THE 100 BEST COMMUNITY SERVICE/PUBLIC AFFAIRS
PROJECTS AND IDEAS

By Charles Warner

SPONSORED BY
The National Broadcast Association for Community Affairs (NBACA)

THE COMMUNITY SERVICE/PUBLIC AFFAIRS SURVEY

In 1994, the Goldenson Program conducted a survey of the community service/ public affairs (CS/PA) missions, purposes, organizational structures, staff profiles, sponsorship philosophy and success, information needs, efforts (projects, promotions, etc.), and results in local American television. The results of the study shed new light on an area on the current state of community service/public affairs programming and decision making.

  1. The results of the CS/PA survey were based on 353 responses to a questionnaire that was mailed to television stations throughout the country. Of those responses, 48% represent the opinions of general managers, and 52% were from community service or public affairs managers. This represented a 21% response rate overall, and provided an adequate, although far from ideal, cross-section of opinion of television executives.
  2. The distribution of survey responses among affiliates was fairly equal, with ABC at 25.9%, CBS at 24.5% and NBC at 28.9%. Fox Network affiliates provided 8.5% and independents 12.2% of the total responses.
  3. The survey asked who at each station was charged with the responsibility for generating community service/public affairs ideas. The most frequent answers were:
    • The general manager (22.9%)
    • A combination of all staff members (16.3%)
    • The public affairs person (13.9%).
  1. When asked who at each station was charged with the responsibility for deciding which ideas to use, the most frequent answers were:
    • The general manager (43.6%)
    • The public affairs person/manager (14.1%)
    • Management in general (12.8%)
  1. When asked who at each station was charged with the responsibility for implementing the ideas, the most frequent answers were:
    • The public affairs person/manager (31%)
    • The promotion manager (15.2%)
    • The programming manager (14.5%)
  1. When asked for the title of the person supervising community affairs programming, the most frequent responses were:
    • The public affairs director (36.4%)
    • The operations manager (13.1%)
    • The promotion department/manager (13.1%)
  1. That person most frequently worked in a public affairs (33.9%) or programming department (22.6%).
  2. When asked if the job of the person in charge of community affairs programming had changed within the past five years, 58.1% of respondents reported that it had, with 50.8% of those listing more responsibility as the primary adjustment.
  3. A large majority (89.7%) of general managers responding had been generally satisfied with their stations's CS/PA programming and projects in or during the last five years, but the biggest problems noted by community service persons and dissatisfied GMs were:
    • Insufficient time (29.2%)
    • Lack of funds (19.4%)
    • Lack of personnel (18.8%)
  1. Respondents were asked to list the three primary reasons they do community service/public affairs programming and projects. The most common responses indicated the variety of projects conducted and the motivations behind them:
    • Serve the community (63.3%)
    • Market the image of the station (52.3%)
    • Satisfy FCC requirements (29.4%)
    • Generate revenue (29%)

The survey indicated that revenue generation was becoming a higher priority for community service and public affairs efforts, and that many persons responsible for such programming and projects were finding the situation increasingly uncomfortable. A great many community service people felt that they had been asked (directly or indirectly) to place the generation of revenue above service to the community, and they were having genuine problems with those priorities.

  1. A significant majority of general managers responding to the survey (59.9%) reported that they do not regularly sell community service or public affairs programming, while 39.5% indicated that such programming was available for sale. The most common type of programming not sold was generally identified as "inappropriate" (46.4%), followed by "public service" (12.5%) and "election" (14.3%). Interestingly, 84.5% of those responding saw no ethical problem in selling public service programming, while 14.9% reported that there were ethical problems involved. Fifty-two percent did not respond to the question.
  2. A majority of respondents (86.7%) reported that there was not a separate person or department that was charged with the responsibility for selling CS/PA programs and projects at their stations.
  3. Respondents to the survey were asked to rank several items that would be most helpful to them in improving their station's CS/PA programs and projects. The ranked responses are listed below:
    1. A booklet listing the top 100 CS/PA program and project ideas in the last several years. (17.2%)
    2. A free regional seminar (available to all stations in an area) on how to select topics and produce CS/PA programs and projects. (16.8%)
    3. A paid-for seminar (at a cost of approximately $750, which would include expenses) for a market-exclusive seminar on how to select topics and produce CS/PA programs and projects. (12.4%)
    4. A quarterly newsletter (4-6 pages) updating the latest ideas in CS/PA programs and projects and how to sell them. (12.2%)
    5. A free regional seminar (available to all stations in an area) on how to prospect, qualify, and sell CS/PA programs and projects to advertisers. (11.2%)
    6. A free computer bulletin board that could be accessed by modem and that updated CS/PA programs and projects ideas and sponsors. (11%)
    7. A paid-for seminar (approximately $750, which would include expenses) for a market-exclusive seminar on how to prospect, qualify, and sell CS/PA programs and projects to advertisers. (9.6%)
    8. A national contest and awards program for CS/PA programs and projects. (9.5%)

If readers of this book would like to know more about any of the above ideas or services or would like to express an opinion about or need for any of them, please contact Charles Warner at warnerch@missouri.edu.

SURVEY SUMMARY

Keep in mind when people fill out a survey, there is always a tendency to give a socially acceptable answer, so a little skepticism is probably healthy in interpreting the results of the survey. In summary, the survey revealed that the primary motivation television stations have for doing community service/public affairs programming is to serve the needs of the community. But a close second was to market the image of the station. The people who make most of the CS/PA decisions (general managers) were not the people who were directly responsible for most of the work. The people who produced the CS/PA programming and projects were under increasing pressure to enhance the image of the station, to increase ratings, and to generate revenue. The changing nature of these goals has led to the necessity of reassessing the nature of public affairs programming and how to implement it in order to meet the new imperatives as television approaches the twenty-first century.

THE 100 BEST COMMUNITY SERVICE/PUBLIC AFFAIRS PROJECTS

THE SURVEY

People in charge of community service and/or public affairs at 400 local US television were personally interviewed by telephone.

Respondents were asked what they felt were the best community service/public affairs programs, projects, ideas, promotions, or efforts they had done in the past year. Responses were noted by station, market, and network affiliation, entered into a data base, and printed out.

The author and two other members of the Missouri Journalism School faculty independently evaluated the CS/PA project and idea responses and marked those that they believed should be included in the 100-Best list. Then, the evaluators discussed the projects and ideas, and agreed on what we felt to be the 100 best projects and ideas. Projects that were done year after year, that stations invested significant resources in, and that were long-term (spanned several months or a year) rather than short term or single-shot, were given more weight. If the evaluators knew that a particular project or campaign was syndicated, we gave it less weight, because the purpose of this project is to provide a resource to local broadcast stations for ideas for community service and public affairs campaigns, projects, programming, promotions, events, and images. The evaluators' bias, therefore, would be to have financial resources go the community rather than to syndicators, all else being equal.

