Did you know that traditional media outlets are required to give away some of their ad space to nonprofit organizations? That is why there are PSAs. Public Service Announcements are for 501 (c) 3 nonprofit public benefit organizations. They are usually 15 or 30 seconds of air time (radio/tv) or a small section in a newspaper, but there is also so much more. Most media outlets also have websites where they display PSAs as well, either in the original media form (audio/visual) or printed version.
Helpful hints at a creating a good PSA
Keep it Simple
– Ask an opening question about a common problem (such as addiction)
– Give a statistic showing the need for help
– Make a statement that there is help available
– Provide the organization’s name, phone number and website
Sometimes these PSAs are archived online and provide valuable links back to your organization’s website for years, increasing your search engine rankings as a secondary outcome.
How else can you get more coverage?
– Write and distribute guest articles about timely topics related to your cause. You can pos these to your own site/blog to be used for content, and sometimes the outlets will include your articles to help fill space.
– Offer/request to schedule one of your spokespersons for an interview or expert commentary whenever there is a need for a local story. Also send suggested interview questions to hosts for a possible 5 or 10 minute segment that helps provide public information, and always include how they can find help in the end.
– If they don’t have any more free spots available, sometimes they have nonprofit advertising rates where you can get a lot of coverage for a very small investment, so don’t completely rule it out.
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