Impact of PSA-style campaigns

Impact of PSA-style campaigns

Marketing is everywhere in today’s content-driving society, influencing everything from how a person spends their time and money to how they shape their lives. No matter which kind of business you’re involved with or what services you provide, your marketing makes a difference.

But what happens if what you need people to buy into isn’t a product or a service? What if you’re attempting to get people to buy into making a change in their lives, health, or community?

That’s where PSA-styled campaigns come in. Based more on behavioral change than other types of marketing, campaigns styled after public service announcements can be the best tool in your toolbox, allowing you to share your story compellingly and encourage people to get involved. Additionally, marketing can give you the voice you need to help build relationships between groups and motivate people to take action.

Through the use of PSAs, organizations and companies work to influence social norms and change actions within a community. Examples of these campaigns date back to World War II when Americans were encouraged to practice good security and privacy measures to protect soldiers overseas, because “Loose Lips Sink Ships.” Other well-known PSAs and PSA-style campaigns are those that raised awareness about the health effects of drug addiction and smoking (the “This Is Your Brain on Drugs” ad of the 1980s), the importance of using a seatbelt (Click it or Ticket), building a healthy lifestyle (Shape Your Future OK), and even how to screen for certain kinds of cancer (Screen for Life). 

What are PSA-Style Campaigns?

PSAs are similar to “regular” commercials in many ways. You’ll see them in the same places – on television, on the radio, in newspapers, and on billboards – and they follow the same general production process, but there are several very important differences. 

First, while a commercial advertisement is meant to attract people to buy a product or a service, the intent of a PSA is to inform and educate the target audience about health, social, and safety issues. 

Second, a PSA campaign is not paid advertising. Television and radio stations are required to set aside a certain amount of their advertising time for PSAs, but the non-profit that owns a PSA is not in control over when or where the message airs. Additionally, PSA-style messages cannot be used to raise money or use direct “call to action” language.

How to Craft a Compelling Message for your PSA-Style Campaign

If your business is setting out to make an impact, the movement goes nowhere without the right message. 

For a PSA that packs a punch, play your ACE: 

Accurate, Agile, and Actionable

Accurate. Research is the backbone of this type of marketing. Your message should be well-supported and thoroughly researched with no misinformation and no unsubstantiated claims.

Agile. Your wording and voice should be thoughtfully formulated and flexible enough to make sense for a broad audience, so you can reach multiple demographics with a single message.

Actionable. At the end of your message, people should know what they can do to make a difference, to make the change. Give, wear, donate, speak up, stop—tell them what’s next.

Clear, Concise, and Communicable

Clear. A well-written message is not ambiguous. It clearly conveys intent, desired action, even the originating source, so there’s no confusion about what the viewer needs to know or needs to do.

Concise. The attention span of the average person continues to shrink. To make the biggest impact, your message should be short and straight to the point.

Communicable (and captivating). For better or for worse, modern information spreads like wildfire, which means your message should not only be fast and easy to share across multiple modes of media, it should be unique enough to stand out from the crowd.

Emotive, Engaging, and Elective.

Emotive. The most powerful messages tap into human emotions—common experiences and poignant feelings that hit at the core of who we are.

Engaging. To spark necessary change, your campaign should encourage conversation and interaction, making your mission “something to talk about.”

Elective. No one likes to be told what to do, even if it’s for their own good, and change is most effective when people choose to do it. Your message should be articulated in a way that leaves the choice in the hands of the audience—do nothing and things stay the same or take action and see the difference, it’s up to them.

Freestyle—A Powerful Way to Promote Your Cause

Freestyle is perfectly positioned to help develop your brand, create your message, and communicate it effectively to the right audience. We’re a local full-service marketing, advertising, and branding agency with the breadth and depth of creative skill and experience you need to make the most of your PsA-style campaign. From strategy and social media to web design and digital platforms, healthcare and higher education to causes and nonprofits, we are Oklahoma’s choice for masterful marketing. Whatever your messaging, we can help you shape it.

Here’s how Freestyle Creative leverages our resources for maximum impact:

  • Branding and design. A great campaign goes beyond a great logo. Our mastery of ad designs, print materials, motion graphics, and more translates to an impressive brand identity that speaks volumes about your organization, your values, and your goals.
  • Advertising and marketing. We use tailored KPIs to drive our advertising as well as media planning and buying, so you can be confident that none of your time, money, or efforts are being wasted in the wrong places. 
  • Strategy and research. Our marketing approach is founded on strategies like focus groups, research, A/B testing, and competitive analysis, all of which allow us to develop a truly comprehensive marketing plan and map out your path to success with confidence.
  • Video and photography. The Freestyle team has years of collective experience in video production and photography, and we keep strong ties to the Oklahoma film community, giving us unique assets for conveying your message in creative and compelling ways.
  • Digital marketing and social media. Our team is constantly evolving with the changing tides of marketing, and we work hard to stay in front of best practices for SEM/PPC, social media marketing, content marketing, and more so we can share your story better and faster across multiple platforms.
  • Web design. Effective web design combines the best of visual aesthetics with seamless, practical function and search optimization. From mobile apps and websites to broader tech strategies, we make sure every one of your solutions is easy to use, speaks with the same voice, and moves your target audience to take action.

Freestyle is also committed to supporting local causes. Here are some of the organizations we’ve partnered with across the state of Oklahoma:

See more of who we’ve worked with here.Ready to get moving? Contact Freestyle and let’s start building your PSA-style campaign today. Call us at (405) 703-4110 or fill out our convenient online contact form. Change happens now.

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