The 100-Best list is subjective and reflects the evaluators' best efforts to include the widest possible variety of ideas from the broadest range of community-problem categories and market sizes. The list neither adequately represents, nor does it attempt to, the extraordinary variety and richness of the community service and public affairs efforts American television stations make every day of every year.

LIMITATIONS

Because only 400 of the approximately 1,160 commercial television stations in the country were interviewed, the 100-Best list represents the best of those 400 stations. Many excellent projects that should have made the list may have been missed. Also, many of the ideas are not new or unique. In fact, many are virtually the same idea. However, when you read the descriptions of the projects, look for the elements of execution, as it is often the implementation of the project that makes it different or unique.

TOPICS

The 100-best community service/public affairs projects were divided into 22 topics. Some of the projects dealt with more than one topic, but generally the projects focused on just one, and the topic that seemed to dominate was counted.

Topic Number of Projects

  1. Kids 22
  2. Education 16
  3. Civic Pride 11
  4. Health 8
  5. Drugs & Alcohol 5
  6. Crime/Police 5
  7. Family 4
  8. Ethnic Pride & Issues 4
  9. Women (including domestic violence) 3
  10. Volunteerism 3
  11. Hunger 3
  12. Poverty/Welfare 3
  13. Senior Citizens 2
  14. Gangs 2
  15. Emergency Relief 2
  16. Environment 1
  17. Safety 1
  18. Jobs/Unemployment 1
  19. Sports 1
  20. Voting 1
  21. Men 1
  22. The Arts 1
    Total 100


 

Keep in mind that these topics represent the distribution of those projects that were judged to be the 100-best of the 400 evaluated, and do not necessarily represent the distribution of all of the topics in the sample. However, after close examination of the 400 projects, the evaluators believe that the above distribution is reasonably representative of the topics selected by all of the stations in the sample.

Kids and education were clearly the most popular topics for projects among the 400 television stations interviewed, as reflected in the above list.

Finally, as readers look over the descriptions of the 100 Best that follows, please keep in mind that they are self-reported descriptions, so the author makes no claim about their accuracy. If you want more details or information on a project, please call the station.

SPONSORSHIPS

Thirty-two of the 100-best projects were sponsored. Many stations had a policy of not seeking sponsorships, believing that involving advertisers in community service/public affairs programming and projects was inappropriate. On the other hand, many stations see these projects as opportunities to generate revenue, and would not produce one unless it were sponsored. Other stations fall somewhere in between, seeking sponsors for those projects that are generally non-controversial and that appeal to an advertiser's target audience, and airing on a sustaining basis those projects that address important but controversial community problems and needs--ones that advertisers typically shy away from. It is interesting to note that virtually the same project would be sponsored at one station and not at another, leaving the author to believe that many stations are missing sponsorship opportunities. Community service/public affairs projects offer sales departments excellent opportunities to develop new business in advertiser categories that have not been active in the past, and these projects are certainly not in involved in cost-per-point calculations, which salespeople should love.

Looking at the topics it is clear that stations prefer ones that are non-controversial. What viewer or advertiser would not want to do something to help kids, education, or civic pride (the top three topics)? Also, there were few projects that had an elite appeal, such as the arts, which is logical, because television is a mass medium whose audience is primarily in the middle and lower-middle socio-economic group.

STRATEGY

Some stations pursued a strategy of owning a particular topic--making it theirs in the perception of viewers. Many of these stations would run the same project year after year, or at least for several years in a row. These stations would make their nameplate project the cornerstone of their community service/public affairs commitment. They might do other public service campaigns for a short time, but their overwhelming effort was on one major, long-term project that they wanted viewers to associate with their station. It was brand and image building in addition to serving a community need.

Other stations produced relatively short-term projects that addressed a current, pressing community need. Their strategy was not to attempt to dominate one particular topic and build their image in that manner, but to be perceived overall as a station that cared about the community.

Some stations' projects were not in the strictest sense community service/public affairs oriented, they were promotions. When interviewers asked stations, "What do you feel is the best community service/public affairs project that your station did this year?," many stations offered promotions such as "Sports Challenge." Some stations view community service/public service projects from a purely promotional, marketing viewpoint. By combining a promotion with serving a community need, these stations attempt to integrate two goals--promoting the station and serving the community. An example would be "Beat The Pro" in which the challenge was promoted as a fund-raising event for local charities. Helping local charities raise money is non-controversial and does not address a specific community problem of public importance. However, helping charities raise money does deal with a continuing community need, and for that reason should be included in the 100-best list, the evaluators felt.

Some stations used umbrella themes that covered several topics. Also, some stations used names for their projects that did not precisely define the project. In order for a project to be promotable, its name must clearly communicate to people what it is about and why viewers should be interested. For example, a project titled "Family 2 Family" by one station is about education. Generally, umbrella themes and broad, generic project names do not have as much impact nor are as memorable as specific, highly descriptive ones. Giving a project a highly promotable, memorable (short) name goes a long way towards its success. A good name also helps in crafting an integrated marketing communications campaign for all media.

Projects and campaigns that do not appeal to a station's primary target audience should probably be relatively short ones. A station's most effective projects, and ones that should be long-term, are ones that appeal directly to a station's target audience. Remember, no station in a competitive market (more than three television stations) can win by trying to appeal to everyone.

RESULTS

Quantifying the results of a community service/public affairs project or campaign can be difficult. Some topics are easier for quantifying results than others. It is relatively straightforward to count the number of winter coats or toys for Christmas a station collects. However, it is extremely difficult to assess the results of a campaign that addresses a topic such as poverty, domestic violence, or the growth of gangs. The vast majority of stations did not attempt to assess the results of projects on such topics--their goal was not to get specific results or to motivate people to act, but to raise the level of awareness of a community problem.

When stations could quantify results, many of them ran proof-of-performance spots informing their viewers that the station collected so many coats or so many toys for Christmas.

