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Listen Up! Radio Media Directors Consider PSAs Very Important

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Remember radio? The listening device in all our cars and trucks? With all the focus on Internet-related topics, let's talk about one of the oldest communications channels of the 20th and 21st centuries. The recently released National Media Survey of Radio Community Service Directors indicates that radio media directors believe that public service advertising is very or extremely useful. Yay!

Based on the survey, "Radio thinks, acts and 'surveys' local. Like their TV counterparts, radio media directors said they most wanted their stations to support their local community organizations and the issues they represented. They put a priority on helping out locally, first and foremost, regardless of the issue."

Here are just a few of the survey's major findings:



  • Radio media directors ranked community-based organizations (and the issues they support) as the issues most important to them. This focus on all things local was reported by their television counterparts as well in a prior survey.


  • Health issues were however very prominent among their specific concerns. Health issues ranked as the most important specific issue for their stations to support among radio television directors. Among the issues they wanted our government to take on with public service advertising, again, health concerns topped the list.


  • When asked to discuss specific health issues important to their community and listeners, most radio media directors named actual diseases.


  • The most frequently named attribute that makes public service advertising effective was the impact and action-ability of the campaign. The relevance and urgency of the topic to their community was the second most cited factor in making PSA campaigns the “best.”


  • In continued difficult economic times, an amazing 97% of respondents said that PSA time provided by their station would increase or stay the same.


  • Seniors topped the list of audiences for which radio media directors do not receive enough PSAs.


So, here are my questions for you.  What are your thoughts on the use of radio (or TV) airtime for public service announcements? Does broadcast have a responsibility to the nonprofit sector to provide free PSAs? Even though PSA origins came out of World War II, are they still relevant and needed today?


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A Canadian who relocated to the U.S., Elaine Fogel is president and CMO of SOLUTIONS Marketing & Consulting LLC, a boutique marketing and communications agency located in Scottsdale, Arizona. During her career, Elaine has worked for, and with, many organizations, associations, and businesses, across North America, on marketing strategy and communications tactics.

From her earlier agency career assignments freelance copywriting Procter & Gamble, Nestlé Carnation, and Kraft materials, to “inside” senior-level marketing positions, Elaine’s passion for marketing has evolved to helping clients reach new heights through strategic brand-building, integrated marketing communications, and customer orientation.

She has been a contributing writer for The Business Journal and her articles have appeared in many publications, including the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Marketing News, The Arizona Republic, Advancing Philanthropy, and several association publications. She has been interviewed by CNN, Connect Magazine, and The Capitol Times, and her content was included in Guerrilla Marketing for Nonprofits by Jay Conrad Levinson, Frank Adkins, and Chris Forbes. Nonprofit Consulting Essentials by Penelope Cagney. and Share of Mind, Share of Heart by Sybil F. Stershic.

Elaine is a Faculty Associate at the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation and a professional member of the National Speakers Association – she does keynotes and presentations on business and nonprofit marketing, branding, customer orientation, and cause marketing at conferences and meetings.

Elaine’s career has also included stints as a cookbook author, teacher, singer, and television show host. A golf and tennis enthusiast, Elaine is enjoying life in the sunny Sonoran Desert while serving clients across North America.

Solutions Marketing & Consulting: solutionsmc.net

Speaking: elainefogel.com

Elaine's Blog: http://elainefogel.net

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  • by Kevin Williams Tue Jun 22, 2010 via blog

    Speaking of radio, there is a great free website I've discovered called RadioGuestList.com at http://www.RadioGuestList.com which connects people who want to get on the radio with radio stations and podcasts that need guests to interview for their shows. You can subscribe to their mailing list for free to get emails whenever radio stations announce that they need guests. It is really easy, definitely check it out!

  • by Elaine Fogel Thu Jun 24, 2010 via blog

    Thanks for sharing this, Kevin!

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