Making a Public Service Announcement

What's a PSA?

For this assignment you are going to make a public service announcement for a silly, bizarre, offbeat cause. What's a public service announcement, you ask? According to Wikipedia,
A public service announcement (PSA) or community service announcement (CSA) is an advertisement broadcast on radio or television, for the public interest. PSAs are intended to modify public attitudes by raising awareness about specific issues. The most common topics of PSAs are health and safety. A typical PSA is part of a public awareness campaign to inform or educate the public about an issue such as smoking or compulsive gambling. Contrary to popular belief, political campaign advertisements are not PSAs.


What sort  of topics could you choose? How about...
  1. Pokemon recycling
  2. Video game addictions
  3. Counselling for the heartbreak of unfashionable clothing
  4. Cell phone ear
  5. Committee to ReForest the Canadian Prairies
  6. International Fund to Promote Irrigation for Farmers in the Sahara
It should be something light hearted thereby making your PSA a spoof of normal PSAs.

 What do you have to do?

  1. You have to create an audio PSA of at least one minutes in length that features two major characters.
    • You will need to write a script for this.
    • I will ask to see this script.
    • Your script should show where your sound effects start to play.
    • In other words, your script should be neat and tidy and show evidence of advance planning.
  2. Wherever you PSA takes place, there should be sound effects in the background, perhaps traffic noise or the sound of a crowd.
  3. You should have one main voice, a narrator or interviewer. One or more other people should come on and describe their problem and how they found help.
  4. As the characters in your PSA tell their stories, there should be suitable, sad (or dramatic or happy as seems appropriate) music in the background.
    • Avoid cheese. The whole thing is silly but if it's too silly it's no longer silly but stupid.
    • The music should be from a public domain or creative commons source.
      • Incompetech is a good place to check. (You need to give credit if you use this music.)
      • Audionautix has interesting stuff. Credit must be given here, too.
      • You could also try (and give credit to) Danosongs.
  5. There should be a close to the PSA that identifies the organization that provides help and explains how you should contact it.
    • Include a phone number, address, and website
  6. The whole project should sound as close as possible to a public service radio announcement, except it should all be tongue in cheek.

For Inspiration

  1. Radio Ranch
  2. Old Time Radio Shows
  3. Mercury Theatre
  4. Dragnet
  5. CBS Radio Workshop


Script done in advance on a PSA theme that shows where sound effects/music will occur
At least two characters
Background sounds
Theme music
Contact info at the end
James Dykstra,
Mar 7, 2012, 8:19 AM