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Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

PSAs are statements on radio or TV that you don't pay for, but are not in the news program. Some are just like commercials, some are just simple announcements. A PSA typically heralds a community event, usually, but not always, for a non-profit organization. Commercial groups can also announce non-profit events or services. If you just want a pre-event plug, the community calendar is where you should direct your PSA about three weeks in advance. Most public radio and TV stations have a community calendar for which they will announce events to the public. Health or safety tips are also included.

Writing a PSA

  • Use company letterhead
  • Put "PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT" at the top middle of the single sheet of paper
  • Follow with a few spaces and then the date range that you'd like your announcement to air (January 1-15, 2018).
  • List name, phone, email, and fax of the contact person
  • Title your announcement, in bold letters, by the name of the event
  • Though the PSA covers less material than the typical news release, it requires the same "who, what, where, when and why."
  • Write in all caps and double spaced
  • Include PSAs at varying length:
    • 10 seconds/20-25 words
    • 15 seconds/30-35words
    • 20 seconds/40-50 words
    • 30 seconds/60-75 words
  • Keep it short and easy to read and say (practice it out loud to be sure)
  • At the end, write '-30-' or '###,' as you do in a news release.