Inside the Minds of National and Local PSA Directors

Two key gatekeepers in television shared their expert insight on how they decide which public service announcements to air on their stations. Brie Allio of Hallmark Media and formerly CBS Network plus Moreen Bailey Frater from local ABC affiliate WEWS in Cleveland, gave us a look inside their minds from both a national network and local station perspective. This October 4th webinar event was sponsored by Connect360.


Here are nine insights from these two experienced communications directors and decision makers about television stations.

  1. Humor, where it lends itself to a topic, is encouraged if it helps make the message more relatable. That doesn’t mean everything needs to be funny, but a little warmth goes a long way.


  1. Elections can reduce the ad space available for PSAs. If you have a timely PSA that needs to air during election period, send it well in advance of the election months. See Connect360’s article and strategies on how to manage PSA campaigns during the 2024 political campaign.


  1. Extreme Reach is the preferred delivery tool, but both experts agreed that they would also accept emails with broadcast quality links.


  1. Avoid direct calls for donations. If you want to make a donate campaign, offer an alternative version without the direct call to action.


  1. Remove corporate identifiers of any kind. Even a tee-shirt with a corporate logo could be problematic. If you do mention a corporate sponsor, include an alternative version, too.


  1. Be careful with influencers and celebrities because their conduct can negatively impact your organization. Stations may hesitate to air PSAs featuring a celebrity from a competing network.


  1. Provide a range of spot lengths. We recommend :60, :30 and :15 second spots to fit the needs of all stations.


  1. Deliver relevant PSAs. Local stations want topics related to the local community. National stations look for national scope while staying non-political and non-controversial.


  1. Send PSAs 6-8 weeks in advance of awareness months or other time-sensitive topics. The PSA rotation is often set three or four months in advance.


For more useful insights on how to make PSA campaigns that station gatekeepers are excited to share, download The Essential Guide to Broadcast PSA Success.

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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