THE 100-BEST

Kids

  • THE TOY DRIVE. WPTT-TV, Pittsburgh, PA - With the Salvation Army involved as non-profit organization, the station each year embarks on a several-month campaign to collect toys for the less fortunate for Christmas. People bring a toy to an event or to a club as admission. In some cases the toy generates a discount rather than the entire entrance fee. Drop points are also promoted, and some companies conduct their own mini-drives within the company. PSAs promote the campaign. More than two million toys have been collected in the ten years of effort. Not sponsored.
  • DUCK RACES. KOIA-TV, Ottumwa, IA - People gathered at a local river and raced plastic ducks. Participants paid an entry fee, and the money raised went to buy toys and equipment for handicapped children. There were 25 winners who received a variety of prizes from local sponsors. The station ran PSAs and promoted the event heavily, which resulted in a huge turn-out along the river banks. Raised $8,000. Sponsored.
  • YOUTH SELF-ESTEEM. WCCB-TV, Charlotte, NC - The station ran a series of 30-second self-esteem spots. The concept was to persuade young people that they have options. Those featured in the spots were people who have risen above their circumstances. These people tell young viewers that they have the options to do the same. Some people featured were: a manager of a movie theater, a judge, an architect, a 17-year-old living alone and making it, and a detective. Each defied statistics to get where they did. Not sponsored.
  • CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL TELETHON. WKBW-TV, Buffalo, NY - For 30 years the station as conducted a 21-hour local telethon for the Children's Hospital of Buffalo. The station runs PSAs four weeks prior to the event as well doing news stories to make people aware of the telethon. The station worked with local volunteer organizations to staff phones and help out. For the last 10 years, the station as raised more than $1 million as result of each telethon. Not sponsored.
  • SUMMER OF SUPERVISION. WTSP-TV, St. Petersburg, FL - The incidence of children drowning in the area is very high. The station, with the cooperation of the Red Cross, Alliance for Drowning Prevention, and local hospitals, conducted CPR classes every weekend. The station also had a free-admission kids day at a water park and presented water safety classes. The project ran from Memorial Day thru Labor Day. The community has seen a 20% drop in drownings since the program started. Not sponsored.
  • KID'S STREET. KTAB-TV, Abilene, TX - "Kid's Street" is an ongoing half-hour program that airs three times a week in prime time and on Saturday and Sunday morning. The program deals with local kid's issues. It features two young people and two adults as hosts. The program is described by the station as being somewhat like a combination of "60 Minutes", MTV, and "Sesame Street." Subjects covered on the program have been: kids and guns, kids killing kids, water conservation, litter control, losing a game in sports, losing a boyfriend or girlfriend, and drug abuse. The hosts all sing and are entertainers, they write their own music and scripts. PSAs promote program. Not sponsored.
  • KID PRINT. KASA-TV, Albuquerque, NM - The station teamed up with Blockbuster Video to staff a booth for three days at a large children's fair and to shoot videotape IDs of children. The tape was free to the family. The station's "Kid's Club" host did a 30-second spot promoting the video ID. The spot aired heavily for week before the event. When the station shot the video, it used a slate to name the child, age height, etc. An effort was made to get the kids to talk. The first year of the project, the station produced video IDs of 627 kids. Sponsored.
  • KIDS NOWADAYS FESTIVAL. WEEK-TV, Peoria, IL - For five years, the station has hosted a series of expo events at the local public arena. There are three separate expos, which include Kids Nowadays Festival, Mature Lifestyles, and Women's Lifestyles. Sponsors underwrite advertising costs and must also host a booth at the expos. Each expo features entertainment, celebrities, and activities. Booths showcase products and services pertinent to the expo subject. The station charges admission of between $1.00 and $3.00 to offset costs. The station has developed animation and music to promote the expos. Sponsored.
  • PHONE FRIENDS. KXTV-TV, Sacramento, CA - The station in cooperation with a local hospital promoted an 800 number for kids who were home alone. As a PSA aired, phone lines were staffed so that a kid watching the PSA could get his or her question handled immediately. Not sponsored.
  • TALK IT OUT. WFXT-TV, Boston, MA - The station has a community-based advisory board that identified youth violence as a major problem. Therefore, the station developed a series of half-hour specials that aired quarterly addressing the issue. WFXT-TV hired a local actress to script the program and teach kids how to role-play. Conflicts were acted out and other kids were queried about what they think. Then, the kids were given more information about the situation. The added information changes the observing kids' attitude regarding the participants in the conflict, thus showing the power of communication for conflict resolution. Thirty-second vignettes also produced. The mission is to teach and reinforce communication skills. Tapes made available for teaching and training upon request. Not sponsored.
  • KIDS COUNT. WREG-TV, Memphis, TN - An eight-year old year-long overall station project and total commitment. "Kids Count" is an umbrella concept that covers a number of kids-oriented projects. The station produces approximately 10 specials per year such as "Drop Everything And Read" which urges people to go to a library where talent from the station appear to encourage kids to read. In another project, the station collected 11,730 coats for needy kids . The news department is committed to produce two positive stories on kids per week that are then used in one or more of the specials. Other specials focus on parenting skills and ideas on setting family standards. A council of local citizens was set up to monitor, advise, and assist with the "Kids Count" program. Local advertisers such Krogers, Blockbuster Video, a local car dealer, and hospital sponsor appropriate projects. Sponsored.
  • TOYS FOR TOTS. KPVI-TV, Pocatello, ID - A major local effort covering entire eastern Idaho with tie-ins with local clubs for money as well as toys. Both K-Mart and Wal-Mart donated a percentage of a day's sales to buy toys. A square dance group raised several thousand dollars. Churches, schools, and night clubs were also involved. As a result of the campaign, 1,300 kids received toys for Christmas. Another part of the program consisted of collecting used bikes and re-conditioning them. Local bike shops supplied parts, volunteers collected bikes, and prisoners repaired them. The station promotes the need for kids bikes, and the response was overwhelming--more than 350 bikes were collected. Not Sponsored.
  • KIDS VOTING. KTVF-TV, Fairbanks, AK - For two years, the station produced a project that enabled kids to actually vote at the polls with their parents. The station cooperated with local schools to present both local and national issues so the kids were informed about what they would be voting on. Special programs with candidates participating were aired so kids received information about voting. Schools were notified so they could tape programs for use in the schools. The result of the campaign was a significant increase in voter turn-out, partially because the kids were dragging their parents to the polls. Sponsored by Alaska's largest oil pipeline company.
  • WEDNESDAY'S CHILD. WSYX-TV, Columbus, OH - For ten years the station has been featuring a child (or more if from same family) who is up for adoption through Franklin County Childrens' Services. The station takes the kids to a place of interest--a pizza restaurant or an ice cream parlor--and produces a voice-over PSA on the kids in these settings. Over the years, there has been between 50% and 75% adoption rate of kids featured. Not sponsored.
  • STRANGER DANGER. KWCH-TV, Wichita, KS - A non-uniformed police officer in plain clothes and with a puppy on a leash, accompanied by a station reporter, and a photographer went to a family park. With the permission of a parent, the officer would attempt to lure kids who did not know him into a car. The idea was to demonstrate to parents and kids how easy it was to entice kids into a dangerous situation. The public affairs director asked her neighbor if she'd participate. She agreed and said her kids would never fall into a trap. She witnessed her children following the police officer and vehicle and closing the door as the station crew filmed the encounter. The station not only ran visually powerful PSAs, but also distributed during the year over 10,000 brochures from The Missing Exploited Children's Network. Not sponsored.
  • KIDS' CARE FAIR. KABC-TV, Los Angeles - For five consecutive years, in cooperation with the American Red Cross, the station sets up forty sites to screen kids from infancy to 18 years old. Exams are conducted in: medical, dental, vision, and hearing. The major emphasis is on immunization. Kids in need of medical attention are referred to proper medical help. General medical information is available to parents. PSAs and mini-docs promote the "Kid's Care Fair" as do press releases to local newspapers. In 1994 26,000 participated and over 11,000 were immunized. Not sponsored.
  • CHILDREN'S PUBLIC SERVICE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT. KNDU-TV, Kennewich, WA. The station has conducted a survey focusing on children's issues in the community, their feelings regarding TV's influence on those issues, and what TV can do to have a more positive influence on those issues. The results of the survey was that kids need to talk to kids. As a result, the station aired two-minute vignettes at noon, on Saturday morning, and one in a prime access slot weekly. The station also produced and aired a half-hour program in a town hall format dealing with stereotyping race and violence. Not sponsored.
  • PETER PIPER PLAYHOUSE. KCIK-TV, El Paso, TX - A local pizza restaurant, Peter Piper Pizza, sponsors this weekly kid's half-hour program. "Peter Piper Playhouse" highlights organizations, events, and agencies that have activities for or assistance for kids. These organizations include libraries, the zoo, and the police department. Kids write the station to explain why they think they should be on the show, and the station selects 30 kids to participate in each program. Sponsored.
  • KIDS CHECK. KGIN-TV, Grand Island, NE - An extensive, long-term umbrella campaign designed to help kids and their families. Over two years issues addressed included: kid's responsibilities, money, work, education, health, safety, and family quality time. A news series focusing on parenting issues was aired during a 6:00 PM newscast. Ten vignettes per year were produced and aired throughout the day. Outreach projects include: "Kids Check Out Books" with an accompanying brochure/calendar containing tips on how to foster better reading interest and skills. Another part of the project was "Kids Check Up" for back-to-school tips on immunization, etc. Yet another, "Kids Check Christmas" focuses on the public donating Christmas gifts to the needy kids of the area. Two story-telling specials focus on topics such as what it is like to live on a farm. Periodic prime-time news specials focus on in-depth looks at several of the main topics of the campaign. Sponsored.
  • YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM. KIRO-TV, Seattle, WA - A campaign designed to provide job information to students, parents, employers, and educators. The project consisted of a hotline that processed inquiries and job opening pledges from industry. These job pledges were compiled, and roughly 27,000 packets of the information were sent to area schools. Included in this collateral material was a job tips sheet, a newsletter, and an employment worksheet. The campaign included a one-hour special called "The Hidden Job Market For Teens." Half of the program was a telethon-type format for live call-in job pledges. The other half consisted of pre-produced video packages that included information on how to make the most of a job, the interview process, where to look for a job, internships, and volunteering. Newscasts at 7:00 PM listed job openings throughout a 4 week period. Not sponsored.
  • CHILDREN'S FIRE SAFETY HOUSE. WJKS-TV, Jacksonville, FL - The local fire department has built a house from a trailer home that was child-size in scale. The house was set up to demonstrate what happens in a fire: doors get hot, smoke comes in around doors, alarms go off, and fire fighters show up in scary outfits and masks. The station wired the entire house with cameras that shot the entire experience. Only kids were allowed in the viewing area, but if they became frightened, the parents were outside watching on TV and could rescue. The project was a dramatic concept to demonstrate what happens in a fire, and to show kids what do if they were ever caught in a fire. The station also ran extensive PSAs in virtually every available position. Not sponsored.
  • COATS FOR KIDS. KMVT-TV, Falls, ID - The station promotes and acts as drop-off point for a winter clothes drive to provide the needy with coats, boots, hats, and gloves. It is a six-month project that sees 400 to 500 coats collected each year. The local Optimists Club picks up clothing and sorts it according to size. The club works with the teacher in about 20 school to determine who needs clothes and distributes to those in need. Money is donated and used to buy clothes for those who are hard to fit. PSAs and promotion spots promote the campaign. Not sponsored.

