Placing a Radio PSA


Public service announcements (PSAs) are noncommercial announcements that benefit their intended audience rather than the company that created them. For example, a PSA that provides consumers with information on their tap water differs from a paid ad that promotes the sale of bottled water. Most PSAs are produced by nonprofit organizations, but commercial, for-profit companies may also use them to promote nonprofit activities and events.

A few tips to keep in mind when you're trying to place your radio public service announcement:

  • Compile a list identifying all your local radio stations using an internet directory or phone book.
  • Contact (either by phone or via email) to ask if they run PSAs. If they do, ask for the name and contact information for the person responsible for PSAs, usually the Public Affairs director.
  • Draft a letter (or email) to that contact person, asking them to run the PSA and explaining why it would benefit the community. Be sure to include your name, affiliation, telephone number and email address with the best times to reach you. See a sample letter (PDF).
  • Create the PSA as either a .wav or .mp3 file. It is a good idea to provide the radio station with all versions of the PSA.
  • Send the letter or email with the audio file and a copy of the PSA script to each of your contacts.
  • Follow up a few days after sending the letter or email. Ask if they received the PSA and if they would consider running it.
  • Don't forget to thank the stations that run the PSA.

In addition to airing your PSA on radio stations, you might consider delivering your message through your social media platforms and website.