AILA Doc No. 13032745 | Dated March 27, 2013
The keys to successfully placing a public service advertisement (PSA) in your local newspaper are advance planning and research. You will be asking the newspaper to give you space for free -- space the paper usually sells to companies willing to pay full price. Therefore, to place the PSA, you must be willing to meet the requirements of the newspaper and be flexible.
What is a PSA
A PSA is a message promoting a "public service" or "educational" that helps people learn more about an important issue. It is not a message to buy a product or service, and it does not endorse a company's product or service which is why these PSAs do not link directly to the AILA lawyer referral service but instead to the resources we have made available to the public regarding Deferred Action.
Learn the Newspaper's Policy on PSAs
The question is, will your local newspaper run the PSA? Contact the newspaper to learn:
Who to Work With at the Newspaper
First you might want to contact a reporter that you know or someone that you may have worked with on a story in the past. Forging strong bonds with your local newspaper can pay off in many ways since reporters you work with regularly will often contact you first for information when a story breaks, or will be more willing to take your phone call when you pitch a story. If no relationship exists, reach out to the public service advertising manager. Tell them about the campaign and why the issue is so important to the community and chances are they'll be more responsive.
If You Have to Buy Ad Space
Again, ask for help. Many newspapers offer significant rate cuts for non-profit groups, so do ask if they will extend the offer to you. Work with your local coalitions/partners to raise the funds needed to secure placement of the ads. They may ask that you add their organization's name and logo to the ad.
Meet All Deadlines
Newspapers run on deadlines. Since you're the one asking for help, it is critical that you meet all key dates. Missing a deadline could prohibit your PSA from running and hinder any future efforts.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 13032745.