Returning calls and emails in a timely fashion makes a difference. People take ignored communications personally. By saying nothing, people think you don't care about their opinion, you disagree with what they're saying, or you dislike them. It is up to you to manage expectations.
It is easy to stand out. Be quick with your responses, no matter who you are. You have a cell phone with text messaging or email. What's keeping you from being a great communicator? Put numerical precision to it - Who do you need to call or email back within the next 10 minutes?