WASHINGTON: The more you know about media 'gatekeepers,' the more
successful your next PSA will be. This point was one of many made last
week during the Advertising Council's inaugural, two-day seminar on
effective public-service communications. It was attended by about 200
A presentation given by Mark Lefkowitz, chairman and CEO of Lieberman
Research, stressed the importance of knowing as much as possible about
media decision-makers in the competitive market.
Lefkowitz presented results of a new survey of public-service directors
that found that television stations receive about 400 PSAs a year, while
radio stations receive double that amount. He noted that television
stations use material from four sources: the Ad Council (31%);
station-produced (25%); national non-profits (23%); and local
non-profits (21%). In radio, station-produced material makes up 36% of
the total public service announcements aired.
The survey found that successful PSAs generally fall into six
categories: discussing the needs of children; drug and alcohol abuse;
parenting; crime and violence; education reform; and the environment. In
addition, the more localized the spot, the better.
And how long does a public service campaign stay on the air? One public
service director said, 'If I get tired of it, so will listeners.'
Generally, for radio, that means less than three months. Television PSAs
tend to have a longer life.