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Public Service Announcement

A PSA (Public Service Announcement) is a short informational clip that is meant to raise the audience’s awareness about an important issue. PSAs may include interviews, dramatizations, animations and many other types of video and audio content.

What makes a PSA effective?

There are many different stylistic approaches you can take when making a PSA. Decide which one is the most appropriate and effective for the message that you’re trying to get across.
  • It gets the audience to pay attention.
  • The message is clear and easy to understand
  • The message is supported by facts about the issue.
  • The audience is able to sympathize with those affected by the issue.

General Components to Include in a PSA

Video Footage

You can find some Creative Commons video or film some of your own footage.


You can find Creative Commons photos via the Free Media Library or take some photos yourself.


You can find Creative Commons music via the Free Media Library.


You can record a voiceover using the podcasting mics or the audio recording booths at University Park and select campuses.


Provides additional information for the viewer that the announcer does not have time to say, or it can be a part of your style and tone. Do not make it too wordy, though, otherwise the audience will not have time to read it. Additionally, remember the “PowerPoint rule”–don’t read your on-screen text word-for-word in voiceovers, unless it’s a quote.

PSA Types


This is perhaps what immediately comes to mind when one thinks of a “PSA.” Its usual components are a series of videos and images with a narrator or narrators delivering information to the audience either on-screen or through a voiceover. Sometimes text alone can be just as powerful and effective.
Voiceover Only
Text Only
One On-screen Announcer
Voiceover, Music, SFX
Multiple On-screen Announcers
Voiceover, Music, SFX

Possible Addition

Video footage of an announcer or announcers that you shot yourself. See our Video Production Tips for help shooting.


This method incorporates interviews into the PSA. This method is effective because the interviews provide either expert testimony or stories from people who have personal experience with your topic to support the argument that you are making. Sometimes the interviews can be accompanied by a voiceover, or other times your interview(s) alone can be very effective.

Possible Addition

Interviews. For information and tips on shooting interviews see our Interviewing tutorial.


This style uses either a scene, montage (a collection of several short clips), or a re-enactment/footage of true events to illustrate the point that you are trying to make. This style can allow your PSA not only to be more creative, but also subtle, yet powerful.
Real Footage
Dir: David Lynch 1991

Possible Addition

Video footage that you shot yourself. See our Video Production Tips for help with shooting.