Education

   DOLLARS FOR SCHOLARS. KDIX-TV, Dickinson, ND - The station promotes fund-raising events that high school seniors are involved in to raise money for scholarships: Car washes, suppers, bake sales, bingo, and kareoke are among the events. The station donates $150 worth of air time as an auction item for an auction fund raiser. Not sponsored.

   HOMEWORK HOTLINE. KATV-TV, Little Rock, AR - The station coordinated a state-wide homework hotline that had a national long distance carrier providing an 800 number. The local power company funded the cost of having ten teachers to staff the hotlines Monday through Thursday to help students in grades one through 12 with their homework. The project runs September through May. All teachers are certified public school teachers. Two separate lines cover general assignments and another covers math. The local power company, which sponsors the project, also purchased a schedule that promoted the Hotline. Sponsored.

   HOMEWORK HOTLINE. WTVF-TV, Nashville, TN - The station promoted in key viewing slots the Metropolitan Nashville Homework Hotline for grades one through 12. Fifteen teachers were on the phones Monday through Thursday from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM in a central (adult education) schoolroom. All schools' textbooks were on hand so that the teachers could access the same textbook that the calling student is using. Math was the major need, so stickers were put on the front of all math books handed out in the schools with hotline information on them. The phone system was donated. The program had a full-time paid coordinator. Teachers participated as their career-ladder growth effort and, as such, qualify to get paid by school district. Not sponsored.

   BRIGHTEST AND BEST. WXYZ-TV, Southfield, MI - For 14 years the station has been producing this salute to the best of the class. The project runs from June 1 through July 31. Its goal is to promote academic excellence, and features the best student from 300 schools. The station runs PSAs featuring the students with the highest academic achievements. It feels that by running the project at the end of the academic year, it not only raises the awareness of the importance of scholarly achievement, but also motivates to maintain the level of excellence the following year because they have been labeled on TV as the best. Sponsored.

   ADULT SPELLING BEE. KOSA-TV, Odessa, TX - To aid the Adult Literacy Council, the station sponsored a spelling bee as a fund raiser. There were six teams, and they all spelled as a team. A local radio station co-sponsored the event. The executive director of Adult Literacy Council said dramatic that there had been a significant increase in inquiries on helping adults read. Sponsored.

