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New Insights from PSA Directors in Williams Whittle Annual Survey

Insights from PSA Directors in Williams Whittle’s 2022 annual survey

by | May 23, 2022

By Kelly Callahan-Poe, President, Williams Whittle

Every year, we ask PSA Directors across the country what trends they are seeing and what impact that has on their ability to deliver free media placements for nonprofits. In 2020 and 2021, we saw a huge shift towards healthcare related PSAs in the market due to COVID-19. 

In 2022, COVID-19 continues to impact the nonprofit sector, but there are many new opportunities that we have not seen before.

2022 Top PSA Trends:

  1. There is COVID-19 burnout. While hooking your nonprofit to a relevant timely news topic such as COVID-19 worked well in previous years, many stations have removed COVID-related PSAs entirely. 
  2. More station contacts will be in the office, which means you have more opportunities to interact with them via email, phone, and mail (or even in-person).
  3. More than half of PSA Directors receive ten or fewer PSAs a week, yet 3 out of 4 have space for 10-40 per week! That means that most stations have MORE capacity to air PSAs.
  4. More PSA Directors than ever indicate they are willing to run a PSA with an ask for donations. While this is still a no-no at networks, you have a better chance at your local stations. If you have budget, experiment with this.
  5. Make sure your PSA (or at least your pitch) gets local. Share a local story or show how funds are allocated locally to demonstrate that this is important for their local viewers/listeners—this is the top checkbox to mark for a PSA Director. 
  6. In terms of creative appeal, PSA directors like live action and animated spots equally. 
  7. Factoids and statistics about nonprofits appeal nearly equally to stories from beneficiaries. So, dig deep for both! 
  8. PSA Directors are NOT more likely to run a PSA from a well-known nonprofit (one of the top 100 nonprofits) vs. a smaller lesser-known organization. 
  9. Most PSA Directors will talk about nonprofit issues on air, so there are many opportunities beyond PSA space for your campaign. 
  10. Q4 is looking very strong for PSA inventory this year!

Conducted by Julia McDowell, this 11th annual PSA Preference Survey was distributed to approximately 2,248 TV and radio stations nationwide from our proprietary PSA database in March 2022.

Click here to view or download the full report.


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