Reach the “Public” in Your Public Service Announcements

PSA for Seatbelts

Have an important message that needs to be shared with others around the world? Whether it’s discouraging tobacco use or promoting a new business, AllOver Media helps ensure your public service announcement (PSA) or government ad campaigns are getting to the eyes and ears of the people who need it most! 

So, what do you need to do to reach the “public” in your public service announcement? Here are some tips to consider as you build your campaign. 

Start with the Content

Regardless of where members of the public first encounter your PSA advertising, the message is what needs to hit home. Start there, then build out the campaign!

A Focused Message

Create a message that is focused. If it’s too broad, overwhelming, or confusing, it’ll be harder to keep and retain the focus of your intended audience (and remember, you definitely want their attention!). 

Make sure your message is short and to the point! Once you’ve hooked your audience in with clear messaging, you can expand and add in the finer details. 

Identify Your Audience

Who is your target audience? Public service announcements can typically be broken down by demographic details, such as:

  • Age group
  • Gender and/or sexual orientation
  • Geographic location
  • Job industry
  • Interests and hobbies

Once you’ve figured out who your audience is, you’re one step closer to figuring out where your audience is and how you can best reach them. Market research can be a big help in determining your audience’s abilities, resources, favorite media, and other interests. Use that information to better target your campaign. 

Include a Specific Ask

While much public service announcement advertising is designed to educate and inform, there is almost always a specific action that you want people to take. Focus on that, and be sure to tell your audience how that action will have an impact!

Another way of thinking about this: determine what you are trying to accomplish with this PSA. How is success being measured? How can you frame that as an “ask” to those who receive your message?

Northwest Energy Ice Box Advertisement

Packaging & Sending

As frustrating as it may seem, the way you send your campaigns to publishers and media outlets affect whether or not they publish your public service announcement. If you send a strange file format or leave out crucial info, they may not even have the ability to publish it! Follow these tips to ensure the highest likelihood of publication.

What Does Each Media Outlet Want? 

When it comes to public service announcement advertising, media outlets will have unique specifications of how they want information packaged. Research their requirements first—you’ll save a lot of time and energy by presenting your messaging in their preferred format. 

Top Notch Materials 

High quality materials are likely to be given more exposure, so ensure your PSA looks and sounds professional and engaging. Since you’ll be competing with other PSAs, you’ll want materials exceptionally put together, so they stand out and receive plenty of air time. 

Timing is Key 

Organizing different campaign elements and setting up communication takes time, so plan your public service announcement advertising with a projected “go live” date in mind. If you have an end date for your announcement, ensure your media contact is aware of it (and highlight it in your materials). 

Keep in mind: an end date can add a sense of urgency to your messaging, so if it’s appropriate, include it in your advertising. 

Cover Your Bases

Make sure your messaging is consistent across all channels and track what resonated where and with whom.

Update Your Digital Content

In this digital age, online presence is key. Keep your website and social media pages updated so that they reflect (and hopefully expand upon) your public service announcement advertising! 

A consistent color palette and messaging will help your audience track the information you’re presenting. If they saw your PSA and then went to your website, would they know they went to the right page?

And don’t forget: a picture can pack a punch, so consider adding an image or infographic to your materials. 

Track and Analyze the Campaign 

As your public service announcement advertising is running, and particularly after the campaign is over, you should gather as much data as you can to determine how well the campaign performed. 

And while it’s tempting to read the data as a yes/no answer to “did this work or not,” efficacy should not be the only thing you look at. Dig a little deeper to get useful information, like:

  • Did this campaign resonate with certain groups (based on age, location, etc.) more than others? 

  • Were there any unintended consequences, good or bad, that can be traced back to the campaign? (For example, maybe sales didn’t increase, but you had an influx of calls about the product, indicating the campaign was raising awareness.)

When you begin your next campaign, you can take some of your learnings and apply them where applicable. Over time, you’ll be running extraordinarily efficient campaigns!

Spread the Word With AllOver Media

Need help getting your public service announcement out into the public sphere? Whether your message works best with quickly-updated digital out-of-home advertisements or tried-and-true door hangers, we’ve got you covered.

Give AllOver Media a call today, and we’ll help you get your important messages to the eyes and ears of your audience!

A Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over ad on the side of a truck