   TEACHERS WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. KDLT-TV, Sioux Falls, SD - For seven years, the station has been running spots requesting viewers to write in and nominate a teacher, past or present, who has or is making a difference. A panel of 12 judges made up of a college president, a member of the clergy, business leaders, and a past recipient choose one teacher to be acknowledged each month during the school year. All nominees get a letter of acknowledgement. The winners also receive plaques and are honored at an annual dinner. The station receives ten to 60 letters per month. Not sponsored.

   IN EDUCATION. KMIZ-TV, Columbia, MO - In a year-long project and on-going project, the station adopts a local elementary school as its partner on a variety of projects. Station talent visits the school and reads stories or talks to the kids about television. In addition, with station help, the station produces a "Kids On Kids" program that 5th and 6th graders write and produce, their own news stories that air on the program. "Music in March" is an event in which station personnel with music abilities go to their partner school and perform. "Job Shadowers," is another project which has kids choose a job they would like to have in television, and that kid gets to shadow a station employee for a day learning about the job. Not sponsored.

   MAKING THE GRADE. WVUE-TV, New Orleans, LA - For six years, the station has been producing this project as an opportunity for idea-sharing among elementary and secondary school teachers in the area. Every two weeks, the station airs a 30-second vignette featuring a teacher and how that teacher utilizes non-textbook methods to teach. One idea that has come from this program is now being adopted nationally-- painting the map of the USA on the playgrounds and playing games using the map. Colgate saw this innovation in their area and underwrote installing it at all the schools in New Orleans. Of the 550 schools in the viewing area, 500 are participating. Each year the station honors 21 teachers for their unique styles and teaching concepts used to stimulate students beyond the textbook. Sponsored.

   COMPUTERS FOR SCHOOLS. KNSD-TV, San Diego, CA - The station linked up with a non-profit organization to collect used computers for kids in school. The computers are repaired and up-graded by the public schools and then turned over to the schools for distribution. Station talent do PSAs, which promotes the program. Also, the cooperating non-profit organization receives TV exposure. More than $2,000,000 worth of computers have been donated to schools in the two years the program has been under way. Not sponsored.

   EDUCATION IS YOUR BUSINESS. KOCO-TV, Oklahoma City, OK - The station produced a telethon to raise money for local elementary and secondary schools. It worked with ten area Chambers of Commerce to produce the program. The telethon ran from 8:00 to 9:00 PM on a Friday, leading into ABC's "20/20," and raised more than $250,000. Station talent visited the breakfast and lunch circuit in the days prior to telethon for a pre-pledge effort. Video packages were produced to air during the telethon that promote previous success stories and what schools needed, including sports gear. Phones were staffed by area school superintendents, and pledges could be directed to specific schools. The theme of project was "it takes a whole village to raise a child. Not sponsored.

   AMERICAN DISCOVERY. KPHO-TV, Phoenix, AZ - During the summer, the station distributed 2,600 guides to teachers in grades three through six. Then, for a four-week period at the beginning of the school year, the station asked a one-minute question contained in the guide during a newscast. The teachers worked with their kids the next school day on the answer. Topics included health and safety, history, science, nutrition, the workplace, and computers. The station feels the results were quite positive, and that not only did the kids enjoyed it, but also the entire family got involved. Not sponsored.

   ADOPT-A-SCHOOL. WOIO-TV. Cleveland, OH - The station adopted a predominantly black school that has many disadvantaged kids in it. The station provides a great deal of the books, material, and equipment that the school needs (including a big-screen TV). The station also persuades local professional baseball and basketball teams lend their support, including joining kids on PSAs promoting the school's needs. The station sponsored educational trips for the kids. Rocky Rox, the station mascot, holds a pizza party each month for the class that has the best attendance record. The station provided the means to take a handful of kids with major behavioral problems to a session of the Cleveland Common Pleas Court to observe what happens to those who go astray. Not sponsored.

   MAKING THE GRADE. KCNC-TV, Denver, CO - For over four years, the station's major project has been one that furthers the educational mission of the school district. Through monthly newsletters, the station informs teachers, parents, and kids of up-coming events. Two such events include a quarterly brochure covering promoting an educational expo that features booths showing educational products and services as well as workshops on learning. Sponsored.

   WEATHER ACCESS FOR SCHOOLS. WANE-TV, Fort Wayne, IN - The station accessed a program through Automated Weather Source that provides weather equipment to seven elementary and middle school science departments. The students actively got involved with gathering and analyzing data for themselves and for the station. The students got involved with broadcasting the noon weather via live remotes. The station expects this networked system to be valuable as an early warning for bad weather, such as tornados, because data can be accessed from each school site 24 hrs/day. Students at some schools give a weather report to the student body each morning. The station ran promotion spots and PSAs to encourage other schools to purchase gear and dedicate the necessary phone line. This weather program comes with a curriculum with teaching and study guides for teachers to use. The station reports a significant increase in interest in weather forecasting among school children. Not sponsored.

   NEWS GAME. KUTV-TV, Salt Lake City, UT - For eight years the station has compiled a list of recently aired news stories and creates questions that can only be answered if a viewer saw the evening newscast. The questions are presented on an 8 1/2 X 14 (legal size) piece of paper with the answers on the bottom 3 inches so the top 8 1/2 X 11 can be copied for the students without the answers. Topics covered include politics, sports, local news, national/international, business, and a bonus category usually tied to Utah wildlife. Questions are targeted to fourth through eighth grade and are ranked by difficulty. The idea, of course, is that it encourages kids to watch the news. More than 770 teachers get the weekly questionnaire. Each year the station conducts a news quiz competition where all schools have students respond to the question, "what does the news mean to you?" Then the station has all winners participate in a contest where past questions are asked in a spelling bee format to pick an overall winner. Not sponsored.

   THE EDUCATION STATION. WTIC-TV Hartford, CT - For four years the station has been promoting the overall theme of "The Education Station," with the goal of improving public education. The project has four components: "Fox Kids News" in which local students go to the station and report on news events in the community; Public Affairs Programs Specials, including one linking schools in Connecticut and Russia; on the 10 o'clock news students tell the positive things that are going on in the schools; PSAs. The station works closely with local and state Departments of Education. Not sponsored.

   FAMILY 2 FAMILY. KTVU-TV, Oakland, CA - For five years the station has focused on kindergarten through high school education. The station produces news stories, PSAs, vignettes, programming, and several prime time specials dealing with a variety of educational subjects. The station also produces brochures informing students about scholarships and how to prepare for college. Community events benefit from station's on-air publicity for educationally-related information and events. Sponsored.

