If you’re a non-profit and planning a mass communications campaign with limited resources, there are a number of organizations which may be able to help you plan or launch your campaign. The first step might be to check with local universities to see if they have a marketing, Public Relations or Advertising curriculum, because the school may take on your campaign as a student project. They get real world experience, and you may end up with a very high-quality campaign.
Next, contact advertising and PR agencies in your locale, since many of them take on non-profit clients on a pro-bono basis, and you may only have to pay for direct expenses.
Below are some organizations that may be helpful in planning or launching your campaign, and also remember to review the FAQs on our site to ensure that you know as much as possible about public interest communication.
Many of the articles on the PSA Research Center may be helpful, but there are two which may be particularly useful:
Tips for More Effective TV and Radio PSAs
This article serves as a brief checklist of things to think about when producing either TV or radio PSAs. Go to: CREATIVE PSA CONSIDERATIONS
Developing Pro-Bono PSA Campaigns – Guidelines for Clients
A helpful 12-step guide for non-profits to use when considering pro-bono advertising agencies to produce your PSA campaign. Go to: PROBONO_CAMPAIGNS
Another inexpensive way to create PSAs is to enlist students at film schools or budding videographers. By clicking on the link below, you can read the advantages of staging a PSA contest, some rules which should be part of the application and other pertinent information on how to handle contests: www.psaresearch.com/PSA_CONTESTS.pdf.
Samples of many types of video contests are at: yahoo.com
The Goodman Center has several tools which may be useful in planning various communications projects, including Why Bad Ads Happen to Good Causes and Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes. The Center also publishes a monthly journal, Free-range Thinking, which shares best practices in the field of public interest communications. Go to www.thegoodmancenter.com for more information.
Goodwill Communications Home page
If you are reading this, then you already know about the PSA Research Center, but our corporate site also has articles, presentations and case studies which may be helpful to you. Go to: www.goodwillcommunications.com/articles-presentations/
This site can be an invaluable resource for budding videographers where they can download free quality assets and elements for video production and filmmaking. Go to: www.premiumbeat.com/blog/category/free-for-video/
This organization provides strategy, video and web services to nonprofits and social causes. They help do-gooders change the world by delivering on goals like fundraising, awareness, recruitment and more. With a dedicated focus in the impact sector, they help clients achieve their mission as effectively and efficiently as possible in a rapidly evolving communications landscape. Go to: www.see3.com
SPIN – Strategic Press Information Center
The Strategic Press Information Network (SPIN) Project provides comprehensive media training, intensive media strategizing, and resources to community organizations across the country. It helps grassroots groups to shape public opinion and garner positive
media attention. Web: www.spinproject.org.
Video Action Fund
VAF is a video production company and arts education center providing a voice for people without access to mainstream media.
Video/Action collaborates with artists, educators and innovative grassroots organization to produce video programs, television documentaries and multimedia presentations. All programs produced include detailed distribution plans implemented through public education outreach campaigns. Learn more at: www.vaf.org
NAB’s Spot Center
The Spot Center is a website designed to help broadcasters plan and implement locally focused community service initiatives, and it gives non-profits a broad platform for sharing their PSAs with the media. Broadcasters can access NAB’s guidebooks, easily download PSAs and long-format public affairs programs. These materials inform stations on how they can further educate their communities on a variety of issues and enhance their on- and off-air programming to serve the public. Visit www.broadcastpublicservice.org.
Outdoor Advertising Association of America
The outdoor advertising industry regularly provides free advertising space for charitable causes and donates more than $500 million each year to local and national non-profit groups that can’t afford paid advertising.
To qualify, an organization must be non-profit and not paying for advertising in another medium. OOH companies donate the monthly ad space fee on a space available basis. In most cases OOH companies donate posting fees, but since this entails real labor costs, some do not. The public service recipient receives broad market exposure for 30 days or more. OAAA provides support and sponsorship for numerous national organizations and facilitates campaign contributions from OOH advertising companies.
They also feature outstanding outdoor PSA campaigns on their Website which you can view at: https://oaaa.org/AboutOOH/PublicService.aspx.
Radio Advertising Bureau
The RAB serves more than 6,000 member Radio stations in the U.S. and over 1,000 member networks, representative firms, broadcast vendors, and international organizations. One of their helpful tools for non-profits is their Radio Creative Resources Directory, a list of over 60 radio production companies and studios in response to numerous requests from advertisers and agencies who want to find companies that specialize in writing, casting and producing excellent radio spots. Learn more at: https://www.rab.com/public/reports/creativeresources.cfm
Media Resources on the PSARC
On another part of the PSA Research Center site (Media Profiles), you can access statistics, data and long-term trends compiled by the mass media industry, a glossary of PSA related terms and links to media associations and websites. Go to: www.psaresearch.com/media