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A public service announcement or PSA is a film, radio or Internet-delivered message that is submitted to the media (or uploaded to the Internet) in order to benefit the general public. Unlike a press release that promotes your business, brand, products and services, a PSA typically provides general safety tips, such as fire, flood and hurricane preparedness, for the purpose of helping others. If you hope to create catchy public service announcements that always perform as planned, keep the following tips in mind the next time you have an important message to share.
What Message Are You Trying To Deliver?
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Public service announcements are typically written and produced by non-profit organizations, but for-profit organizations can also make use of PSAs in certain situations. While non-profits may use the announcements to help the public remain safe, save money or improve the quality of their lives, for-profits might use public service announcements to announce a special event for a non-profit group.
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Once you have the goal you are trying to reach with your PSA, the next step is to conduct thorough research so that your message is clear and factual, as well as catchy.
Market And Audience Research
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As writer and producer of your first PSA, you’ll want to make sure that all of your bases are covered and that your facts are correct. In the next couple of section, we are going to discuss ways to make your announcements believable and extra catchy. If you get your facts wrong and you allow your audience to refute any part of your message, your efforts will fall flat and your PSA won’t get very far.
Include facts and statistics
During your research, make sure you find actual numbers that people will remember and respond to. Also, remember to keep your examples in context. Your reader should be able to process your facts, examples and lessons in a way that practically applies to him or her in that moment. That’s how to ensure that your message has the most impact.
You must know your audience thoroughly if you hope to have a really impactful public service announcement? Would the people listening to and watching your PSA respond better if you used certain lingo or utilized a few particular ‘buzz words’? This type of information can only come from exhaustive research. Watch other PSAs in your niche and survey your audience if you are able to. Most of all, do your background reading so that you can remain informed and impactful while delivering your catchy announcement.
Include All Necessary Information
When you release a PSA, you are attempting to deliver a clear and concise message in just a few seconds; thirty to be exact. Your challenge, then, is to make sure that you pack all the necessary information you have to deliver in those few minutes while also having the most impact. This is going to take practice to get down just right, but you can do it if you know your message inside and out and you are able to chop that message down into one that is easily digestible for the audience.
Just like any news or public release, a PSA should have the 5 Ws. The who, what, where, when and how. If you leave anything out, your message won’t be as impactful and it won’t get passed around like a fully informative PSA generally is.
When you finally record your PSA, don’t be afraid to go a little long or even a lot long. Again, just try to get all the relevant information you can in there, along with lingo, keywords and buzz words and plenty of matter-of-fact language that tends to have the most effect.
Clear and Concise For Short Attention Spans
Now your job is to edit the public service announcement down so that your message comes across and you fit within time constraints. Again, most PSAs are around thirty seconds long. Some are longer, but generally speaking thirty seconds is the time limit that most people will allow before their attention spans begin to wander. The shorter your announcements, the more effect they’ll have and the longer your message will stick in their minds.
Keep It Positive
A final word should be said about keeping your message positive. Even if you’re talking about a topic that is generally considered negative, like gang violence, you should try to put a positive spin on your message if you can. The audience will always respond better if you don’t bum them out and everyone watching your PSAs will come away with a positive feeling, which will help your message spread faster.
Don’t Forget Contact Information
Finally, don’t forget your contact information when you release a PSA onto the world. The men and women watching your public service announcements should know who to thank for such valuable information. After all, if the PSA is being used to promote a business, brand, event or anything else, you should make sure the audience is well aware of just who is sponsoring such a well-informed and catchy public service announcement.