2024 PSA Directors Survey

Public Service Announcements (PSAs) are necessary for nonprofit marketers. As the most cost-effective way to raise awareness on a broad scale, PSAs are an indispensable avenue for communication.

With the media landscape in a perpetual state of change, it is important to understand how community directors manage their airways.

Our 13th Annual Williams Whittle PSA Directors Preference Survey offers valuable insights from our proprietary database of TV and radio stations nationwide. This includes perspectives on the impact of the election, top themes stations focus on, how often PSAs should be distributed and more.

Here are some of our key insights that can help nonprofits make the most out of PSAs:

  1. Themes

Station directors prioritize PSAs that align with station interests. This year, top themes include Children, Healthcare, and Military/Veteran. These are closely followed by Environmental, Poverty/Human Services, and Education themes. Respondents anticipate interest shifting in 2025 with more emphasis on Environmental, Poverty/Human Services, and Children-focused PSAs.

  1. Types of PSAs

High-quality PSAs that appeal to localized audiences are essential. Directors are more likely to choose PSAs that will resonate with the community. They also appreciate a variety of creative styles, but when it comes to length, PSA directors have the most inventory for :30 spots.

  1. Timing

Due to this year’s presidential election, station directors will have lower inventory in the months leading up to November 5th. However, there is some opportunity for more airings as 84% of directors reported receiving less than 10 PSAs a week.

And, similar to previous years, directors have the highest inventory in Q1 and December but we should expect lower inventory throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall as the election approaches. Avoiding election windows and the months leading up to it is key.

These findings illustrate that while PSAs remain a critical tool for nonprofit communications, strategies must be adaptable to changing availabilities and trends. Shifting outreach efforts to align with local needs and themes, producing high-quality spots, and considering key timing windows are just a few of the important discoveries highlighted in this 2024 PSA Directors Survey.

Click here to view and download the full report.