According to Nielsen Research there are over 900 television Public Service Announcement campaigns airing today. However, what many are not aware of is that stations and networks across the country are airing more PSAs for more nonprofit organizations than at any time in history. These are no charge donations of free advertising time made to organizations that want to affordably reach large, national audiences with their messages.
Television Station Usage of PSAs is Growing Rapidly
In the first six months of 2021 Nielsen identified over 6.2 million television PSA airings (excluding all airings provided for Ad Council campaigns). This was up by an astounding 47% from the first half of 2017 and came after finding that in 2020 stations donated over 11.1 million free PSA airings, which was 26% more than just three years ago.
Only in the second half of 2020 did airings decrease. This was the result of the 2020 presidential election, where political campaigns bought up every bit of air time that was available. But when Election Day passed, PSA airings again surged. Even COVID didn’t seem to impact the growth in airings. In the beginning of 2020 stations pivoted to COVID-related messages and then returned to a more traditional mix of nonprofit messages in the second half of the year.
Digging Deeper Into the Results
Here is a summary that shows how PSA airings have been growing steadily year after year. This is information that Communication Directors at nonprofit organizations rarely get to see. However, because Connect360 distributes 1 in every 5 PSAs measured below, we wanted to share it with you.
PSAs are Valuable and Effective
Television PSA usage is significant, growing, and helping national organizations reach large nationwide audiences. PSAs continue to be a powerful and proven way for eligible organizations to build national awareness about their causes and enhance their direct mail and DRTV fundraising results.
If you would like to learn more about how public service announcement advertising can help you, please either write me at [email protected] or call me at 212-624-9181.
About The Author
Steve Edelman is a Partner and President of Connect360. He is a leading expert on the measurement, valuation, and financial reporting of Public Service Announcements by not-for-profit organizations.
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.