By Guerrilla Communication we mean an unconventional communication practice carried out through subversive interventions in the communication process. The term was coined in 1997 by Luther Blissett and Sonja Brünzels when Kommunication Guerrilla Handbook was published, even though it had been used for the first time in 1984 by Jay Conrad Levinson in relation to marketing strategies used by small businesses.
Guerrilla Communication can be defined as a critical, ironic and creative communication tool that attempts a symbolic appropriation of physical and thematic spaces. The objectives of Guerrilla Communication are varied, including – especially for the not-for-profit sphere – the questioning of the legitimacy of political power, as well as expressing a social critique to the current communication forms and their functioning, and combating and breaking the power relations at the basis of our social organization.
Using different communication practices that are accessible to all, Guerrilla Communication is aimed at different targets and has different interconnected objectives: to break with the traditional schemes and rules; to attract and engage the audience in a direct, surprising and provocative way; to raise awareness among public opinion on the social issues part of the media campaigns, and finally to fundraise in favour of those causes that are supported by the media campaigns.
The aim is therefore to hit the individual and activate the word of mouth effect, which helps the message being spread among the population in a “viral” way. In order to have a successful communication action, in addition to Guerrilla Communication, it is necessary to work hard on its follow-up, to speed up its dissemination and increase its visibility, which is crucial in obtaining a high level of viralization.
Guerrilla communication tends to be more affordable than classical communication activities. It is a communication practiced that is based on creativity, imagination, provocative ideas and people’s involvement.
Examples of implementation
There are many actions implementing this communication tool such as flash mobs, incursions, creative events, fake news, invisible theater, street art or artistic “vandalism”, symbolic occupations of spaces.
Session “Guerrilla communication”
Valerio Gatto Bonanni – SemiVolanti
Guerrilla Comunication: Tecniques, methods – Download