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For best results, send the PSA about two weeks before your event. The most common lengths for PSAs are 10, 15 and 20 seconds. Approximately 20 to 25 words in each 10 seconds of airtime is average for most announcers.

As with news releases, put your organization’s contact person in the upper corner and the kill date (Do not use after . . .) on the left side.

Write 10, 15, 20. Include all three lengths of PSA on a single announcement. If you must go to another page, devote it entirely to the 20-second script. At the top of each PSA, write the length, i.e. 10 SECONDS, 15 SECONDS, etc.

Uppercase only. Use all capitals for the copy. Double space copy. If a number is used, write it out as words. If you reach the end of a line, don’t hyphenate. Limit the use of contractions, long words and long sentence structures.

Use conversational tone. Write the copy like you’re telling the information to a friend. Be sure to cover the who, what, why, when and where. Use concrete images your listener can relate to. If a difficult to pronounce word is necessary, such as a speaker’s name, spell it out phonetically.

Read it out loud. Get a watch with a sweep second hand and time the copy blocks as you read aloud. Make sure the copy you wrote actually times out to 10, 15, or 20 seconds. Do it several times to ensure that you weren’t reading too fast or slow. If it runs long or short, cut or add words to make it fit in the allotted time.

Sending the PSA

Send to the PSA Director at the radio station. Because of the sheer number of PSAs competing for airtime, be sure to send your two to three weeks before your event or promotion. Like a press release send the PSA on white paper or your letterhead or email it.