I was about to cross the road in the middle of my run, and I'm the cautious type--I don't just dart out in the middle of the road like you North Easters. Plus, I don't mind those few seconds of catch-your-breath time. Anyways, I was about to cross the road, legally, at a crosswalk, and no cars stopped. Every time I attempted to take a step forward, it seemed like the car would be completely oblivious to me, or worse, they'd step on the gas.
I started to get annoyed. Maybe people just drive like maniacs during rush hour. Maybe my leopard print shirt is camouflaging. Maybe I am invisible today. Just as I was troubleshooting the situation, a group of baby ducks absentmindedly walked out in the street. I tried to warn them, "Hey! Be careful! You'll get squished out there! People are blind today!"
They took their time crossing, leaving the perfectly unideal amount of space between each duck--the maximal amount of space to not let cars pass through. It took them 5 minutes to cross the street. Meanwhile, a traffic jam was forming, and the masses of angry drivers turned into masses of oogling-the-cuteness drivers.
It's at this point that I realized I am less assertive than a duck. If you want people to stop for you, you have to make them stop for you. That's how it works when you cross the street. It's slightly risky, but odds are, most cars will stop.
That's also how it works in professional running. If you want sponsors to stop for you, or media to listen to you, or for race directors to notice you, you have to put yourself out there. Don't give them a choice to not notice. Also, I assume it helps if you are as cute as a group of baby ducks.