Civic Pride

   JEFFERSON AWARDS. WCHS-TV, Charleston, WV - The Jefferson Awards are a regional promotion of a national program. The station runs three PSA'S per day requesting nominations, which ultimately results in the selection of the outstanding person who has helped people, the community, and/or organizations. A local board selects finalists and a winner from the nominations. The station produces a half-hour TV special and a luncheon with award. Not sponsored.

   PROJECT MAIN STREET. KCCI-TV, Des Moines, IA - For five years the station has invited communities and neighborhoods to submit to the station projects that they are undertaking. A panel of community leaders then choose 10 of these (usually more than 100 are submitted). These ten best receive $1,000 each and get a feature on a newscast showing the before and after story. Included in the feature story is the awarding of the check. Some projects that have been featured are parks, senior citizen drop-in sites, and a heli-pad for emergency helicopters. Not sponsored.

   EYES OF TEXAS. KPRC-TV Houston, TX - For 20 years, a Saturday, 6:30 PM program focuses on small towns surrounding Houston. It makes people aware of the town's heritage: how the town got its name, key residents contributing to the town, and the town's unique lifestyles. A book containing information from the program is published and distributed in the area. Not sponsored.

   PAINT YOUR HEART OUT. WCJB-TV, Gainesville, FL - Gaines-ville's Corporate Volunteer Council coordinates the manpower and resources to paint and landscape homes in run- down areas. Elderly owners with low incomes in depressed neighborhoods are verified and become eligible. Each year the Volunteer Council arranges for appropriate inmates from local jails to be sent out to clean up lots four weeks before event. One weekend the volunteers paint and the next weekend they landscape. Home Depot donates paint and brushes, Target Stores and the city give grants, and local nurseries give plants for landscaping. More than 300 volunteers are involved. The station shoots stories on day of events and runs them in the news. The primary effort on part of the station is to recruit volunteers. Not sponsored.

   SPRING CLEAN FOR ABILENE. KRBC-TV, Abilene, TX - The station donated $10,000 worth of air time to the local Volunteer Center. The air time was used to solicit goods and services from the public, both people and businesses, which, when collected, were distributed to 142 non-profit organizations in the area. When businesses give donations to the Volunteer Center, the Center tells the station to include that business in a promotion spot for the collection effort. The mayor is the spokesperson for the drive. Not sponsored.

   RIGHT IN OUR OWN BACKYARD. WCYB-TV, Bristol, VA - Free tourist locations that are within viewing distance and reachable with a tank of gas are highlighted in brief video vignettes. A total of 24 spots were produced and then put into a pamphlet guide. Approximately 5,000 requests for the pamphlets resulted. Another phase of the project was called "Roadsigns" in which roadside historic markers are featured in 30-second spots. An announcer reads what is on the sign, and then there is a fade to historic video of what the sign refers to. The purpose of the campaign is to instill pride in the rich history of the area. Not sponsored.

   EYE ON ALASKA. KTVA-TV, Anchorage, AK - This project tied in with the "Eye On America" CBS network theme. "Eye On Alaska" focused only on economic issues within the state. Recent topics included programs on oil, timber, visitors, conventions, and fisheries. Problems such as fetal alcohol syndrome affect the work force and have been covered. The station produces a monthly half-hour panel program with experts hosted by a guest moderator who is an expert on the issue for the day. The program airs at 4:00 PM Saturday. Not sponsored.

   PINE BELT EXPO. WDAM-TV, Hattiesburg, MS - The station teamed up with the University of Southern Mississippi to host a weekend expo of local businesses that purchased booth space which they used to showcase themselves. The concept was to get local people to buy from local merchants. Lots of give-a-ways and samples were available to the public. There was no admission fee charged in order to attract the largest possible crowds. The station ran PSAs to promote the event. The station also did its mid-day show live on site during the event, which was held at university gymnasium. Approximately 150 booths were sold to local businesses. Not sponsored.

   EL TOUR DE TUCSON. KOLD-TV, Tucson, AZ - For four years the station has produced a remote broadcast of a bicycle race that attracts over 3,000 participants, some coming from across the USA. The station begins promoting the event three months in advance. Entry fees are charged and proceeds go to a local non-profit agency. The main race is 110 miles, but there are 75-, 50-, and 25-mile family races, as well. The station broadcasts three-and-a-half hours of the event live. Sponsored.

   WORLD'S LARGEST GARAGE SALE. KMEG-TV, Sioux City, IA - The station rented the local convention center and provided booths to non-profit organizations that collected and sold garage-sale-type used merchandise and goods. More than 50 charitable organizations participated. The non-profits kept all money from the sales. The station collected 25 cents at the door, which it turned over to a charity. In recent years the Catholic Charities, a Boy Scout chapter, and the Red Cross have been recipients. Station talent greeted people and handed out station T-shirts. More than $16,000 was raised by non-profits during the last sale, and more than 4,000 people attended. The day after the sale, the Salvation Army and Good Will picked up all that is left over, which they then can sell in their stores. Not sponsored.

   RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS. KWWL-TV, Waterloo, IA - The station promotes a community-wide effort involving all media and businesses. The goal is to promote the idea of doing some unsolicited act of kindness. PSAs promote the idea with examples and anecdotes from recipients of an act of kindness. Stickers are used to mark the spot of an act of kindness. For instance, if someone puts some money in an expired parking meter, the person puts a sticker on the meter. Kids create posters on the subject that are used to create greeting cards. Buttons, purchased by local businesses, are worn around town by people. Billboards are created promoting the campaign. Not sponsored.

