Marketing

 

Public Service Announcements

Public service announcements (PSAs) are noncommercial messages that broadcasters air at no charge to keep their audiences informed about important public developments and issues. PSAs are essentially radio, television, print, outdoor, or Internet advertisements for which there are no placement fees.

Because the BSA is widely recognized and well-respected, our public service announcements have been very successful. The Boy Scouts of America has realized millions of dollars in television advertising time while accruing little cost for the organization.

PSAs can be of enormous benefit in promoting special events, such as School Night for Scouting or Scouting for Food. They can also be helpful for Friends of Scouting campaigns and other fund-raising projects.

The National Council has a number of public service announcements for television, radio, and print that are available at no expense to local councils. Contact the Marketing Communications Division to request PSAs. Also, the Scoutreach Division has recently produced PSAs that speak to various minority communities.

Television PSAs are produced for national distribution by the External Communications Division and Bozell Worldwide Advertising. Many of these can be seen on the BSA Web site at http://www.scouting.org. The most recent PSA series features the tenets of the Scout Law. By using light-hearted humor, these ads speak to parents about the values of Scouting and to youth about the high-adventure opportunities Scouting offers.

The National Council distributes these PSAs to 600 of the top market television stations nationwide. When a new PSA is released, councils receive a VHS copy of the PSA, a list of stations to which the PSA was distributed, and an order form for all available PSAs. Councils should visit the stations to which the PSA was distributed and also personally visit those stations that were not on the distribution list to show them the new PSA. Local councils need to establish relationships with local public service announcement directors to ensure placement of the PSAs.

Occasionally, you may find that a local television station is willing to work with you to produce a more localized PSA or to add a local tag to a PSA produced by the National Council.

Radio PSAs can be 10, 15, 20, 30, or 60 seconds in length. It is best to provide public service directors a choice of two or three lengths and accompanying scripts. In many cases, radio stations will write a PSA script if you provide the who, what, when, where, and why information. Each radio station should have a public service director responsible for PSAs. Again, the key to success in promoting your council with public service announcements is relationship building.

Remember these helpful hints when trying to place a PSA on radio or television:

  • Before contacting or visiting a radio or television station, take time to research the station's format and audience. This may be helpful when you suggest appropriate airtimes for Boy Scouts of America materials.
  • Contact the person responsible for public service announcements (public service director or general manager) at each radio and television station in your council's service area. Ask for his/her help in airing spots as a service to the community. With a positive introduction of yourself and the Boy Scouts of America, you should be able to schedule an appointment to visit the station and personally deliver Scouting PSAs. Developing and maintaining positive relationships with station managers and/or promotion directors is important.
  • Prepare for your visit. Arrive at the station with audio and videotape and printed scripts. The public service director will most likely want to preview the announcements before agreeing to air them. Some radio stations may prefer to record or make their own announcements. If local PSAs are produced, make sure that they include the 5 Ws — who, what, when, where, and why. And, if at all possible, place the name and telephone number of your local council at the end of every radio or TV spot. The station may be able to provide assistance with this addition.
  • Airing public service announcements is one way broadcasters demonstrate their commitment to the community. Also, if they have advertising time that has not been sold, stations need to fill it, so they will select PSAs.
  • Contact media outlets that target specific audiences, such as specialized cable stations for parents, children, or retired people, including PBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, and the Weather Channel.
  • Notify volunteers and staff to watch and/or listen for Scouting announcements once you've received interest and commitment from stations.
  • Once Scouting messages are aired, always send a thank-you letter expressing your sincere appreciation for their support and consideration.
  • Invite public service directors or station managers to serve on your council marketing committee.
  • Always show your appreciation for the media's support of your council and the Boy Scouts of America. Thank you letters, cards, and small gifts are important for cultivating these important relationships.

The following scripts are examples of PSAs in a variety of lengths. These may be equally appropriate for radio or television. Notice how each PSA appeals to the interest of the general public, while also furthering Scouting's goals.

General PSA

:30 PSA Script

[date and location]

By the time he's 15 ...

... he'll visit his congressional representative ...
... work in a soup kitchen ...
... start a neighborhood clean-up program ...
... and become an Eagle Scout.

Just imagine what he'll do by the time he's 30.

Scouting. Strong values—Strong leaders.
Call (phone number) for more information about the Boy Scouts of America.

General PSA

:30 PSA Script

[date and location]

By the time he's 15 ...
... he'll know all about camping ... hiking ... canoeing ... and an endless number of other activities he'll learn in Scouting. He'll also learn values ... character ... self-confidence ... teamwork ... and leadership.

Imagine how far your son can go ...

... with Scouting.

