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PSA Rules

The rules for submitting a PSA to WLRH Public Radio

Submit Your PSA Script Here

Who is eligible for PSAs on WLRH?

Any bona fide non-profit operating in the WLRH service area, which includes Madison, Morgan, Marshall and Limestone counties, is allowed to submit PSA requests to WLRH. PSA requests cannot be a solicitation for selling (artist markets), fundraising, sponsorships, volunteers or promoting a "members only" event. WLRH does not mention corporate sponsors within PSA scripts.

Are there any non-profit organizations, events, or activities that are automatically ineligible?

Not automatically, but yes. All PSA requests must relate to activities in our non-profit community. Some exceptions are made for community events where 'the public is invited to attend' and there is no admission fee. WLRH cannot promote an non-profit's fundraiser unless it can be promoted strictly as an event. We do not air PSAs for religious or political activities, member’s only events, car washes, silent auctions, art markets, bake sales, or lost animals.

Can I sell items through the PSA Program?

As a non-commercial station, WLRH does not air PSAs for commercial events where there is an emphasis on 'selling' or 'bidding', including silent auctions, yard sales, bake sales, artist markets and craft fairs.

When should I submit my request?

Due to high demand, we suggest that PSA submissions be made 2 months prior to the event. However, we know sometimes event details aren't finalized in that time, so we do our best to work on short notice. If your event if still more than two weeks away, we might be able to help so please submit a request and let us try to make it work.

How often can I request a PSA?

We ask the each non-profit to record a General PSA, which contains general information about your service mission, activities and contact info. The General PSA will run for a year (or longer) on our three channels. In addition, groups are also asked to submit Event PSA requetes for three (or so) or thre biggest events of the year. The Event PSAs run in addition to the General PSAs.

How do I submit a PSA?

PSA requests must be submitted via our web form link on top of this page. include the requested information about your event and allow at least a week for a response. If you are eligible, we will finalize your script via email and then set up a specific time for you or a representative to come to the station to record.

Can I also submit to the WLRH Calendar of Events?

We've changed our WLRH Event Calendar and you no longer have to submit to our community calendar. Your non-profit event automatically gets listed when you go through the PSA program. However, we no longer accepts public calendar submissions.

Who voices the PSAs?

Someone from your organization will voice the PSA. Don’t worry, its easy and painless! The person recording will set up a time with a WLRH producer who will take you through the entire process. It takes about 10 minutes.

WLRH employees and on-air talent are not permitted to voice PSAs for outside non-profit organizations. Only non-WLRH staff are permitted to voice PSAs. We prefer people who sound like regular people as opposed to voice talent, so don't worry if you have an accent.

Can I send pre-recorded audio for my PSA?

No. We need all of the audio to sound exactly the same and have FCC compliant language. We prefer people to come to WLRH and record. On occasion, we've worked with outside studios to produce PSAs that meet our internal and FCC guidelines. That rarely works, unfortunately.

Can I air my PSA on other stations?

Yes! You may request a copy of the recording using the email chain where we set up your appointment. WLRH does allow you to use our PSAs on other radio stations and on your digital assets. Just make sure to thank us to your followers! We depend on public support to make this free service available.

Can I bring my own background music?

Yes! However, nothing too obvious, well-known or distracting. Instrumental music is best. You don't want someone singing underneath your narration. Please send us a link to the music on YouTube, Spotify, etc ...

I see I have to submit a script. How do I write a script?

The script must follow the non-promotional language guidelines listed below. When read aloud at a comfortable pace, it should be 27 seconds or less. Usually, that's about 4-5 short sentences. Stick to the basic details about your event. Don’t worry, we will finalize your script by email before you arrive to record. NOTE: ALL SCRIPTS MUST BE APPROVED AT LEAST ONE DAY PRIOR TO RECORDING.

Here is an example of a compliant script that runs approximately 15 seconds:

The Caribbean brass ensemble will perform works including Beethoven and Bach on Saturday, October the 4th at eight p.m. in the Von Braun Center--north hall. The featured performers are Emerald St. Clair and Johnathon Franklin. The public is invited to attend, but reservations are required. Information at (256) 551-2345 or online at: vonbrauncenter.com

Federal Communications Commission and Local Rules and Regulations

The FCC has installed stricter rules and regulations for non-commercial radio language and content than for our commercial counterparts. This has been true since the inception of public broadcasting. If there's ever any question about language and content, please speak with a representative of WLRH.

