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Public Service Announcements

  • By: Emily B. Peterson & Xiaoquan Zhao
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a public service announcement (PSA) refers to “any announcement for which no charge is made and that promotes programs, activities, or services of federal, state, or local governments or the programs, activities or services of nonprofit organizations and other announcements regarded as serving community interests.” PSAs have been an important component of public health movements for the past half century. They appear in a wide variety of formats, ranging from commercial-like messages on TV and the radio, to text and/or pictorial displays in newspapers and magazines or on billboards, to viral videos on the Internet. PSAs are developed for a broad range of public and social issues, but health-related topics (e.g., smoking, drunk driving, heart disease) have appeared ...

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