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Public Service Announcements for Beyond Pesticides Coalitions (pdf version)

What is a PSA and how can it be effective?
Public service announcements (PSAs) are messages intended for the benefit of the public (particularly health and safety) and are free of charge. The goal of the PSA is twofold: to raise awareness of the potential health/environmental problem and to generate calls from concerned people. PSAs can come in the form of a voiced over radio ad, a TV ad, or a script read by the DJ. Stations get many requests to run PSAs and it is entirely up to them which they run, when and how often, so it’s best to try to make your message as compelling as possible. PSAs are valuable because they offer a large and affordable venue to spread our message. Airing our message as a PSA also lends it credibility in the mind's of listeners and viewers and can create a broader base of supporters.

How does Beyond Pesticides help you do a PSA?
Beyond Pesticides teamed up with Peter Drew of Peter Drew Voiceovers who generously offers his services to Beyond Pesticides coalition members on a pro-bono basis. You can ask Peter to voiceover your local organization’s name and contact info on existing PSAs or you can choose to have the PSA refer callers to 1-888-No-Poison sponsored by Beyond Pesticides. Beyond Pesticides will field generated calls and refer the callers back to your organization. Have a packet prepared to send callers or a way to provide them more information. You can also ask Peter to create a new PSA for you with a new script, help you write a script, review the cover letter to stations, and answer questions on how best to get your PSA aired. Beyond Pesticides offers a general how-to fact sheet on PSAs, offers sample and suggested scripts for school and mosquito PSAs, and a sample cover letter to be sent to media stations.

What PSAs are presently available to me?
Excellent Safer Schools PSAs have already been produced for both TV and radio and are available for immediate use. Either can be tailored to any group or market or can run as is (sponsored by Beyond Pesticides). It focuses on the dangers of pesticides to children, the assurance that there are safer methods o pest control, and the 1-888-no-poison number where the listener can get more info. PSA scripts on good mosquito management are also available.

What does it take to get my PSA aired?
Ideally, it takes three people to do the needed production and distribution, and maybe a “PPP” Pesticide PSA Party to get the bulk of the work done in one evening! There are essentially Five Steps: duplicate (burn) the CD with the voiced over PSA, contact local stations to identify the contact person handling public affairs materials, do a data merge and print the cover letters, mail letters with the CD, and within a week follow up with a call to each station contact to ask if they received the package and thank them for considering it for airing (do not ask them to air it).

How do I get a copy of the PSA or more information?
Contact Peter Drew for a copy of the PSA on a CD. Peter Drew Voiceovers; Voiceovers for all electronic media, 860-291-9476. Contact Beyond Pesticides for fact sheets, sample scripts and cover letters, or information on groups who have used PSAs.