Who is eligible for PSAs on WLRH?
Only bona fide non-profits based in the WLRH service area, which includes Madison, Morgan, Marshall and Limestone counties, are allowed to air PSAs on WLRH. Additionally, even if a non-profit is eligible for PSA service from WLRH, it cannot be a solicitation for funds, a solicitation for volunteers, or for promoting a "members only" event. WLRH does not mention corporate event sponsors within the body of any PSA.
Are there any organizations, events, or activities that are automatically ineligible?
No. PSA will be accepted from any for-profit organization, however some exceptions can be made for community events where there is no admission fee. At no time will WLRH promote an organizations' 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, sales, or lost animals.
Can I sell items through the PSA Program?
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 that far in advance and will do our best to work on short notice. We may not be able to accommodate every request, especially if the requests falls outside the submission window.
How often can I request a PSA?
We'd ask the each group record a General PSA, which contains general information about your service mission and can run for up to a year. Groups are also asked to prioritize requests for the 3 (or so) biggest events of the year. This helps ensure can serve as many non-profits as possible.
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 3 days for a response. If you are eligible, we will send you a choice of available recording times.
Can I also submit to the WLRH Calendar of Events?
Yes! You can submit your event to our calendar here. If we cannot fit your PSA into our recording schedule, the event, if eligible, will still show up in the Community Calendar All inclusions are at the sole discretion of WLRH. Please allow at least a week for the event to be verified.
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 15 minutes.
WLRH employees are not permitted to voice pre-recorded PSAs for organizations. Only non-WLRH employees are permitted to voice PSAs.
Can I send pre-recorded audio for my PSA?
No. We do not air PSAs unless they are produced at WLRH.
Can I air my PSA on other stations?
Yes! We do allow you to air our PSAs on other stations. You may request a copy of the recording.
Can I bring my own background music?
Yes! However, it should not distract from the recording. Instrumental music is usually best, but we can sometimes work around lyrics. WLRH reserves the right to veto any piece of music if it is deemed inappropriate, distracting, or of poor quality.
I see I have to submit a script. How do I write a script?
The script should be no longer than 27 seconds and must follow the guidelines listed here. Usually, the length is around 4-5 short sentences. Just stick to the basic details about your event and you’ll be fine. Don’t worry, WLRH will help you refine your script and make sure it is compliant before the PSA is recorded. 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. 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.
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.
discount or discounted
free (unless it's in the name of an event)
hurry and get…
most beautiful (or any other word preceded by "most")