Call (phone number) for more information about Scouting.

General PSA

:30 PSA Script

[date and location]

This message is for the boys of (community name).

If you enjoy camping, hiking, canoeing, model building, mountain climbing, and other activities like these ...

... ask your parents if you can join the Boy Scouts of America.

Scouting teaches values, leadership, character, citizenship, and personal fitness.

Parents like that. You'll like the fun! Call (phone number) for more information about Scouting.

Scouting for Food

:30 PSA Script

[date and location]

Today, more people are going hungry in this country than at any other time in the past 25 years. The latest studies show that more than 20 million Americans, including 4 million children, go hungry at some time every month.

You can help. You can make a difference.

On (date), Boy Scouts in (city or area) will go door to door, collecting nonperishable and canned food items. The food you give will go to local agencies for distribution.

They're counting on your donation. Help the Boy Scouts help the hungry by giving.

School Night for Scouting

:45 PSA Script

Boy Scouts have traveled to the moon, served in the White House, competed in the Olympics, and won Academy Awards; some have been five-star generals, renowned doctors, and successful businessmen.

While we can't promise your son will do all these things, we can help him reach goals, earn awards, help others, build self-esteem, and participate in experiences that can lead to a lifetime of success.

Your son can join millions of young men who think Scouting is out of this world.

Help your child be prepared for life. Attend School Night for Scouting at a school near you. For more information contact the (council) at (phone).

School Night for Scouting

:45 PSA Script

Son: Hey, kids! Do you want something to do — something fun, adventurous, and exciting? Something like white-water rafting or rock climbing?
Mom: Hey, parents! Do you want your kids to have good role models, learn leadership skills, become prepared for life, and build character?
Both: Well, we have something for both of you. Come to School Night for Scouting to learn more about the adventures of Scouting.
Announcer: For more information, contact the (council) at (phone).
Son: Scouting: because kids want to have fun.
Mom: And because character counts.

School Night for Scouting

:30 PSA Script

Join hundreds of other boys in your neighborhood at School Night for Scouting. School Night will paint a picture of the exciting opportunities available through the Boy Scouts of America. For more information on School Night for Scouting, contact the (council) at (phone).

School Night for Scouting

:30 PSA Script

(Boy's voice)
Scouts don't just read about exciting adventures or watch them on television. They actually participate in them. And along the way, they develop great new friendships built on teamwork and leadership, while learning together and having fun.

School Night for Scouting is an opportunity for youth and their parents to learn about the benefits of Scouting.

For more information on School Night for Scouting, contact your school or the (council) at (phone).

School Night for Scouting is coming soon to a school near you.

School Night for Scouting

:30 PSA Script

Scouting can take you to places you've never been before. Whether it's taking on a new leadership role, climbing a mountain, camping in the woods, or collecting food for the hungry, you'll do new things and meet new people.

School Night for Scouting is an opportunity for youth and their parents to learn about the benefits of Scouting. Let Scouting take you on a new adventure. For more information on School Night for Scouting, contact your school or the (council) at (phone).

School Night for Scouting

:10 PSA Script

School Night for Scouting: coming soon to a school near you. For more information, call your school or the (council) at (phone).

School Night for Scouting

:10 PSA Script

School Night for Scouting is an opportunity for youth and their parents to learn about the benefits of Scouting. For more information, contact the (council) at (phone).

School Night for Scouting

:10 PSA Script

Help your child be prepared for life. Attend School Night for Scouting at a school near you. For more information, contact your school or the (council) at (phone).

Print PSAs

Public service announcements are not limited to television and radio. Print PSAs can be used in a variety of ways in your community. Here are a few ideas:

  • Newspaper and magazine inserts
  • Billboards
  • Community calendars
  • Community directories, such as chambers of commerce, real estate, new neighborhoods, churches, schools, civic adult and youth organizations, athletic leagues, etc.
  • Door hangers and table tents
  • Posters, brochures, and leaflets
  • Postcards
  • Grocery sacks and tray liners
  • Utility bill enclosures
  • Major corporate in-house publications or ads
  • Luncheon and dinner programs

The National Council has several print PSAs — both color and black and white — in digital formats available for your use. Print PSAs lend themselves well to localization. Create your own, using pictures of local volunteers and activities and quotes from community leaders. Localizing a print PSA highlights Scouting's involvement in the community, making it more appealing to the local audience.

Several councils have found newspaper inserts — ranging from a four-page spread to an individual supplement — to be very successful. The Atlanta Area and Last Frontier councils have prepared the following information to help you develop a newspaper insert. Remember that these are only suggestions. Pick and choose the suggestions that will also work well in your community.


Council Positive Publicity