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Public Service Announcements  

Last Updated: Jan 6, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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PSA Content Info

Public Service Announcement Content Information


Since your public service announcement is only 30-60seconds long, this is your opportunity to unveil your knowledge of your topic as it pertains to the following:


International Law- Has anything been established internationally? If so what? If not, is something in the works?

Geography/Location- Where is this problem located? Is it just located in the area that you portray in your PSA?

Conditions- What are the conditions like for this to occur? (Health- What is causing this? What is it? Environmental- What is occurring? What has caused this to occur?)

Relevance/Impact- Why should the viewers care? How does it affect them personally?

Actions (People/Govts/NGOs)- What steps need to be taken? What steps have been taken? (Were these steps successful? If so how? If not, then what needs to change?)

Is there anything else you think is important for the audience to know/do? What steps can they take to be helpful?

***Keep in mind you must cite your sources


What is a PSA?


"Any announcement of information relevant to the public."

-public service announcement. (2006). In Dictionary of Media Studies. Retrieved from

"A government information announcement usually broadcast nationally."

-public service announcement. (2006). In Dictionary of Information and Library Management. Retrieved from


Intro to project

Global Issues Public Service Announcements

Objective: Are there global human rights, health, or environmental issues that concern you? Have you ever wondered how you can contribute to making a difference in the world? This final project will allow you to bring attention to the issues you feel most strongly about.  Modeled after the Solutions for Peace Student PSA series, students will create public service announcements identifying and addressing the issues that affect them and our society as a whole, and offering positive solutions to our most pressing problems.  The purpose of the presentation is to communicate information and ideas.  If you believe in your purpose, are well prepared, and aim for the goal of communicating, you are likely to reach your audience.

Skill Sets Developed: Students will present a perspective, make a statement, and share a possible solution to a global human rights, environmental, or health topic that is important to them. Students will exercise an opportunity for educational and creative expression.  Students will develop critical thinking and communication skills.   Students will experience self guided achievement and personal growth. 

Rationale: Making a PSA benefits you because…It challenges you to learn, engage, and contribute to an issue you feel strongly about.  It allows you to present your unique ideas for addressing personal and global issues.  It empowers you to make an impact on others.  It gives you the opportunity to share your insight, talents, and skills.  It helps you grow, build confidence, and inspire others in the process.  It gives you valuable experience, helps build your resume & earns school credit.  Most importantly, the process of creating PSAs is intended to broaden your understanding, appreciation, and responsibility for the world you live in.

Public Service Announcements: PSAs (sometimes called Viewer Editorials) are 30 -60 second video productions similar to commercials. They are a type of advertisement intended to benefit the public interest by raising awareness of an issue, affecting public attitudes, and potentially stimulating action. PSAs are meant to inform, create awareness, or enlist support for a variety of issues.  They are not always controversial. 


Your assignment:

1.       Create a 30 to 60 second long PSA.

2.       The PSA may take many forms.  You may create a video (moviemaker/i-movie) or digital storytelling product (voicethread, animoto).  If you are competent with design tools, you may brave creating your own infographic (  If you have another production idea, seek teacher approval.  You may also choose an appropriate digital storytelling or slide casting tool.       Identify a human rights, environmental, or health issue that needs to be addressed.

4.       Suggest what should be done about it

5.       Tell us what we can do, right now, to help.

6.       Include copyright friendly or fair use video, audio, images, text to enhance your presentation of topic.


Public service announcements-

·         Solutions for Peace Student PSA series

·         PSAs created by high school students, information for students and teachers, and a national student PSA contest:

·         A presentation on using PSAs in the classroom:

·         Tips for writing PSAs:

·         Viewable PSAs, resources, and a PSA Producers Guide:

·         The leading producer of PSAs:


·         Databases & Pathfinders Issues Tab

·         Databases & Pathfinders Science Tab

·         Databases & Pathfinders Current Events Tab


PSA Pointers:

1.    Choose your topic. Pick a subject that is important to you, as well as one you can visualize. Keep your focus narrow and to the point. More than one idea confuses your audience, so have one main idea per PSA.

