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Language Network, Grade 6
 
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Return to book index Chapter 30 : Examining the Media
PRODUCING MEDIA: Public Service Messages

PRODUCING MEDIA: Public Service Messages

Recycle . . . Don't use drugs . . . Stay in school . . . Don't pollute . . . Buckle up . . . Talk to your parents. You are exposed to public service messages like these on TV, the Internet, the radio, and posters. People create public service messages as a way to spread ideas that are important for others to know about.

Who's the audience?
You've seen them around, but how can you go about creating your own public service message? First, you should pick a particular idea or message that you feel strongly about. Then you should think about your target audience. Whom do you want your message to reach?

Once you've established your audience, consider the best way to get its attention. For example, if your audience is other students, you might create a public service poster to hang in the lunchroom. If you are creating a public service campaign about recycling, you might hang posters in different areas around your community. If you have access to a camcorder, you could even consider creating a commercial to spread your message.

Public service messages are a form of advertising. But instead of getting your audience to buy a product, you are asking them to adopt an idea. That means that your public service message, like commercials and print ads for products, has to be persuasive. Consider using a catchy slogan and attention-grabbing visuals. Make sure the design of your ad reflects the message or mood you are trying to convey.

Click on the link below to view public service campaigns from the past and present. The Ad Council site allows you to view these messages in the form of commercials, radio announcements, and online banner ads.

Once you've seen the messages that have been created by others, produce your own public service banner ad. Consider sharing your important message with others in your class.

Campaign
A series of public service messages—print and online ads, commercials, and radio announcements—that have a common idea or theme.

Mood
The feeling created for a target audience by the selection and arrangement of visuals and text included on your public service ad.

Public Service Messages
Messages that are intended to inform an audience about an important issue or idea. Public service messages may come in the form of print and online ads, posters, commercials, and radio announcements.

Slogan
A phrase or sentence that conveys your message in a catchy and memorable way.

Target Audience
The group of people you aim your message at. Members of a target audience usually share certain characteristics, such as age, gender, ethnicity, values, or lifestyle.