PSAs

Public Service Announcements are aired on WREK about once an hour as a service to Georgia Tech and the greater Atlanta area.  These announcements range from information about clubs or events happening at Georgia Tech or Atlanta, national health awareness issues, and other issues relevant to listeners of WREK.  We accept PSA’s from Georgia Tech groups, Atlanta groups, and national PSA organizations.

Submitting a PSA

You can submit a PSA to WREK or contact the PSA director by e-mail (psa@wrek.org or through our form), fax (404.894.6872), or mail:

PSA Director
WREK 91.1 FM
Georgia Tech Student Radio
350 Ferst Drive NW, Suite 2224
Atlanta, GA 30332-0630

WREK can handle all common media formats, which includes paper, fax, e-mail, cassette (DAT and analog) and CD. With the exception of PSAs sent via e-mail, receipt of PSAs are not acknowledged, regardless of the material included in the PSA. A PSA should be received at least two, and preferably three, weeks before the date on which the PSA should no longer be broadcast; this ensures ample opportunity for broadcast.

You should submit a PSA and not a press release; the PSA director rarely rewrites press releases as PSAs.

How PSAs are Selected for Broadcast

PSAs are selected for broadcast in two steps. The PSA Director makes the selection in the first step and the on-air staff makes the selection in the second step.

In the first step, the PSA Director selects the PSAs that are kept for eventual broadcast; the remaining PSAs are thrown away. PSAs kept for broadcast are made available to the on-air staff.

The PSA director uses no specific content criteria for selecting or rejecting PSAs. In general, however, PSAs closer to home (for example, related to Georgia Tech or Atlanta) are favored over PSAs further from home (for example, related to Georgia or nationally). Also, PSAs related to non-profit organizations (for example, Georgia Tech or the MS Society) are favored over PSAs related to profit-making organizations (for example, the Ford Motor Company or The American Institute of Brick Manufacturers). When a PSA is rejected, it is almost always for mechanical reasions: either the PSA was poorly written, or it was received too late.

In the second step, the on-air staff selects the PSAs read over the air. Nominally, one PSA is read every hour, usually at 45 minutes after the hour, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. On-air staff may select any PSA available to them for broadcast, but they are encouraged to make sure that all PSAs get more or less the same amount of air time.

Writing a Good PSA

Keep it short.

PSAs that are to be read live should be no more than 30 seconds long, around 60 to 80 words. Long PSAs are less likely to be selected by on-air staff than are short PSAs. Recorded PSAs can be up to 1 minute 30 seconds long, but should really be no longer than a minute.

Include contact information.

PSAs should include a description of how listeners can get further information. This may be a phone number, an address (street or e-mail), a website, and so on. A PSA with no contact information is less likely to make it past the PSA director than a PSA with contact information.

Provide pronunciation for difficult words.

None of the on-air staff likes getting phone calls about how they mispronounced “Goethe” or “Degas”. You should be familiar with the words in your field that are most often mangled; include pronunciations for those words.

Do not include calls to action.

WREK is a non-commercial radio station, and cannot directly command, urge, or suggest that our listeners do something. PSAs that contain calls to action – even something as innocuous as “Call 404 555 1212 for more information” – are less likely to make it past the PSA director than PSAs that just present the facts, as in “More information is available at 404 555 1212″.

Do not mention price or cost.

WREK is a non-commercial radio station, and cannot broadcast anything specifically mentioning price – as in “Tickets are available for $10.00″ – or cost – as in “Students get half off on Thursdays”. Note that “free” is a cost and cannot be mentioned in a PSA. PSAs that specifically mention prices or costs are less likely to make it past the PSA director than are PSAs that have no mention of prices or costs. (as the cost will have to be edited out)

Some example PSAs may help make these rules clear.

Q & A

Does it cost anything to submit a PSA?

There is no charge for accepting or broadcasting PSAs.

How can I tell if my PSA was selected?

Except for PSAs submitted by e-mail, the receipt and selection of PSAs are not acknowledged by the PSA director, regardless of the material included with the PSA (and for e-mail, only receipt is acknowledged, not selection). Contact the PSA director if you want to know the status of your PSA.

When can I hear my PSA?

Individual PSAs are not scheduled for broadcast. All PSAs selected by the PSA director are made available to on-air staff, each of whom selects the PSAs they read over the air.

When should I submit my PSA?

If you’re submitting a PSA for an event with a specific time, you should probably submit the PSA 3-4 weeks before the event.  PSA’s are aired about once an hour, and we usually have 10-20 active PSA’s at a given time. In order to ensure reasonable air time, we need enough time to air it.  Far too often we have had organizations approach us about an event happening “tomorrow night”; at this point it is too late.