No cost advertising

By Lew Nason

Insurance Pro Shop

A public service announcement (PSA) can be written or presented in audio or visual form. For our purposes, we’ll talk about the written script only.

Would you like to get no cost advertising for your educational workshop, dinner seminar, adult education class, etc. to increase your attendance? Would you like to become the most recognized and trusted advisor in your local community? Then start using a public service announcement.

A public service announcement (PSA) can be written or presented in audio or visual form. For our purposes, we’ll talk about the written script only.

Unlike a press release, a public service announcement is usually transmitted electronically, via radio or television in a short spot of 10 to 60 seconds. A requirement of the Federal Communications Commission is that stations donate a certain amount of airtime to serve the public and the community.

Most public radio and TV stations have a community calendar for which they will announce events to the public. Health or safety tips are included within this public service requisite.

A public service announcement typically heralds a community event, usually, but not always, for a non-profit organization. Commercial groups can also announce non-profit events or services. If you just want a pre-event plug, the community calendar is where you should direct your PSA. Many local newspapers also have community calendars so PSAs are not limited to electronic media.

Though the PSA covers less material than the archetypal press release, it requires the same “who, what, where, when and why.” You have several choices when deciding what type of coverage you’d like to have.

You may not always get it, but you can at least know what to shoot for. You can aim for just the pre-event announcement, which would go to the calendar; you can try for an on-camera interview to have yourself or a personal representative announce the event; you can request a videotaping of the actual event to be aired later on the news or at a future date of significance such as in advance of next year’s event or at any other time. You can also submit your own video, but that’s another subject.

The technicalities of writing a PSA differ somewhat from media outlet to media outlet. But If you use the following basics as your guide, you won’t go wrong.

Instead of putting “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” on the top left hand side of the page as you do for a press release, you put “PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT” at the top middle of the single sheet of paper followed by a few spaces and then the date that you’d like your announcement to air. If you have stationary with your company’s logo, you can work your format around that.

Next, include name, phone, email and fax of the contact person. Skip a few lines and title your announcement, in bold letters, by the name of the event, followed by a short, concise explanation of what you want aired. State what type of coverage you seek. Send it about three weeks in advance. At the end, write "-end-" or "# # #," as you do in a press release.

You need to know your plan ahead so you can send your PSA to the proper person or department. Personal contact is the most ideal, meaning you or someone you know has a personal contact or influence at the media outlet. In that case, it’s full steam ahead and you write it any way that person wants it.

Otherwise, you must proceed as do most of us mere mortals, by directing your PSA to the target point. For a single-mailing PSA, call the station and get the proper name of the department head and address it to her or him.

If you are doing a mass mailing to several media outlets, then the only way to address your PSA is to the public service director at the different addresses to which you are sending them. Then add “Community Calendar” or “Program Director” or “On Air Interviews,” depending upon which coverage you seek. Stations don’t necessarily use these titles, but common sense says it will increase your chances of getting your PSA to the proper department.
Sample public service announcement

New FREE Workshop Provides Opportunity to Quickly Reduce or Eliminate Debt
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Free Educational Workshop, ‘Living Debt Free and Truly Wealthy’ offers big motivation to make the commitment to start today
Dallas, GA., Jan. 16, 2009 — This year, resolve to reduce debt. That’s the message from financial advisor Jeremy Nason, RFC to the millions of Americans who are struggling with credit card payments, auto loans and mortgages... and empty wallets.

Considering the recession and economy, making a commitment to reduce debt provides big returns not only financially, but also in terms of living a higher quality of life. But not every debt reducing and wealth building program in the marketplace is guaranteed to work, according to Jeremy Nason, founder of Found Money Consultants of Paulding County, a firm that offers practical advice on reducing financial stress and building tax free personal savings.

“The Living Debt Free and Truly Wealthy workshop shows you how to eliminate debt and build wealth without asking you to spend any additional money, or make drastic changes to your current lifestyle!” Jeremy says. “This is significant because many of debt-reduction and wealth creation plans actually end up adding more stress and put people into a worse financial situation than when they started the program. This means the only person who benefits is the salesperson who promoted and sold the plan in the first place. The Living Debt Free and Truly Wealthy workshop provides the perfect opportunity to get a fresh start with finances. For many people, that’s the very motivation they need to commit to debt reduction.”

Thursday, February 19, 2009, 7:00PM-8:30PM

Paulding County Library
101 East Memorial Drive
Dallas, GA 30132
To Reserve A Seat Call - 770-443-0003

The Free Living Debt Free and Truly Wealthy workshop is proven to work and has helped hundreds of people, families and business-owners take control of their finances and get out of debt. But a personal resolution to stick with the program is key. For those who are serious, Jeremy thinks they’ll appreciate Living Debt Free and Truly Wealthy workshop because it teaches people how to kick unnecessary stress to the curb, make better lifestyle choices, and remain secure during times of job or economic volatility. In addition, it instructs them on timely financial fundamentals, such as minimizing 401k contributions to match only what employers match until debt is significantly reduced. Once debt-reduction is achieved, people can increase retirement plan contributions, reduce their tax burden, and then save money.


Jeremy Nason
Found Money Consultants of Paulding County
150 Watson Dr., Dallas GA. 30132