Public Service Announcements

GUIDELINES FOR SUBMITTING PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS (PSAs) TO WTUL

Quick summary of what you should send:

  • Plain text in email --- no attachments.
  • Complete, ready-to-read sentences --- no bullet points, flyers, etc.
  • Include contact information --- at least one of email, phone or web.
  • About 40 spoken words (phone numbers, URLs, etc. contain many spoken words each).
  • No prices, no ad slogans.
  • If it's an event, at least two weeks' notice.
  • If sending several announcement/events, make each announcement complete and separate.

Appropriate content for PSAs includes:

  • Announcements of public services beyond revenue-based service provision
  • Fund raisers for local service and similar organizations and efforts
  • Public meetings, especially for local service, support, charitable and grassroots groups
  • Primary sources of public information
  • Public lectures and exhibits
  • Health and safety alerts

Content we avoid in PSAs:

  • Partisan political material and candidate electioneering.
  • Material promoting specific religious denominations or strictly religious ceremonies and services.
  • Promotions for news/opinion/discussion web sites, or other secondary sources of public information
  • Organizations able to fund radio marketing campaigns are respectfully requested to use underwriting sponsorships rather than soliciting PSA slots.
  • Promotions for news/opinion/discussion web sites, or other secondary sources of public information

WTUL targets PSAs towards organizations not otherwise able to promote their service efforts. Please contact us to discuss including WTUL in your media strategy.

For dated material, please allow at least two weeks' notice, and preferably a month. Our announcement roster is usually prepared weekly, and sometimes earlier; we regret that we do not revise schedules once published for late notices.

We avoid opening attachments --- we've had bad experiences with viruses in the past. And it's much easier for us to copy/paste text into our rotations without all the formatting in attachments. Currently, all of our PSAs are read by the on-air DJ; we are not currently airing pre-recorded spots.

Please include at least one form of public contact information in your PSA text: an email address, a phone number and/or a web page URL. Our standard form for the last sentence is: "More information is available by calling ..., by email to ..., or online at ...".

PSAs are 50-60 spoken words at the very most, and normally shorter. Note that URLs, phone numbers and email addresses include several spoken words, even though they are written as a single word. Please use standard spellings: PSAs will read and not viewed; trademarks or other vanity spellings cannot be reproduced on the radio.

Please send ready-to-air copy as a short paragraph of complete sentences. We receive too many submissions to take the time to rewrite lengthy ones, or to re-write text that would sound senseless when read aloud, so please do not ask us to "just shape this up" or "just edit this down to size".

Press releases are normally much, much longer than what we run as PSAs. Again, we cannot offer to whittle down paragraphs of material into an appropriate announcement, and it's often a significant bit of work to figure out the most important parts. So please send us text of suitable length.

Flyers are also not a good thing to send for PSAs: flyers are a visual medium, not for reading aloud. PSAs should be a short paragraph, but flyers are usually just headlines and bullet points. Again, we cannot offer to rewrite everyone's flyers into a regular paragraph, so please send us ready-to-read text.

Information contained in material submitted to WTUL for distribution as PSAs or other on-air content must be unencumbered by copyright or other intellectual property claims. Restricted material, or material of ambiguous status, cannot be aired.

PSAs are scheduled by rotation; a spot's frequency depends on the number of other spots in the rotation, and its scheduling varies randomly. Generally, short-term spots with a close deadline will be aired more frequently than less-timely and longer-term material. Because PSAs are a free service, we do not offer scheduling to specific times, wording guarantees, or scheduling records; groups interested in these services are encouraged to inquire about Sponsorship Underwriting, through which we schedule more tailored announcements in consultation with donors.

Some general style guidelines:

  • We do not announce prices and avoid slogans in PSAs.
  • We avoid subjective, polemic or hyperbolic descriptions in announcements.
  • Text should refer to your organization in the third person: "they", "them" and "theirs"; not "we", "us" and "ours".
  • Phrase PSAs as providing information about opportunities, not as demanding action --- that is, the PSA should use declarative sentences (like "We need help."), not directions ("Help us now.") or rhetorical questions ("Would you help this clearly in-need group?").

Email all PSA information to psa@wtulneworleans.com




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