The 1-2-3s of Public Service Announcements (pdf
1. Choose the scripts
you would like to use for your city, county or state. It is recommended
to send similar scripts of several different lengths so radio stations
can have several options to choose from, depending on how much time
they have to fill. DJs or other radio personnel read the scripts. Some
stations may accept audio taped versions of a script. See More Resources
for audio support.
2. Craft a PSA message
script and write the cover letter for your area and organization. The
cover letter is somewhat a pitch to show importance. See More Resources
for support in crafting a message and writing a cover letter.
3. Contact radio
stations in your area to see who is in charge of PSAs. Address the cover
letter directly to this person, and call them to see what specific formats
or lengths for PSAs they may want. Also ask how they prefer to receive
scripts, as some stations prefer faxes or mail, and others primarily
4. Submit the
cover letter and PSA scripts to each station that you are targeting.
PSAs should be submitted 2 weeks prior to when you’d like them
run. If it is an on-going PSA, the window for play-time is rather
large. (PR folks seem to feel that the shelf life of PSAs can be up
to 12 weeks).
Type one PSA per page, single sided. Double or triple space. Use
regular white paper. Type in upper and lower case letters. Use all-caps
only to emphasize words which, when spoken, should be emphasized.
factsheet on cover letters at www.beyondpesticides.org/how-to/media.
suggest mailing a little treat with your PSA – like chocolates
– if you have the money and time.
5. Be prepared to
receive any interested callers and provide them more information. Listen
for your PSA on the air!
6. Follow-up with
your contact at the station to make sure they received your PSA. Smaller
stations typically do not receive as many PSAs and are more likely to
remember yours. If they received it, ask if they are considering it
for airtime. If not, ask why. Do not ask them to air it.
7. Send a letter
of thanks – even those that do not air the PSA. For those that
do run the PSA, see if you can find out what length they used, frequency
of play, and air times.
stridency has to be avoided or the PSA will not air. By ensuring that
the PSA presents the situation as a matter of health and safety, the
radio station contact person will feel comfortable in airing the PSA
because he/she won't be accused of airing a strictly partisan political
piece. PSAs that attack the chemical industry or pesticide manufacturers,
while promoting the banning or elimination of pesticides, will be
seen as simple advertorials that will be rejected as PSAs. The radio
stations might even come back with an offer to air the piece for a
Make direct contact with the person in charge of scheduling the station
Follow-up on a rejection — find out why they won't run the PSA.
Include local and/or national facts in your cover letter – such
to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), spraying
adulticides, pesticides intended to kill adult mosquitoes, is usually
the least efficient mosquito control technique.
American Medical Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs
states that “Particular uncertainty exists regarding the long-term
health effects of low-dose pesticide exposure. … Considering
these data gaps, it is prudent … to limit pesticides exposures
… and to use the least toxic chemical pesticide or non chemical
Drew, Peter Drew Voiceovers, 860-291-9476, email@example.com
TV/RADIO. No charge for partners of Beyond Pesticides.
Rachel Sumner, No Spray Coalition/BURNT, Nashville, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For TV PSAs and contact with a commercial filmmaker.
Patti Wood, Grassroots Environmental Education, email@example.com,
Tel. 516-883-0121. Pre-recorded audio announcements with your group’s
name are available for $50.