Creating Effective Public Service Announcements PSAs

By Eva Barrows
Some of the most memorable commercials on TV haven’t been commercials at all but Public Service Announcements (PSAs). You remember what Smokey the Bear says, the slogan “Don’t Drink and Drive” and what your brain looks like on drugs, right? Those were all very effective PSAs geared to influence a change in your attitude.

At the Zoom-In Mixer, a monthly filmmaking learning series held at Midpen Media Center, in January instructor Doug Kreitz led a presentation and discussion about PSAs with about 15 people in attendance. The presentation covered how PSAs were first produced in the US during WWII to encourage public support for the war effort. Non-profits and community organizations continue to use these short-form films to present issues, facts, and calls to action.

During the mixer, Kreitz shared the steps that go into producing an effective PSA. The group studied samples of different types of PSAs together: those featuring a prominent spokesperson, voiceover, live action, and silence. The mixer concluded with a lively and engaged conversation about the elements of successful PSAs. Filmmakers were encouraged to try producing their own PSA to add to their portfolio and help get the word out about a worthy cause.
Join us at our next Zoom-In Mixer, Scripting Your PSA, on Tuesday, February 26 from 7 pm – 9 pm for more inspiration and tips about how to get started on your PSA.

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