Resources > Public service announcement script sample

Public service announcement script sample

A sample script for public service announcements.

Public service announcements (PSAs) are a powerful tool for raising awareness on important issues that affect society. PSAs are typically broadcast through various media platforms such as television, radio, newspapers, billboards and social media. Poll worker recruitment is an important issue through which PSAs can be used to inform the public.

PSAs are useful because they can reach a wide audience and effectively communicate a message in a short amount of time. They are designed to be attention-grabbing and memorable, often featuring catchy slogans that make a lasting impression on viewers.

What you’ll need

What you’ll need

Getting started

Getting started

When creating a public service announcement, it is important to have a clear message that you are trying to communicate. For example, you may use a public service announcement to put out a call for prospective poll workers.

Begin by downloading the sample messages from the “What you’ll need” section. You can also copy and paste the sample messages into your own documents from the “Using the tool” section below.

Using the tool

Using The tool

Election offices can use these samples to create similar announcements. (As you adapt the samples, be sure to replace the highlighted sections with accurate information for your office.)

0:15 Spot Script (40 Words)

[Democracy County] needs you to be a poll worker. Poll workers play a vital role in our democracy and you can be paid for helping out. For more information, call [One-Two-Three Four-Five-Six Seven-Eight-Nine-Ten] or apply online at [Vote Democracy Dot Gov]

0:30 Spot Script (80 Words)

[Democracy County] needs you! Poll workers play a vital role administering elections and you can be paid for helping out. Poll workers can serve in a variety of ways: checking in and assisting voters at voting locations; verifying signatures on mail ballot envelopes; and preparing ballots for counting. For more information, call [One-Two-Three Four-Five-Six Seven-Eight-Nine-Ten] or apply online at [Vote Democracy Dot Gov]

As you’re thinking about creating your own announcements, there are a few key elements to keep in mind:

  • The message should contain one main point
  • The message should be actionable – provide a phone number or website address
  • Write out every word – even numbers and punctuation. For example, the phone number 555-555-5555 would be “FIVE-FIVE-FIVE FIVE-FIVE-FIVE FIVE-FIVE-FIVE-FIVE,” and the website would be “VOTE HAMILTON DOT GOV.”

The length of these announcements is also important. You’ll want to pay attention to how many words your PSA contains, and match that to the amount of time you have for your announcement. Here are a few recommendations:

  • 160 words for a 1:00 spot
  • 80 words for a 0:30 spot
  • 40 words for a 0:15 spot

Consider writing and sharing announcements that conform to all of the above guidance. This will make it easier for the stations to use.

In addition to requesting stations to run content as a public service, your office may consider purchasing advertisements (or “spots”). The format for the PSAs matches what would be required for paid radio or television ads, which are generally low-cost and effective ways to reach wide audiences.

Customizing for your office

Customizing for your office

Any tips for customizing this resource for my office?

Cast a wide net when booking PSAs. If available in your area, be sure to reach out to stations that serve voters speaking a variety of languages. (For help on this and other language access issues, check out guidance from the Center for Civic Design.)

How do I know if this resource is helping?

Election officials can determine if this resource is helping by tracking the sources of poll worker applications. This could look like including a question on the application asking where the applicant heard about becoming a poll worker.

Which Values for Election Excellence does this resource support? Why?

Values for the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence define our shared vision for the way election departments across the country can aspire to excellence. These values help us navigate the challenges of delivering successful elections and maintaining our healthy democracy.

Alliance values are designed by local election officials, designers, technologists and other experts to support local election departments.

You may find this tool especially helpful for these Values:

  • Voter-centricity, why: Voters will be well-informed about upcoming elections.
  • Proactive transparency, why: Election offices will be forthright about upcoming elections and activities of the office.
  • Comprehensive preparedness, why: Poll workers will feel well-prepared for their duties.

To learn more about the Values for Election Excellence, and to see the full list, visit the Alliance website.

Sharing feedback

Sharing feedback

How was this resource developed?

This resource has been developed based on research, but has yet to be tested with voters or put into practice. Share your experience with this resource and improve it for your peers by reaching out via

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