Creating a PSA

I’m currently working on my demo reel.

Because I’m looking to go into Broadcast Journalism, my demo reel needs to be full of news stories of a broad range of topics from human interest to breaking news to sports features. One of the ways that journalists/news stations give back to their community is by advocating local or national organizations or touching a specific issue that no one is talking about.
 
For my latest project I just completed, I created a PSA or a public service announcement. To go about it, Mr. Doran (my interactive multimedia teacher), sparked an idea because he had just received a packet from a campaign Dr. Phil was promoting. Dr. Phil was advocating awareness of dating violence and was holding a contest for high school students to submit a PSA on the topic. By the time I began diving in, the contest had already passed, but I decided to go along and create a news story/ PSA any way on dating violence; specifically the “Let Your Heart Rule” campaign. I learned a lot through research- I had no idea that so many teens were abused on a daily basis, and that April is dating violence awareness month. The challenge was creating a serious and professional, yet understandable and creative PSA for a tAopic that is so sensitive. Especially the fact that the PSA is for teens, but in reality any viewer who it would influence. Most importantly, it inspires and offers hope. Dr. Phil had partnered with different websites and hot lines for information and an outlet. This is a great way to close the PSA by offering places someone can go to get help or learn how to help.

Just remember, make sure your topic is relevant. I linked my PSA back to a topic that not only is current in today’s society, but has been brought to light by recent events- a talk show, a conversation, or a website. Other topics are timeless. However timeless a topic is, make connect it with something that is going to be current for today.
            
Lastly, you don’t have to be looking to go into journalism to make a PSA. You can create a public service announcement to build awareness, speak out about a topic you’re passionate about, give yourself a new editing/script writing challenge, or in case another PSA contest comes along.   


Melissa Prax is an active student and athlete. Her introduction to film and editing began when she took an Interactive Multimedia class at Grand Valley High School/ Ashtabula County Joint Vocational School. (See Grand Valley's Profile ) Her involvement in the class led to her election and win of SkillsUSA northeast Ohio regional president. Every few months she writes a student column for her local newspaper, The Star Beacon. After high school Melissa is looking forward to double major in broadcast journalism and nutrition.