Pricing information

You cannot mention prices or refer to discounts or sales of any kind. You may tell listeners where tickets are available for an event. Words such as "free," "sale," "discount," “purchase,” and other references to prices and values are absolutely not allowed. If an event is free you may say it is “open to the public” or “the public is invited to attend.”

Value neutral descriptions

You cannot qualify a product, service or event as something that may be more or better in some way than another event, service or product. The FCC disallows non-commercial broadcast outlets from comparative language in describing products, services, or events. Commercial broadcasters can say that something is the best, or number one, or one of kind, but non-commercial broadcasters cannot.

When describing something in value neutral terms you will be describing the actual event, product or service exactly as it is without embellishing language.

Here's an example of what is allowable:

The XYZ Organization will present its annual spring concert this Saturday at 6 PM, and will feature the music of Grammy winning artist, Dude. Lawn chairs, coolers and blankets will keep you comfortable under the night sky. Information at 555-1234.

Here's an example of the same one that is not allowable:

The XYZ Organization, one of the leading organizations of its kind, will present its fantastic annual spring concert this Saturday at 6 PM, featuring the country's favorite artist, Grammy winning Dude. Lawn chairs, coolers and blankets will keep you comfortable under the night sky. Information at 555-1234.

The bold portions of this example are not compliant with rules regarding value neutral descriptions.

Language for Fundraisers

A concert to raise money for a service organization can be promoted as a concert with a brief statement in the body of the announcement that states who will benefit.

An example is: …Proceeds benefit XYZ Organization.

This is the only statement allowable in a PSA to acknowledge a beneficiary. Words such as "fundraiser" are not allowable. There are some fundraising activities that we simply cannot promote such as silent auctions, telethons, and yard sales.

Calls to Action

Calls to Action are, perhaps, the most common offense made in PSAs. The FCC disallows calls to action on non-commercial broadcasting stations. A Call to Action is a statement or phrase that commands or invites someone to action.

The best way to explain this is to give some examples.

Example 1) "Bring lawn chairs and blankets."

The word "bring" is a call to action, you are telling a listener to "bring" something with them. The compliant manner of stating this would be "Lawn chairs and blankets welcomed." You are not telling the listener to do something; you are merely stating that the event’s organizers will allow people to have these items with them at the event.

Example 2) "Come to tonight's presentation of Dude."

In this statement you are telling the listener to take action by coming to the event. The compliant version of this statement would be "The XYZ organization will present Dude tonight." This simply says that the event is tonight and does not instruct a listener to be there.

Example 3) "Don't forget to get your tickets."

Don't forget" and "get" are both instructions to the listener to take action, in this case, get tickets. To be compliant you would say "Tickets available by pre-order only." You can see that it is the same message, which is to get your tickets ahead of time, but the language falls within the parameters of what the FCC and WLRH does permit.

Example 4) “For more information call 555-1234."

The word "call" is clearly an inducement for a listener to take action, in this case to pick up their phone and "call." The same message is communicated by changing the language to "Information at 555-1234."


The tone you use when reading PSAs is important. PSAs must sound consistent with our other announcements. PSAs that are read like a commercial, even with compliant language and content, is inconsistent with our overall presentation.

Additional language/content guideline

All PSAs must end with "Information at…" This creates a "consistency of sound", an important component of WLRH's overall sound. Do not qualify the word "information" with words like "further" or "more". A web site or email is also acceptable with or without a phone number, but may not include added language, either. Please review the following examples:

Acceptable PSA close: "Information at 555-1234 and/or info.org."

Unacceptable PSA close: "Further information on this event at 555-1234 or you can visit our new website at info.org."

Examples of non-compliant words and phrases

The following list includes some of the words and phrases that are either comparative, price related, or calls to action, and that are not allowable on WLRH. They are in no particular order. This list is also not a complete list of all words and phrases that are not acceptable.

number one
discount or discounted
specially priced
free (unless it's in the name of an event)
call us
come and…
visit us
visit our…
don't miss
don't forget
better than
more interesting
your money
get your…
don't go
hurry and get…
silent auction
close out
dig in
stay for
your only…
flea market
yard sale
thrift sale
low cost
most beautiful (or any other word preceded by "most")