Public service advertisements -- commonly referred to as public service announcements or PSAs -- are brief announcements for public benefit. Radio and television stations air them to satisfy their Federal Communications Commission requirements for public service. There is no federally mandated air time for PSAs, but individual stations set policies on what percentage of time they devote to PSAs. As a business owner, you can partner with government or non-profit organizations, or prepare your own PSA. Be prepared to send your PSA ready-to-air as an audio or video recording in the station’s required format.


Government agencies and health institutions such as hospitals frequently use PSAs for health issues, such as for anti-smoking campaigns, encouraging healthy eating patterns or testing for contagious diseases. Small businesses can partner with these institutions if they offer complementary services, such as medical testing devices, organic produce or grocery stores.


PSAs are valuable for public safety campaigns, such as wearing seat belts, helmet safety, or the dangers of and penalties for drinking alcohol and driving. States will also use PSAs to remind residents of a new law going into effect. Private companies can take advantage of partnerships with government or law enforcement agencies in some instances, such as taxi-cab or pedi-cab operators offering affordable or even free rides on weekends for people who have had too much to drink, or establishments selling helmets.


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Environmental PSAs run the gamut from driving tips that conserve fuel, to what native plants to use to conserve water, to tree-trimming tips to inhibit diseases such as oak wilt. The environment is a topic ideally suited to landscapers, garden shops and outdoor machinery retailers.

Outdoor Sports


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If your business caters to outdoor sports enthusiasts, you can run PSAs or partner with other agencies with messages on safety, such as wildfire prevention, fishing and hunting safety, and boating safety. This is ideal for sports gear retailers, establishments that sell hunting and fishing licenses, and motorsports businesses.