PSAs help us put the ‘community’ in community radio!
You should make at least one Public Service Announcement (PSA) during your show. A good PSA is one that announces something that is happening in the local southern Illinois region that is free / for a good cause / educational / etc. Try to space it so it isn’t directly before or after underwriting, about quarter after or quarter till the hour is a good time.
Be careful in picking what to announce and how to announce it:
WDBX is a non-commercial / non-profit radio station. This means that we can NOT air anything that contains any of the following:
- Prohibited calls-to-action (“Go to this event” or “Buy this record”)
- Inducements to buy (“Six months free service” or “A bonus available this week only”)
- Price information (“Tickets are $25” or “$5 cover”)
- Comparative or Qualitative claims (“The best burgers in town” or “Delicious food”)
Airing announcements that the FCC considers of a commercial nature can jeopardise our license and non-profit status! If you aren’t sure whether something might be considered a commercial promotion, skip it! Better safe than sorry. While we are legally allowed more leeway in promoting events and efforts by other non-profit and charitable organizations it is safest to be in the habit of avoiding such language in general and to be cautious about all announcements you make.
If it’s an announcement for an event that is free to attend, use it. If it’s an event where you have to pay a cover charge or buy a ticket avoid announcing it. If it’s a free event that is held at a business (like Death Cafe at Longbranch) feel free to use it—just be careful not to tell people things like “buy a coffee and attend the Death Cafe at Longbranch” which would be considered promotion for the business and not the free event itself.
How to do a PSA
- Find information about an upcoming event. A great place to look is the WDBX Community Calendar located online at wdbx.org/calendar but there will also often be flyers/posters in the studio and you can do your own research too. Pick things that are community oriented events, not promotional events for businesses.
- Pre-read the information and think about how you want to announce everything. This allows you to sound more professional because you can decide how to pronounce a word before you stumble over it live on air. It will often be necessary to leave out some portions of the information provided either for saving time or because it contains commercial language that is not allowed due to WDBX’s non-profit status.
- Make the announcement over the air. Repeat key information several times so that listeners who might be interested can remember it better and in case someone might have missed it the first time.
Community Calendar / Public Service Announcements
Generic script for a PSA
[Community Organization] will be holding [Event] at [Location] on [Date] at [Time]
[Basic description of the event]
Again that is [Event] happening on [Date] at [Time] at [Location]
For more information you can [call phone number / go to event website / send email]
You can also find information about this and many other events on the WDBX Community Calendar at WDBX DOT ORG SLASH CALENDAR.
In general try to keep your PSAs short, informative and stated in a matter-of-fact way.
Pre-recorded PSAs can come from many sources and cover a variety of topics. You can play pre-recorded PSAs as long as you have previewed the content to make sure that it is fully FCC compliant, contains no commercial language and that its message is one that is aligned with the community values of WDBX—If you wouldn’t say it, don’t play it!
If there is an upcoming event that you know about that fits the criteria for a PSA please announce it during your show & submit the event info to the WDBX Community Calendar at wdbx.org/calendar/community/add so that other DJs can announce the event on their shows.