Health

  • STUDENT HEALTH PROGRAM. KTHV-TV, Little Rock, AR - The station teamed up with large local hospital that has two facilities. The station produced PSAs that promoted a hot line that is staffed by hospital personnel. The hot line is designed to answer any young person's concerns regarding any health issue. First, a caller hears a recorded message with a number of answer options, but can stay on line and talk to a person if needed. The line is answered 24 hours a day. Not sponsored.
  • AIDS NURSING HOME. WPHL-TV, Philadelphia, PA - BTAK is a Jewish nursing home exclusively for people with AIDS. The home asked for support, so the station ran PSAs for six months with the goal of making the community aware of the home and to get people suffering from AIDS to register in the home. The PSAs did not ask for donations. Not sponsored.
  • IMMUNIZATION CLINIC. WRDC-TV, Raleigh, NC - The station, in cooperation with a local hospital that provided the staff, ran PSAs promoting a free immunization clinic for kids going back to school. More than 500 kids came to the one-day, Saturday clinic, which the station broadcast live, in part. Not sponsored.
  • PARTNERS/BABIES. WWL-TV, New Orleans, LA - The State of Louisiana Health Department has an 800 number for pregnant teens. The station promotes its availability via PSAs. Help is provided for prenatal care and other problems. Thousands of calls have been received. Not sponsored.
  • HEALTH FAIR EXPO. KNBC-TV, Los Angeles, CA - This project has been running 17 for years in cooperation with the Red Cross. More than 100 sites are set up around the Los Angeles area, and between 60,000 and 90,000 people cycle through the various locations. The sites usually focus on a particular malady or disease, such as sickle cell anemia, according to the location. Health-care participants include the Red Cross, dentists, podiatrists, orthopedic experts, chiropractors, tuberculosis experts, and others. The station promotes the expo on air and has talent appear at many locations. Sponsored.
  • NOT ME, NOT NOW. WUHF-TV Rochester, NY - As a result of a survey that produced alarming statistics regarding teen pregnancies, the station embarked on an aggressive campaign to reduce the incidence of pregnancies among teenage girls. An added component of the problem is parental education, too, so the campaign consisted of a series of PSAs with kids involved on the air. Also, FOX 31 Forum, a half-hour program featuring several experts on the subject was aired with children and parents involved in the discussion. The focus of the program was on how attitudes are formed, why the teenage pregnancy rate is so high, and what can be done to reduce the problem. A local advertising agency produces PSAs. Not sponsored.
  • TOBACCO FREE. WMUR-TV, Manchester, NH - The station, with the aid of a health-care sponsor, developed a smoke-free campaign taking an angle that focused on how great people feel when they do not smoke: fresh breath, clear eyes, healthy lungs, and no burn holes in clothes. The station has produced three of these campaigns because they are sponsored, and it airs PSAs in prime time slots. Also, a news series was aired on the smoking issue paralleling the campaign. In addition, the station cooperated with a local newspaper which published a pamphlet that coincided with the anti-smoking news stories. Sponsored.
  • BUDDY CHECK. KTVB-TV, Boise, ID - The station produced a year-long campaign to promote breast cancer awareness. The emphasis was on self-examination and using a partner, or buddy, for support and to remind women to exam themselves. More than 20,000 packets that contain two information kits were distributed to the public through a grocery store sponsor. A video featuring the station's female anchor was distributed to 200 local businesses outlining how the program works and what they should do for themselves. PSAs and monthly news stories promote the effort. Sponsored.

Drugs and Alcohol

  • PROM PROMISE. WXXV-TV, Gulfport, MS - In cooperation with Students Against Drunk Driving, the station had high school students write and deliver on the air PSAs asking kids to stay sober and drug-free for prom night. The station edited the scripts and produced the PSAs. The campaign aired for several weeks leading up to high school graduation. Not sponsored.
  • JUVENILE DRINKING. KRTV-TV, Great Falls, MT - The station produced a seven-minute video on the dangers of drinking and driving and distributed it to the local Youth Council. The Youth Council showed the tape at meetings throughout the area. The station also produced special news reports around graduation time about drinking and driving and highlighted a deadly accident the previous year. There were no accidents the year the project aired. Not sponsored.
  • SOBER GRADUATION. KJEO-TV, Fresno, CA - The station sponsors a sober graduation night at a local water park. The event attracted 1,500 of 9,000 graduating students. Everything was free to the students: the park, food, ice cream, soft drinks, and rides. Businesses donated clothes and CDs for drawings. Bands and DJs provided music for dancing. The station ran PSAs promoting the event. Not sponsored.
  • DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE. KTTV-TV, Los Angeles, CA - The station conducts the campaign year around. It uses billboards as well as on-air PSAs. The project includes several mini-campaigns. Acapulco Mexican Restaurants is a sponsor and provides promotional material at the restaurants. Personnel wear buttons, and each restaurant offers a designated driver free guacamole and chips plus a non- alcoholic drink. Some of the events over the year include involving the UCLA and USC cheerleaders in relay games and non-alcoholic drink-making contests prior to spring break. Another element of the project includes PSAs featuring parents and/or friends of those killed by drunk drivers and how their lives have been irrevocably changed by the tragedy. On Memorial Day weekend the station airs a half- hour special on drinking and driving. News stories augment the effort throughout the year. Schools have requested copies of the special to use in drivers' education classes. Sponsored.
  • 31 DRUG FREE. WAAY-TV, Huntsville, AL - Eight years ago the general manager, who has eight children, decided to get involved in a local effort on behalf of Partnership for a Drug Free Community. He went on the air and announced the station's commitment to helping create a drug free community. The station developed a logo and a produced a campaign that continually reminds viewers of the station's commitment. In order to identify with and reach the areas's youth, the station has produced a series of rap PSAs covering drugs, anti-gang and stay-in-school issues. Not sponsored.

Crime/Police

  • CRIMESTOPPERS. WBBJ-TV, Jackson, TN- Even though this program is syndicated, it is of worthy being included in the 100 Best list. The program airs weekly and features an investigator from the local police department who heads the crimestopper division. He goes on the air to tell the viewers about a specific local crime. Anyone with information about the crime is encouraged to call a special crimestoppers line. Callers are assigned a confidential number, so they can remain anonymous. If their information helps solve the crime, they receive up to $1,000 that they collect at a local bank using their confidential number. The station hosts a golf tournament to raise money for the crimestoppers fund. The station does a series of PSAs to promote the program and to inform people how to eliminate or deter crime. Not sponsored.
  • COP OF THE WEEK. WNWO-TV, Toledo, OH - For two years the station has solicited names of police officers from the police department, and those selected are featured on 30-second PSAs. The station produces one PSA per week, including a biography and a photo of the featured officer. In a formal ceremony, a plaque is also presented. The result has been a shift in the public's perception of police officers--more human and caring. Sponsored.
  • COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING SERVICES. KCEN-TV, Temple, TX - The station committed to produce a campaign in an effort to reduce juvenile violence and crime. The station aired news reports, developed PSAs, a 10-minute video on youth crime and a 30-minute program. The station worked with community groups and established of a series of police sub-stations fully staffed by officers and located in the hot spots of crime. Officers patrolled on foot or on bikes. The police have become involved. They take kids to movies, ball games, and other events. For the first time, 15- and 16- year olds have alternatives to gangs. The effort has resulted in approximately a 60% reduction in crime/violence. Not sponsored.
  • GUN BUY-BACK PROGRAM. WAKC-TV, Akron, OH - The station became involved with a committee of law, civic, local government, school, court, and church officials to promote a gun buy-back program. The goal was to buy back 1,000 guns. The group paid $50 for handguns and $25 for rifles. Also, everyone who sold a gun received a coupon book offering discounted goods and services from local businesses worth $150. A local church was the central gathering point, and no questions were asked of anyone who sold a gun. Local foundations, businesses, churches, and organizations raised the money to buy back the guns. PSAs promote the campaign. Not sponsored.
  • STOP THE VIOLENCE. WBZ-TV, Boston, MA - This project was an off-shoot of a major, on-going station campaign that began three years ago. It started as a domestic violence campaign with programs, news series, news segments, PSAs, vignettes, and special programming all focusing on violence. As part of this current campaign, the station has coordinated the Teen Empowerment Youth Conference. All efforts now put forth on this campaign are news driven. With the historical data available from past efforts, a news story will generate grist for some form of programming on the "Stop The Violence" topic. Sponsored.

