What is a P.S.A?

A public service announcement (PSA) is an advertisement broadcast on radio or television, for the public interest. PSAs are intended to modify public attitudes by raising awareness about specific issues. Health and safety PSAs are commonly heard.

A typical PSA is part of a public awareness campaign to inform or educate the public about an issue such as smoking or compulsive gambling.

From time to time a charitable organization releases a PSA enlists the support of a celebrity; examples includeMichael J. Fox's PSAs in the U.S. supporting research into Parkinson's disease and Crips street gang leaderStanley "Tookie" Williams speaking from prison to urge youth not to join gangs.

PSA requires the same who, what, where, when and why. Also include your organization's name, a contact person and telephone number.

Getting ready to write your PSA

1.Choose points to focus on. Don’t overload the viewer or listener with too many different messages. List all the possible messages you’d like to get into the public mind, and then decide on the one or two most vital points.

2. Brainstorm. This is also a good time to look at the PSA’s that others have done for ideas. Gather all your ideas and think of ways that you can illustrate the main points you’ve chosen.

3. Check your facts. It’s extremely important for your PSA to be accurate. Any facts should be checked and verified before sending the PSA in.

4. Identify a “hook”. A hook is whatever you use to grab the listener or viewer’s attention. How are you going to keep them from changing the channel or leaving the room or letting their attention drift when your PSA comes on? A hook can be something funny, catchy music, shocking, or emotional.

Now you’re ready to write your script!


Basic guidelines for PSA format:

1. :30 second PSA should be 60-75 words.

2. The top of the sheet should include;

–Length of the PSA

–Agency of group the PSA is for 

–Title of the PSA

Television PSA

  • Create a :30 second Television PSA, cover the who, what , where , when and why.
  • Create a script using 60-75 words.
  • Use narration and or screen talent 
  • Use original music created in garage band or use royalty free music from here -->https://mrbasile.com/education/?p=271 .
  • Use graphics and text to highlight your message
  • Use various camera angles to set the mood (extreme wide, wide shots, medium shots, and close up shots)
  • You are to use iMovie/Movie Maker for video post production.

Submit your concept using the storyboard template. Using the storyboard technique, students draw their scenes, accompanied by corresponding speaking parts, in a way that allows others to clearly visualize their intended production.

Indicate if this is an indoor or outdoor production and how many people are involved. Storyboards can also be created with photographs or pictures cut from magazines (try this --> https://mrbasile.com/education/?p=296). Submit a 30-second video clip to illustrate their video idea.

Final Output: .mov, wmv

Radio PSA

  • Create a :30 second radio PSA, cover the who, what , where , when and why.
  • Create a script using 60-75 words.
  • Use a narration and original music created in garage band or royalty music from here -->https://mrbasile.com/education/?p=271 
  • Also use sound fx and foley sound.

The radio PSA should be no longer than 30 seconds. You are encouraged to think of student voices, music and sound effects to make the radio PSA interesting. 

Render final mix as: .mp3  (Stereo, 320kbps, 44.1KHz )

Print PSA

  • Design a print PSA Campaign.
  • Cover the who, what, where, when and why.
  • Use typography to give a your project a certain look and feel to deliver your message.
  • Create this ad in Photoshop and or Illustrator.

Print PSAs can be submitted using the Print Ad template. The ad should indicate if it will be in colour or black and white, and what the image would show.

Final Output: 11X16 .jpeg

Photography PSA

  • Take a photo that goes with the theme of your topic.
  • Use Photoshop to overlay text on your photo.
  • Cover the who, what , where , when and why.
  • Final Output: 11X16 .jpeg