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CREATIVE ALTERNATIVES
PSAs: Where to Start

Where to start

Get it off the shelf!

Format

PSAs for broadcast are generally 60-, 30-, or 15-second television or radio spots. Stations donate the time and they determine when the spots air. Some PSAs are presented as a joint effort of the sponsoring agency and the station. Also, stations encourage PSAs that include a phone number or web site to contact for more information.

Submissions

PSAs are submitted either on paper or in produced format on audiotape or videotape, as required by the station. Print ads vary in size depending on the publication's layout and available space. If your ads are supplied on disk (also know as syquest, zip or jaz cartridges) the publication can adjust the ad to fit the space. If you have camera-ready copy it is best to produce ads in a variety of sizes. Don't pass up free community newspapers and shopping guides when considering public service advertising.

Banner ads

Web banner ads get your PSAs into cyberspace. The Internet Advertising Bureau at http://www.iab.net can answer questions about space available.

Production

Producing a PSA can involve hiring an advertising agency to produce a campaign for you or do it pro bono, or having a radio station produce the spot. Whatever route you choose, your PSA campaign should contain clear objectives with a specific audience in mind. Ads should be memorable, relevant, believable and provide the audience with consumer information - not try to sell products.

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