© 2021 KALW
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

KALW Public Service Announcement Guidelines

KALW airs Public Service Announcements (PSAs) as part of our mission to serve our listeners and community.

PSAs submitted to KALW for consideration should have information that is of direct relevance and benefit to listeners in our broadcast area. Messages should not include controversial, issue-oriented, or self-serving material. KALW reserves the right to determine which PSAs will be selected for broadcast. PSAs will be scheduled based on limited airtime availability; particularly when there’s a higher volume of submissions, not all PSAs submitted for consideration will be broadcast.

KALW is unable to determine in advance how often, if, or when your PSA will air. Because PSAs are a free service, KALW is obligated to fulfill orders for paid underwriting announcements first. To learn more about the community benefits of underwriting, or to establish guaranteed announcements during specified times, please see our Underwriting Information Page.

PSAs are very brief—only 30 seconds in length. They are kept in rotation for no more than two weeks, and do not air during KALW’s on-air fund drives.

PSAs are reserved for publicizing the events or services of non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations located in our broadcast area. Non-profits should be prepared to submit a copy of the organization’s IRS Letter of Determination, which indicates the non-profit’s tax exempt identification number.

Due to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, no political announcements will be accepted.

KALW does not air PSAs for commercial events, or other events where there is an emphasis on "selling" or "bidding," including silent auctions, yard sales, bake sales, artist markets, and craft fairs.

PSAs for non-profit organizations cannot include a solicitation for funds, a solicitation for volunteers to solicit funds, or promote a "members only" event. KALW does not mention event sponsors within the script of any PSA.

FCC and IRS Guidelines for PSAs

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have established strict guidelines for PSAs. These guidelines must be firmly adhered to. Please keep these guidelines in mind when you submit your announcement for consideration to KALW:

  • Announcements may not include an inducement to buy, sell, rent, or lease.
  • Announcements may not contain price information, including fees, or references including “free,” “sale,” “half-price,” or “discount.” If an event is free, it’s permissible to indicate that it is “open to the public.” If an event requires tickets, the PSA may tell listeners where tickets are available.
  • Announcements may not be for commercial purposes. If it involves money or measurable benefit, the recipient must have 501(c)(3) status. Announcements for fundraisers will not be accepted, even if a portion of the funds are donated to charity.
  • Announcements may not contain comparative or qualitative language, like “the best in our area,” or “the most popular.”
  • Announcements may not contain a call to action, such as “be sure to attend” or “hurry in today.”

How to submit a public service announcement for broadcast on KALW
PSA requests must be submitted at least four weeks before the event date. Timely submission makes it more likely for your PSA to be considered for broadcast. The information we receive from you will be edited for broadcast.

The following information should be included in your PSA Copy:

  • Name of organization
  • Contact information:Web address and phone number for more information.
  • Provide phonetic pronunciation (pro-NUN-see-A-shun) of difficult words and names.
  • If the PSA is for an event, what type of event is it? For example: is it a presentation, concert, a slideshow, a lecture or a demonstration?
  • When will the event take place? Include time and date.
  • Where will the event take place? Include city and address.

The station does not check event details, and does not take responsibility for inaccurate information. Please proofread before submitting information for a PSA.

Due to the volume of PSA information we receive, KALW cannot accept submissions by telephone, fax, e-mail or mail. Please do not send press releases, brochures, calendars, and posters for KALW to convert into PSAs.

If you agree to these guidelines, you can submit your Public Service Announcement here.