Surveys and more surveys. The questions may be good and there may be useful data, but what does it all really mean? If you’re the one responsible for your nonprofit’s PSA program, then here is our what’s-the-bottom-line? and what-do-i-do-about it? analysis of our annual “Trends in Public Service Announcement” survey.


1. Your method of distribution doesn’t really matter these days—it’s how you promote your PSA that counts.

We’ve all been anxiously awaiting the day where we don’t have to pay to duplicate and mail tapes. While preference for digital downloads at TV stations has increased significantly, but not as much at radio stations. The bottom line is that your PSA can find its way through a station’s front door, but if the PSA Director is not inclined to air it, it goes nowhere. So, don’t spend all your time creating the most heart-wrenching, moving PSA without the means to get it out to the world—make sure you have a way to promote it to PSA Directors.


2. Bite the bullet and produce as many variations of your PSA as possible. It will pay off.

We know. It costs more to produce a :60, a :30, a :15 and a :10 spot. But, flexibility is key. Almost 50% of PSA Directors would be happy to have all of these lengths, thereby increasing the likelihood you’ll get on the air and receive more placements. If none of your competitors have sent out a :10 and they need an ad to fill a :10 spot, you’re it!


3. Don’t get shy during the holidays—get your spot out.

Most PSA Directors prefer evergreen material, but just as many prefer holiday-specific messages. While every retailer is spending money advertising during the holidays, you’d be surprised at how much inventory is available for PSAs. If you’re able to communicate your message without asking for donations (a PSA no-no), you’ve now got your message in the primetime giving season.


4. Incorporate PSAs into your PR strategy.

You have your Google alerts set, you’re monitoring keywords on Twitter and you’re monitoring the media through Cision. And you have a plan for outreach when relevant news hits. Consider adding outreach to stations regarding your PSA. The majority of PSA Directors say that they would place a PSA on air based on its relevancy in the news. You might even garner their help in getting a news story on air, too. People in charge of public service at stations are always willing to go above and beyond when the message could make an impact, so use your PSA in your PR strategy.

If you’re interested in the full results of our annual survey, view it on Slideshare or request a PDF today!