Embracing New Options for Public Service Announcements

Public service campaigns now have more channels for being seen and heard.  Are you embracing it all?

Traditional PSAs (television and radio stations) still deliver a big bang for the buck.   In addition to driving huge impressions, they provide sustained exposure – staying on air 3 to 6 months, up to a year and beyond, providing a nonprofit with long term awareness.   And the ROI is hard to refute — for every dollar spent on distribution, it’s typical to receive $100 in donated media value.  This “earned media” plays well on a nonprofit’s financial statements and can help with the charity’s rating on the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.

While that’s strong stuff, you also have to consider that today’s audiences have additional places to go to get their news, listen to music or catch up on the TV shows they missed.  Placing PSAs on popular digital platforms like Pandora, Hulu, Spotify and others can be a great complement to a broadcast campaign.    And here’s a real benefit:  because these platforms take in a lot of personal data when a subscriber signs up (age, gender, location, etc.) your message can be precisely delivered to specific demographic or geographic audiences.  Placements are usually paid media, not earned media, because these platforms are wildly sought after by advertisers so there is no donated PSA space.

When considering the options, what this points to is a strategy for a blended approach when developing a public service campaign, combining traditional media (broadcast) with reaching online audiences through non-traditional media.    This blended approach offers the ability to:

    • Reach broad audiences through broadcast while honing in on specific targets with digital media
    • Having a long period of sustained coverage with traditional media while “punching” important months (e.g. awareness months) with shorter digital placements
    • Using broadcast to create awareness while using digital to drive clicks to an organization’s website


To create an effective blended strategy, consider both the objectives of the campaign and the target audience, then consider what traditional/non traditional media has to offer.  Usually the pieces will fall into place.

For more information, please contact Annette Minkalis, 212-624-9182 – [email protected]

About The Author

Annette Minkalis

Annette Minkalis is a partner and the Executive Vice President of Connect360 MultiMedia and is responsible for company sales.Throughout her career she has authored articles and spoken at seminars on the topic of public service announcements and their value to nonprofits.

About Connect 360

Connect360 is a leading media placement agency driving measurable results for some of Charity Navigator’s highest-ranked nonprofits, well-known associations, government agencies and public relations/marketing firms.

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