Please follow these guidelines when writing your PSA:
- Include all dates, times, and contact information
People need to know, right? This information should be in the first or second sentence of the announcement.
- Avoid Calls to Action
As a public radio station, KZSC cannot directly command or urge listeners to carry out an action. Instead of “Come on Down”, “Stop By”, or “Check out”, try “You are invited to..” or other neutral wording, including how to get more information, i.e. “More information is available online at www …. or by phone at XXX-XXX-XXXX …” Please make sure to include area codes in phone numbers, even if it is a local area 831 number.
- PSAs cannot contain prices, costs, or inducements to buy
As a public radio station, KZSC cannot mention prices, even if the event is free (zero dollars is an amount).
“Ticket information is available by phone at 831-420-4334” or “Admission information is available online at www…” is preferable to “Tickets are Available for $5” or “Parking is $42”, “Seniors are Half Price”. This also includes language regarding raffles, prizes, or contests.
- State only Facts
PSAs can only contain value-neutral wording. Words such as “best”, “interesting”, “fun”, “entertaining”, and “high quality” are all statements of opinion and can only be used in quotations such as “The Examiner-Chronicle-Times has called the Bonny Doon Bi-annual Llama Rodeo and Wine Tasting the ‘best entertainment on a Tuesday Night!'”, assuming it has been published.
- Keep it Short and Fluid!
PSAs should be thirty to sixty seconds long (about 30-100 words), though our recommendation is to keep it short – try for a maximum of thirty seconds. Long PSAs are less likely to be chosen by on-air staff due to time constraints and incompatibility to show format. Also, please keep your wording easy to follow — use short sentences, and avoid long clauses. PSAs are read by on-air staff directly from the original submission, leaving no time for impromptu sentence composition.
- Provide pronunciation (pro-NUN-see-A-shun) of difficult words and names.
Field-specific, foreign, or technical words can be difficult to figure out on the fly. Please make sure to include those in your submissions!
- Do not submit press releases, brochures, calendars
Due to the volume of PSA’s received by KZSC, we lack the resources necessary to convert these items into ready-to-air Public Service Announcements. Please convert these into PSAs using the above guidelines prior to submitting to KZSC.
To learn how to submit your perfected PSA, go to our PSA page.