Guerrilla Media

An instructional video that attempts to teach activists how to effectively use media to obtain their goals. Tony Schwartz outlines his basic principles behind guerrilla media, which mainly focuses on radio ads. The tape is structured in a very organized and easy to understand way, with Schwartz giving specific instructions and showing examples of how he has used radio and television to make change in his community. The tape is introduced by New York City Mayor Edward L. Koch, a longtime target of Schwartz's ads, who has taken his side in fighting for anti-tobacco legislation.

5:35Copy video clip URL Part 1: Basic Guerrilla Awareness. Schwartz explains the why the traditional model employed by activists (staging a protest and hoping to gain coverage by the mass media) is not effective. This method often costs a good deal of money for organization, and offers no control to the activists of how they are represented to the public, if the media covers them all. Schwartz explains that with a much smaller amount of money, one can send out messages over the media that directly explain one’s cause and reach more people. He goes on to show how to make a good radio commercial for less than $100.

18:20Copy video clip URL Why Radio. Kathleeen Jamieson talks about how cheap radio is compared to television. This is because one can buy local radio time for about $100 and if your ad is provocative, it will get free coverage on other news sources. In addition, radio stations have to devote a certain amount of time to public service, so an ad that fits this description may be able to air for free. Joe Napolitan explains that another reason radio is a good choice is that it is extremely easy to understand the demographics of radio stations. “Radio is targeted the moment you buy your spot…It ‘s much easier to target radio than any other mass media.” Schwartz emphasizes that radio ads are also more likely to reach people: “You’re born without earlids.” In other words, you are exposed to the radio frequently, and it’s literally impossible to avoid hearing it if you are in the same room. While you may be listening only unconsciously, if you hear words that pertain to you, like your school, business, etc, you’ll tune in. Schwartz says that one of the reasons radio ads can be effective is that when people (such as politicians) hear a radio ad condemning them, they naturally imagine that more people are hearing the broadcast than may actually be hearing it in reality. This means that you can narrowcast an advertisement to the specific people you need to hear it and have it be effective. He claims that the ability to shame legislators is the most powerful tools activists possess.

35:06Copy video clip URL Begin Part 2.

35:35Copy video clip URL Creating Guerrilla Media. Schwartz recommends asking yourself these questions before creating your ad: “Who are you trying to reach?” and “What do you want as a result?” Schwartz emphasizes that the content of a radio spot is more than what i s said. You need to connect with the stored material in people’s minds and then audience will work for you. Don’t try to argue with your audience in 30 seconds or 60 seconds, only use ideas that already resonate with audience.

49:55Copy video clip URL Guerrilla Technique #1: Avoid Gimmicks. No music or sound effects, just talk about things that are important to people.

51:50Copy video clip URL Guerrilla Technique #2: Take advantage of opportunities, i.e. what is going on right now, to grab people’s attention.

53:35Copy video clip URL Guerrilla Technique #3. Start your spot with a question.

54:25Copy video clip URL Guerrilla Technique #4. End with a head line. “A radio ad is like a newspaper ad turned upside down. The most important thing to remember is the last line.”

55:27Copy video clip URL Guerrilla Technique #5. Write like you talk.

58:22Copy video clip URL Finding the Right Voice For Your Message.

59:25Copy video clip URL How to work with a pro, celebrity, yourself, real people.

1:09:13Copy video clip URL Television section. Schwartz insists that though it may not seem so, television is really an auditory medium. One does not need many visuals to get a point across, so choose your visual carefully. He claims that every cut interferes with hearing.

1:13:42Copy video clip URL Begin Part 3. Getting the Message Out and Case Studies. Schwartz claims that one does not need to saturate the market like the powerful do in order to get your message out. One should use the minimum amount of media required. Schwartz gives tips on making sure your ad is efficient, like contacting the station’s sales manager to find o ut about demographics and finding someone to help pay for air time, like businesses that are affected by the issue. He warns that it can be tough to convince radio stations to air your ad because issue advertising threatens their audience base.

1:17:55Copy video clip URL Techniques to Use When a Station Says “No.” These may sound extreme, but Schwartz claims they are actually very effective. One is to run for office. Even if you have no intention of winning and run on a one issue platform, the networks can’t refuse to air political ads. Another suggestion was to create newsletter that discusses your topic and advertise for the issue you wrote on the air.

1:31:30Copy video clip URL Jamieson talks about the different ways we respond to different media.

1:36:50Copy video clip URL Case studies. Schwartz closes with the advice “Don’t give up the fight and don’t use yesterday’s tools for today’s fight.”



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