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How to Make a PSA (Public Service Announcement): Script Your PSA


Some guiding principles:

  • Be authentic but keep it simple
  • Convey your message using facts and also emotions
  • Deliver one core message with clarity
  • The radio PSA should be linked to a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization with local or national recognition
  • It should not include references to any type of commercial sponsor
  • The message must be of service to the public in some way and should appeal to the targeted radio station’s listening audience
  • Radio PSAs can be produced in 10-, 15-, 30-, and 60-second versions (a little over 60 seconds should be okay), and are provided to stations both in prerecorded and scripted versions, the latter of which is used for live reads, to offer maximum flexibility and increase the likelihood of usage
  • The message should be powerful and deliver a clearly defined call-to-action based on what the non-profit organization is providing or the help they’re seeking from the listening audience. Sometimes a call for volunteers is just as important as a call for donations
  • Use copyright-free and public domain resources to enhance your PSA


  • 30 seconds (appx. 65-90 words) 
  • 60 seconds (appx. 150-180 words)



Draft a script or comic-style storyboard that is short but impactful. Use conversational language. Keep your sentences concise and to-the-point.

Jot down some ideas, sound effects, or facts that you think would make a good beginning.



What does the listener need to know about an issue affecting the community, or an organization that is working on that issue? Describe the music, sound effects, and/or real human dialogue that would help convey the message.



Is there an original or copyright-free jingle, sound effect, or point you could make near the end of your PSA to help it resonate? 


Sources: Media Tracks Communications, How to Write a PSA (Public Service Announcement), Accessed September 8, 2023,; National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants, Guidelines for Producing Public Service Announcements (PSAs), University of Minnesota, 2021,