Audiovisual products, such as televised public service announcements (PSAs), film and video, can be particularly effective in attracting the attention of, and communicating a message to, a target audience. Their development, however, usually requires the services of experienced professionals. Therefore, the production of effective PSAs and videos does need a substantial investment, even if their eventual distribution can be obtained for free. Below are some other considerations to keep in mind when considering such productions.
Public Service Announcements
PSAs are advertisements that are printed or broadcast free of charge. Some media groups are willing to broadcast or print the PSAs of qualifying non-profit organizations that provide a service to the community such as United Nations agencies an non-governmental organizations. PSAs can reach a large audience with a carefully crafted message that is unaltered by the media distributing it (unlike press releases and the news stories they generate). But the fact that the media is not being paid to broadcast or print the announcement means that there is little control as to when, where and how often the advertisement appears.
PSAs can be used either to increase awareness about an organization and its mission, or to diffuse a message about a specific issue or event. PSAs with a thematic message rather than the simple promotion of a specific organization are often more successful at securing free broadcasting and printing.
Before developing the message and distribution strategy for a PSA campaign, it is essential to have enough information about the target audience and the media requirements/interests. For the latter, keep in mind: media priorities in terms of issues, preferred spot lengths, format requirements, best time of the year for distribution, and any other issues that may influence if and how much the different media use a PSA.
Effective PSAs must be relevant and of interest to the target audience. They should have a clear, actionable message that is easily understood, remembered and even better, acted upon by the audience. Examples of a desired action by the audience could be to make a call to a specified number, or visit a specified website to receive more information.
Effective PSAs also use a variety of media to reinforce the message among the target audience. This involves tailoring the look and feel of the message for each medium. In other words, good PSAs take advantage of the different strengths of each medium. They use full color, motion and sound on TV, evoke a powerful mental picture with a strong spokesperson on radio, and use good photography, art and design in print.
WIPO has produced several PSAs in connection with World Intellectual Property Day celebrations.
Videos are lengthier than PSAs, which allows them to go into greater depth and better explore the issues at hand. Videos can be used at conferences or seminars, and they can also be streamed on websites to increase their reach. If the quality of the video is very good and the subject matter is sufficiently topical or interesting, national TV networks could be interested in airing it. Networks may also be particularly interested in airing a series of videos rather a single video.
As part of its efforts to familiarize the general public with IP and increase awareness of the importance of encouraging and promoting creativity, WIPO has producing a series of short films for television called Creative Planet. The series explores, through portraits of artists, musicians, inventors, designers, and other creators, how the creative process works for each of them, how they view their efforts, and how the intellectual property system has helped. The six-minute films can be broadcast on national and international television networks. More information...