people such as the head of the Masonic Lodge, the head of a fisherman’s club, and various other well-connected people. While Dawes, being a man of normal social circles, simply spread his message to everyone as he rode through town.
So the question is; are you Paul Revere or are you William Dawes? Do you take the time to connect yourself with different organizations in your local area? Do you invest the time necessary for your business to thrive in creating your own social network?
You may never have to ride through town contacting everyone with an urgent message at midnight, but getting to know many people in different types of social networks can do incredible things for your referral network and ultimately your success.
National Virtual Tour Company