Quick and Dirty PSA Starter Guide
Quick in that the resources and materials I gathered took me all of 30 minutes to assemble, and would likely take most educators about 5-10 minutes to dig through and utilize. Dirty in the sense that the most formal piece of information on the document is a link to my website and information about my school district. It’s actually a small collection of resources that I use whenever a teacher wants me to come into a classroom and do a “brief” presentation about persuasive video, resources related to PSAs (public service announcements), and provide students with a “jumping off” point.
Link to Ben’s Quick Tools & Tips for Creating PSAs
This is not meant to be an authoritative document; it’s just a quick “let’s get our feet wet” guide that would give anyone interested in creating a PSA just enough information to get themselves started. Yes, it links to Wikipedia (it’s a source I use often, regardless of how many media specialists feel about it). Yes, it links to Alan Levine’s amazingly robust “50 Ways to Tell a Web 2.0 Story” Wiki (it’s a great resource, right up there with Wikipedia). It gets the job done, and I can stretch it into a 50 minute class session (with a few activities), or share the resources and the videos in 15-20 minutes and be done if need be. This week I’ll be doing a longer share, and asking students to get together in small groups to talk about how persuasive media (or PSAs) influence them, what emotions seem to be best to employ based on the subject matter, and then letting them share their favorites for me to show the class (thank you, Youtube).
I’ve been asked to present this to a few Literature classes at our high school this week, one of them being the AP section, so I don’t get too heavily into the content specific nature of the persuasive writing (I’m certainly not the expert on that). One thing I can safely call myself an expert on though are the old G.I. Joe “Knowing is Half the Battle” PSAs form the 1980s. Enjoy!