How to Place a TV Public Service Announcement

The We’re More Alike Than Different national awareness campaign for Down syndrome has many parts including paid advertising, literature, promotion materials and public service announcements (PSAs) .

The success of the campaign depends heavily on organizations affiliated with the NDSC working with us to place public service announcements (PSAs). A PSA is an ad that the media – print or TV – run as a public service. You have seen many such as the Smokey the Bear campaign to stem forest fires. The More Alike campaign now includes a total of 9 TV PSAs — five in English and four in Spanish – and a series of print adds in various sizes.

We are focusing the financial resources donated to support this campaign on delivering our message to two very important audiences – OB-Gyns and K –12 teachers. As resources allow, we will expand beyond those segments, but for now the way we can reach the broader audience is via PSAs.

Local Recognition

You may download the print PSAs by clicking here. When you open the files, you will see that each ad allows space at the bottom for you to insert your organization name, logo and contact information.

Often your local media can help you work with the digital files to do that. You will need to provide either a digital files for your information including your logo or a clean, clear hard copy suitable for scanning. You an get information on exactly how that is to be done with a call to the advertising departments of the publications.

You may preview the TV PSAs by clicking here. You may also order a complete set of these TV spots tagged with your organization’s contact information. There are technical aspects to that which area explained below, however, dozens of organizations have ordered the commercials and they are now running in many major market around the world.

How to Place a PSA

There are no guarantees. Your local and regional print media will run PSAs, but they will do so as part of their community relations programs. That is important. It defines the decision makers relative to acceptance of the PSAs.

If the only contacts you have with your daily newspaper or TV stations, for example, are with editors and reporters, you are at square one. Typically the editorial department has little to do with PSAs.

That may also be true of advertising sales.

So your first step is to determine who is the gate keeper.

A simple phone call will often clarify – just ask the operator who is responsible for service announcements.

When you find that individual, be prepared to “sell” the messages. Think through why our messages are important to the broad audience, so you can tell the decision maker that people with Down syndrome are a part of the community they serve – that they attend school, hold jobs and participate in the community.

That is the up side of the argument. Be ready to present the challenges faced by people with Down syndrome – the negative myths, stereotypes and prejudices that frustrate people with Down syndrome and keep them from contributing to society.

The decision maker will not be completely separate from the other major functions of the media outlet. In a newspaper, for example, he or she will be sensitive to stories the publication has run. Stories about people with Down syndrome are not rare – so do a bit of home work and be prepared to remind your contact of articles the publication has run on Down syndrome to demonstrate the timeliness and relevance of our messages.

Then too, perhaps your organization has run advertising in the publication or with the TV station. Let your contact know that so it is understood that you aren’t simply seeking a free ride but are prepared to carry your share.

Finally, don’t assume that a single contact will get you space in the publication. Follow up periodically with phone calls and letters with the intent of developing a relationship. And, do add the individual to your newsletter distribution. Eventually, it is the combination of all your contacts that will pay a dividend.

TV PSAs

The TV spots you can preview here give sampling of the quality and messages of the More Alike TV PSAs. You cannot, however, download broadcast-quality copies on line and television is not a one size-fits-all world. Some TV stations will accept broadcast quality spots on DVD. Increasingly, however, stations require that the material be submitted in a format termed BetaSP tape.

If you wish to place TV PSAs with your local TV stations, we ask that, as a first step, you call those outlets and ask what format they require. While this takes a bit of time, experience shows that getting the answer is pretty easy – often station telephone operators can give you the specifications.

Once you know what is needed, please click here to email a request for materials to the NDSC. We have space at the end of all nine TV PSAs for the name of your organization, phone number and web site address. Please specify how many individual DVDs or tapes you require and give us your address and a contact phone number.

The cost for these materials is quite modest and the NDSC will pay half of the cost. If you need a quote, please ask for it in your email. Upon sending us your email order, please anticipate that it will take from 10 days to two weeks for delivery.