Some of our nonprofit clients planning late summer or early fall campaigns are worried about the potential impact the elections may have on their campaign, and are asking if they should consider holding the release until after the polls have closed.
To learn what’s best, we took the question to PSA directors. While a few said they were unsure if the elections would impact PSAs– and that more might reveal itself in the coming months — the majority told us they did not see any impact. Stations said if the messaging was good, the elections would not prevent them from getting it on the air. And if they want to support the campaign but time happens to not be available, their practice would be to hold it to the side until opportunities re-open. In other words, it’s pretty much business as usual even through the elections.
This makes sense to us because throughout the year there’s always something going on that “could” affect PSAs. Sweeps, holidays, special promotions, and PSAs can’t come to a grinding halt because of these factors.
Our view is that it’s better to get the spots out and in rotation ahead of the election fray for one key reason: if the elections cause the avails to not be as strong in October and November, the spot will just move more slowly through rotation during that period, BUT the spot will at least be in rotation and poised to take advantage when avails open up wide after the holidays….rather than just starting to go through the review process later in November.
And for charity nonprofits, a release late summer or early fall will put them in a position of being visible during the Giving Season, whereas a release after the elections will cause them to miss this window of opportunity.
So, don’t let the elections stop your plans. And remember, right after the elections and holidays is the “sweet spot” for PSAs – January – the month when advertisers go quiet after all their holiday spending, leaving a glut of unsold commercial slots and great opportunity for PSAs to fill these spaces.