As you probably or may not know, FCC licensed radio and television outlets have a contractual obligation to provide a certain amount of public service announcements. 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations qualify to be included in the groups of government and private sector organizations whose ads can be used to satisfy this requirement.
Be a 501(c)(3)
Your non-profit organization should already be approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization and listed in IRS Publication 78, the “Bluebook” of approved tax-deductible non-profit organizations. If not, get information online or contact our consulting service for more information.
Radio and TV
PSA ads are, of course, given low priority for time placement and frequency but there are some things you can do to increase your chances of having them run.
Educate or Provide a Public Service
First, make sure your PSA is really “announcing a public service”, that is that your radio spot or TV spot is not just a thinly disguised attempt to get a free ad for your gym. The advertising professionals at media outlets will not likely be fooled.
Provide a Professional Product
Provide a professional radio spot or TV spot that will enhance the media outlets offering fare. USAG has some excellent video clips that they may make available to you (well, maybe if you are a Member Club). If not, find a professional who will donate their time and work or give a substantial discount to your organization.
Use the Pros
TV and radio stations do not usually have the best of talent producing their in-house ads so you would probably be better off and asking for less if you get them done elsewhere.
Highlight the Beauty and Action of the Sport
A really well produced spot could encourage media outlets to use your spot and use it more often.
One Station – One Ad
Produce enough spots for all of the different media outlets in your area that may play them. There is often considerable competition between media outlets and they will not appreciate “their” ad being run on their competitor’s stations.
So get some spots produced and promote the sport and by association your gymnastics team and program.