The internet has made sharing your PSA (Public Service Announcement) easier than ever, but with hundreds of platforms to potentially broadcast to and millions of messages vying for attention, building an announcement that cuts through the noise is a daunting and challenging task. Here we discuss the decisions behind great PSAs to smooth out those concerns, and the techniques they use to help evoke emotion, urgency and action.

PSA’s need to reach as many people as possible – which means the more platforms they can end up on the better. However, a post that is favorable on social media will be different to what works on television, so flexibility is key. Instead of shooting different videos for different platforms, pumping unnecessary time and resources into a disjointed campaign, a great PSA will be made adaptable through a succinct script, quotable lines and clear visuals that can be transformed into still images. Whether a PSA is edited to be short-form and striking or engaging and full length, a flexible video will always maintain its core message.

Considering the audience of your PSA is also imperative. People are more likely to invest in a concept that impacts them personally, and when faced with a concept that rocks a world view or challenges an old habit, making that change needs to be worth it. Sharing a PSA during a month or date that is relevant to the cause is one way to highlight the importance of immediate action and bring your audience closer to the topic at hand.

While relatability is often achieved through celebrity spokespeople – creating an immediate emotional connection to the cause, a great PSA can evoke interest with sincere narrative storytelling. Through video footage depicting the reality of a situation, and animation that helps symbolize concepts and statistics too difficult to comprehend otherwise, narrative storytelling can invest anyone in an idea in just a short period of time. A good PSA is also aware that its creative choices aren’t limited by serious tones – sometimes the right mood is achieved through humor, nostalgia or hope.

Whether a PSA uses satire to point out the absurdity of harmful actions, a stark tonal shift to tear the audience from a comforting bubble into someone else’s reality, or whether it makes use of an inspiring mood to spur hope and change – video and animation can be used across the board to craft creative, sincere and emotive stories that spark conversation and get people involved.

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