2.    Time for some research - you need to know your stuff! Try to get the most current and up to date facts on your topic. Statistics and references can add to a PSA. You want to be convincing and accurate.

3.    Consider your audience. Are you targeting parents, teens, teachers or some other social group? Consider your target audience's needs, preferences, as well as the things that might turn them off. They are the ones you want to rally to action. The action suggested by the PSA can be almost anything. It can be spelled out or implied in your PSA, just make sure that message is clear.

4.    Create a script and keep your script to a few simple statements. A 30-second PSA will typically require about 5 to 7 concise assertions. Highlight the major and minor points that you want to make. Be sure the information presented in the PSA is based on up-to-date, accurate research, findings and/or data.

5.    Storyboard your script.  Grab your audience's attention. You might use visual effects, an emotional response, humor, or surprise to catch your target audience. Be careful, however, of using scare tactics. Attention getters are needed, but they must be carefully selected. For example, when filming a PSA about controlling anger, a glass-framed picture of a family can be shattered on camera. This was dramatic, but not melodramatic. Staging a scene between two angry people to convey the same idea is more difficult to do effectively.

6.    Film your footage and edit your PSA.  Using moviemaker to film?


Potential Topics:


Human Rights

Rights of criminals; imprisonment/execution without trial, rights of foreigners abroad,

Torture and interrogation techniques; enhanced interrogation techniques

Death penalties around the world; US Capital Punishment, Stoning & Sharia Law, Honor Killings, other

Child soldiers

Child labor

China’s One Child Policy;

Human trafficking; sexual exploitation, forced labor

Sexual violence;  FGM, rape as weapon of war

Labor rights; conditions, fair wages, activity of MNC’s (Nestle in Ivory Coast, Shell in Niger Delta)

Discrimination or subjugation of women

Marriage & family rights

Freedom speech & expression; China’s silencing of dissidents, censorship of Google;

Freedom of religion; China and Tibet, China & Falun Gong, China & Muslim’s (Xinjiang & Uyghers), other

Voting rights

Freedom of mvmt

Rights of migrants & indigenous peoples

Rights of refugees


Climate & Health

Extreme Weather Events; Flooding in Pakistan, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc.

Deforestation; Amazon rainforest

Desertification; Sahel

Decline biodiversity

Water; pollution, scarcity, safe drinking water, Coca-Cola in India (deplete & contaminate), effects of damming

              rivers (China’s 3 Gorges), water-borne diseases (Ganges River), deep water drilling (oil spills – BP, dvpt in


Coastal flooding & migration

Melting polar ice caps, rising water temps

Destruction coral reefs; coral bleaching


Ecotourism & disruption

Overpopulation, population growth

Urbanization & living conditions; urban slums

Genetically modified organisms (foods) & biosafety

Pandemics & preparedness

Major infectious diseases; AIDS/HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Cholera (in Haiti)

Nuclear Waste & Disposal

Oil dependency

Consumption & waste; waste removal/disposal issues

Malnutrition, famine & starvation

Maternal & Infant Mortality

Land mines; removal

Sustainable development

Alternative & renewable energies

Air pollution

Acid rain

Greenhouse gases & global warming, ozone depletion


MBC: Examples of PSAs

America's Dairy Farmers

"Milk. It does a body good"

American Lung Association

"Christmas Seals" with Frank Sinatra

Crime Prevention Coalition

"Take a bite out of crime" with McGruff, The Crime Dog

Keep America Beautiful

"Help keep America looking good!"

Keep America Beautiful

With Iron Eyes Cody, "The Crying Indian"

Partnership for a Drug Free America

"Your Brain on Drugs"

United Negro College Fund

"A mind is a terrible thing to waste" with Courtney B. Vance

United States Forest Service

"Give a Hoot, Don't Polute" with Woodsy Owl

United States Forest Service

"Only you can prevent forest fires" with Smokey the Bear
US Department of Transportation

"You can learn a lot from a dummy" with the Crash Test Dummies

Ms. Riley's PSA Project


MBC: Examples of PSAs


United for Human Rights


How to Create a PSA


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