Public Service Announcements (PSAs) can help get the word out about your organization or event!
The airing of Public Service Announcements is essential to KZSC’s mission to serve and inform the public. KZSC takes its role seriously to assist non-profit organizations who receive little exposure through commercial and corporate media sources.
How PSAs are selected for broadcast
- PSAs are initially processed by the KZSC PSA director. Those deemed suitable for broadcast are put into the rotation in our air-room.
- Once fully vetted, on-air staff select PSAs to read over the air. While the selection is random, i.e., a particular announcement is not scheduled on a specific show at a specific time in our schedule (unlike paid underwriting spots) on-air staff are encouraged to provide each announcement with an equal amount of airtime. Each PSA is documented on our program logs after each airing and we air two PSAs per hour, 18-24 hours per day.
- Generally, PSAs pertinent to the UCSC, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Bay communities are favored over statewide or national PSAs and we only air PSAs for non-profit organizations. Commercial/for-profit businesses and organizations should contact the Underwriting department to discuss paid program sponsorship.
- As a PSA nears its pull date, airtime generally increases. On the pull date, it is then removed from the PSA pool.
- PSAs can also be rejected for logistical reasons such as late submission, illegibility, verbosity, and improper formatting.
Please follow these guidelines when writing your PSA:
- Include all dates, times, and contact information
People need to know, right? This information should be in the first or second sentence of the announcement.
- Avoid Calls to Action
As a public radio station, KZSC cannot directly command or urge listeners to carry out an action. Instead of “Come on Down”, “Stop By”, or “Check out”, try “You are invited to..” or other neutral wording, including how to get more information, i.e. “More information is available online at www …. or by phone at XXX-XXX-XXXX …” Please make sure to include area codes in phone numbers, even if it is a local area 831 number.
- PSAs cannot contain prices, costs, or inducements to buy
As a public radio station, KZSC cannot mention prices, even if the event is free (zero dollars is an amount).
“Ticket information is available by phone at 831-420-4334” or “Admission information is available online at www…” is preferable to “Tickets are Available for $5” or “Parking is $42”, “Seniors are Half Price”. This also includes language regarding raffles, prizes, or contests.
- State only Facts
PSAs can only contain value-neutral wording. Words such as “best”, “interesting”, “fun”, “entertaining”, and “high quality” are all statements of opinion and can only be used in quotations such as “The Examiner-Chronicle-Times has called the Bonny Doon Bi-annual Llama Rodeo and Wine Tasting the ‘best entertainment on a Tuesday Night!’”, assuming it has been published.
- Keep it Short and Fluid!
PSAs should be thirty to sixty seconds long (about 30-100 words), though our recommendation is to keep it short – try for a maximum of thirty seconds. Long PSAs are less likely to be chosen by on-air staff due to time constraints and incompatibility to show format. Also, please keep your wording easy to follow — use short sentences, and avoid long clauses. PSAs are read by on-air staff directly from the original submission, leaving no time for impromptu sentence composition.
- Provide pronunciation (pro-NUN-see-A-shun) of difficult words and names.
Field-specific, foreign, or technical words can be difficult to figure out on the fly. Please make sure to include those in your submissions!
- Do not submit press releases, brochures, calendars
Due to the volume of PSA’s received by KZSC, we lack the resources necessary to convert these items into ready-to-air Public Service Announcements. Please convert these into PSAs using the above guidelines prior to submitting to KZSC.
Submitting a PSA
Submit your PSA by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or through the contact form below at least 3 weeks prior to the date on which the PSA should no longer be broadcast (i.e., “pull” date). PSAs may also be submitted by mail to the following address:
KZSC Santa Cruz
ATTN: PSA Director
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064