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Placing PSAs: Industry Profiles: David Ysais

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Document Type Placing Public Service Announcements
This PowerPoint presentation will walk you through the steps of creating, placing and evaluating a PSA campaign, including tips from media professionals on how to best execute a PSA plan.
File size: 3.6MB

Updated: 6.1.06      Printable Printable version

David Ysais was the president of the National Broadcast Association for Community Affairs, a group representing 90 television and radio public service professionals and 60 national nonprofit partners.

In the media industry, it is almost unheard of to spend an entire career with one station. But from his first day on the job as a news writer back in 1979, Ysais worked for only one outlet -- KNX Radio in Los Angeles. In this position, Ysais oversaw all of the station's community affairs work, including PSA clearance, production and placement, as well as the development of editorials and social marketing campaigns. In this interview, Ysais offered the following advice:

Are television and radio stations cutting back on their community affairs work?
It is hard for community affairs professionals to quantify their departments as profit centers for a media outlet. They are often the people within a radio or TV station who are giving things away for free. Unfortunately, too many station managers are not making the connection that the relationships an outlet fosters in the community translate into increased listenership and viewership. So, they are folding these departments into sales or creative services. If a community does not complain, then media management will continue operating this way.

So, in today's economy, can groups like Covering Kids & Families get PSAs placed?
Yes, although it has become more challenging in the last decade. There are opportunities, because many media outlets still want to do some good in the community, so you should take advantage of them. Realistically, though, a station is more likely to respond to a group that can partner with a client who can pay for some advertising. Without funds to purchase advertising, organizations like Covering Kids & Families need to be creative and make their PSAs user-friendly. By that I mean, present PSAs and materials that are straightforward and easy to understand.

How important is it to build a relationship with your media contact?
It is extremely important! Personally speaking, when a community group is easy to work with, I often turn to them when I am looking for a guest on our station's public affairs shows or a spokesperson for news coverage on a particular issue. These relationships are valuable for us. I would advise your coalitions: if your PSA does not get placed right away, keep checking with your contact. There may be space in the rotation or other media outreach opportunities.

Should Covering Kids & Families coalitions look beyond placing PSAs and pursue forming media partnerships with television and radio stations in their region?
Cause-related marketing is the future of the media's work in community affairs. There are lots of companies and national organizations that are looking for community issues to work on. If you have funds to dedicate to a media partnership, then a television or radio station is more likely to get involved in your work on a larger scale. Begin investigating possible partners by talking with your coalition to get a sense of their community connections.

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