Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
If you are managing public relations outreach for a non-profit organization, one of the most effective communication opportunities available is the radio PSA, or Public Service Announcement. You probably already have some idea of great radio PSA examples, such as “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” and “Get Out the Vote.” These community-oriented messages took advantage of a highly-engaged audience in a targeted medium that can effectively reach every geographic and demographic group in the United States. Your organization can do it, too.
Looking for a better understanding of PSAs? See our full guide on what is a Public Service Announcement (PSA).
What is a Public Service Announcement?
A radio PSA is an on-target message that is written and produced for a non-profit organization to spread the word about a particular topic such as health, public safety, family and community, or environmental concerns. The organization has a particular point of view which it would like to promote that is intended to educate the public and motivate listeners to implement change or take the desired action. Often times, the message conveys some type of community benefit.
When produced and distributed properly, a radio PSA can air across the country on numerous stations, none of which charge for the airtime. While this “free” airtime factor might seem appealing, acquiring it means crafting and producing a compelling message, then targeting the most appropriate radio stations for distribution.
Looking for more info on what is a PSA? See our guide on the differences between ANRs, RMTs, and PSAs..
Looking For Examples of a Radio Public Service Announcement (PSA)?
Listen to the example of the Radio Public Service Announcement we created for the USDA.
USDA 30-second PSA
USDA 60-second PSA
You can find radio PSA examples on thousands of U.S. radio stations each day, all following the same general guidelines:
- The radio PSA should be linked to a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization with local or national recognition. It should not include references to any type of commercial sponsor.
- The message must be of service to the public in some way and should appeal to the targeted radio station’s listening audience.
- Radio PSAs can be produced in 10-, 15-, 30-, and 60-second versions, and are provided to stations both in prerecorded and scripted versions, the latter of which is used for live reads, to offer maximum flexibility and increase the likelihood of usage. Spanish language versions can also be produced for the Hispanic community.
- The message should be powerful and deliver a clearly defined call-to-action based on what the non-profit organization is providing or the help they’re seeking from the listening audience. Sometimes a call for volunteers is just as important as a call for donations.
At MediaTracks, our radio PSA full-service offering includes scripting, production, station targeting, distribution, tracking and reporting to make sure the message gets heard by the widest possible audience. Some radio PSA examples include our work for the USDA to promote positive health and lifestyle changes for families, and the Illinois State Medical Society Hepatitis C campaign to remind listeners of the need to get tested for the disease, as well as a campaign focused on the safe disposal of prescription opioids.
Our PSA service includes scripting, production, station targeting, distribution, tracking and reporting. PSAs can be produced in 10-, 15-, 30-, and 60-second versions, and are provided to stations prerecorded or scripted for live airing.
When writing and producing a PSA, we pay special attention to the demographic you wish to reach, and we distribute the PSA by targeting the stations that are most likely to air your client’s message.
We track which stations air your PSA and provide you with verified audience numbers in a final report.
Featured Resources for Public Service Announcements
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