Afterschool Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

Raise awareness in your community

Public Service Announcements (PSAs) are non-commercial advertisements focusing on social issues. They are intended to modify public attitudes by raising awareness of a specific issue or concern.

Some tips on creating PSAs:

You don't need a production budget.  Work in partnership with media to create PSAs promoting afterschool and/or your program. Radio stations are especially receptive to airing PSAs, and are easiest to produce -- all you need is to write a script that the radio DJ can read.  Cable operators like Cox, Comcast, Bright House and your local cummunity cable station are often willing to create a spot with you, if they can place their own logo on the PSA, too. Cable may even be interested in working with your students to create the PSAs.

Adapt our Lights On Afterschool radio PSA script.  Edit the script to promote your local event. Approach radio stations early so that they have time to read the PSA in the weeks leading up to Lights On Afterschool.

Simple messages are most effecitve. Years of public opinion research show that the most effective message on afterschool is: Afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families. You don't have to use these words, but let them inspire what you choose to focus on. Consult our polling data and previous PSAs created with the Ad Council for inspiration.

Think about the call to action or resource in your PSA. Do you have a website or phone number listeners or viewers can call for more information? Can your program handle an increased volume of calls or participants? 

Who to contact at TV, radio and print outlets. Make sure you're reaching out to the right people.

Key points to make in your meetings with media about PSAs. Landed a meeting with a media representative? Make the most of it by hitting the right notes.

The Afterschool Alliance was fortunate to run nationwide PSA campaigns on afterschool in partnership with the Ad Council and the Mott Foundation.  The campaigns are no longer active, but we encourage you to take a look at the PSAs to spur your own thinking and plans. See previous Afterschool PSA Campaigns.


Key Points to Make in Your Meetings 

Here are key points and tips to remember when you call or write the media about creating or placing afterschool PSAs.

  • Afterschool is an important issue in every community. The parents of 28 million children work outside the home.
  • 11.3 million children are unsupervised every day after school. These youth are left vulnerable to crime and risky behaviors.
  • Afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families. Afterschool programs offer youth a safe haven and much more. In afterschool, youth can learn new skills, discover new talents and just hang out and have fun.
  • ALWAYS "localize" your request. Link the afterschool PSA campaign to the afterschool issues and needs in your community. Share local statistics or information about what is happening to children in your community during the critical afterschool hours.
  • Share how this campaign helps your community. Afterschool is a proven program that works for kids during their out-of-school time. By building awareness of its benefits, we hope to inspire more programs to get started/get more kids to participate/etc.

Who to Contact:


Contact the broadcast affiliate and independent station in the media market (city, town, or area) where you live. These are stations that are the local affiliates for NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox. They each do their own local news and has airtime that they can choose to fill with public service advertising.

Speak to:

Public or Community Affairs Director, General Manager


Cable can provide various opportunities for public service advertising. Start with the company on your cable bill, and look to contact all the cable systems in your area.

Speak to:

Advertising or Marketing Director, General Manger


Radio stations are generally formatted for a very specific audience. To achieve the greatest success, contact the radio stations that speak to parents and guardians, community leaders, and those who are in the education community. Know also that News and Talk stations are typically the most supportive of public service advertising.

Speak to:

Public or Community Affairs Director, General Manger


Newspapers are the most difficult medium in which to receive placement. Thus, it becomes all the more important to tie the need for afterschool programs to local news stories (such as juvenile crime, high school dropout rates, or the need for youth mentors). Offer to share any expertise that you may have on afterschool if the news department needs further information.

Speak to:

Director of Advertising or Editor-in-Chief