Family

  • PROJECT 8: FAMILY FIRST. WFAA-TV, Dallas, TX - A year-long news, programming, and community outreach project designed to promote strong family values. Strengthening family values is the goal.
  • FAMILY MATTERS. WGAL-TV, Lancaster, PA - The station combines the efforts of the sales, news, marketing, and public affairs departments in a year-long effort. It sells a complete package of eight to nine public service/public awareness projects to three sponsors under the umbrella name of "Family Matters." Some of the campaigns include Prom Promise (graduating seniors commit to stay sober), The Best of the Class, Coats for Kids, and a domestic violence news series. Merchandising opportunities are incorporated into all promotions, when appropriate. Sponsored.
  • THE YEAR OF THE FAMILY. WFMJ-TV, Youngstown, OH - A year- long effort that focused on the family. The first quarter focused on parenting skills. The second quarter focused on the abuse of children. The third focused on education and the importance of going back to school in the fall. PSAs were produced locally to give answers to these issues/problems and two, one-hour specials. Weekly the station sends someone from the station to a local library to discuss the current focus topic with the public. Not sponsored.
  • TOGETHER. KSHB-TV, Kansas City, MO - The station worked with the Coalition For Positive Family Relationships to bring families back together. PSAs addressing such topics as getting together, inter-racial relationships, and single- parent families were aired. Issues such as AIDS and drugs were also covered. The station made a commitment to the community to bring station personnel to the schools to discuss kids-and-family-related issues. Not sponsored.

Ethnic Pride/Issues

  • POSITIVELY BLACK. WNBC-TV, New York, NY - The station produces a weekly public affairs talk program that airs on Saturday morning hosted by black community leaders. The hosts solicit letters about concerns in the ethnic community and attempt to deal with those issues. The station also sends crews out to produce packages on certain pressing issues to give a more dramatic visual representation of an issue.
  • SEPARATE LIVES, BROKEN DREAMS. KPIX-TV, San Francisco, CA - The station produced a hour-long documentary commemorating the 50th anniversary of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act. The station also developed a school curriculum to accompany the documentary. It worked with the White House and the Smithsonian Institution to showcase the documentary and to help kick off the national anniversary. Not sponsored
  • HISTORY PROJECT. WGPR-TV, Detroit, MI - Twenty Detroit area students read brief history vignettes on 20 famous black performers. The PSAs ran 20 times a day for all of June. The project encourages students who have musical talent to continue with their music despite the fact that music programs have been cut from the Detroit school systems. The campaign has received gratifying response from parents and local music associations. Not sponsored.
  • DEAMS. KLJB-TV, Davenport, IA - The station produced and aired a PSA generated from a story written by a 20-year-old black student about how to realize your dreams. The young man had been in trouble and in jail several times, but through great discipline turned his life around. He wanted to share his experience with others in the hope that it would help someone. The station got Barry Mitchell, a professional basketball player with the local pro team, to do the PSA. Not sponsored.

Women (Including Domestic Violence)

  • WOMEN IN HISTORY. KXLF-TV, Butte, MT - In conjunction with the State Teachers' Association, the station produced five PSAs profiling five women, two deceased and three living, who contributed to the community. The goal was to provide examples of positive role models for young women. Members of the State Teachers Association selected the women who were profiled. Not sponsored.
  • BATTERED LIVES. WCCO-TV, Minneapolis, MN - The station focused on domestic abuse, both abused and abusers. A news series was featured on the 10:00 newscast for five nights. The station also produced a one-hour documentary, plus ran PSAs calling attention to the issue. It set up a domestic abuse hotline and distributed brochures promoting the hotline. It also coordinated and set up a phone bank in order to raise money for shelters for abused women. Also, CBS gave $35,000 to seven different shelters. Not sponsored.
  • HOSTAGES AT HOME. KING-TV, Seattle, WA - The station produced a one-hour program on domestic violence. It profiled five women who were victims of violence. A resource guide was also produced that covered such things as a plan to get out of a violent situation, the warning signs, and how to get help if someone had a friend in the situation. Seven local bands wrote a total of 12 songs on the subject and recorded them. Two hundred cassettes were donated and a record-release party was held at a local club were the bands perform. The money raised from the event was donated to the Hostages at Home Fund benefiting 14 local groups dealing with the issue of domestic violence. The music was used as the original soundtrack for the one-hour program the station produced. The station repeated the program and used PSAs to announce to viewers they could tape it. Also, tapes of the program were made available to anyone interested. Some organizations and the police have used the taped program as a training tool. Sponsored.

Volunteerism

  • GIVE 5. KAMU-TV, College Station, TX - The station produced a telethon and combined it with a live remote from a local shopping mall. The concept was to get people to volunteer five minutes per week of each waking hour (approximately eight hours a week) to a charity. A weekend-long campaign was aired on the TV station and on a local radio station from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Pledges were taken over the phone in the studio or solicited at the mall, and then turned over to a selected agency for follow-up. Ten non-profit organizations were chosen to participate. The campaign provided excellent exposure for many not-so-visible non-profit agencies and organizations. Thousands of hours were volunteered. Not sponsored.
  • SYMBOLS OF CARE GIVING. WDAF-TV, Kansas City, MO - The station solicits nominations from the community for people who are professionals and/or volunteers in the area of human services. Twelve are chosen from more than 400 entries and one per day is featured and showcased during the 12 days leading up to a banquet and award ceremony where each volunteer receives a crystal award. PSAs promote the event, as does the weatherperson during the news. The general manager hosts the banquet. Not sponsored.
  • VOLUNTEERATHON. KIVI-TV, Boise, ID - The station produces a telethon at a local shopping mall complete with phone banks and volunteers answering the phones. The station identifies several non-profit agencies and organizations that are showcased throughout the telethon period. People are encouraged to call in and pledge their time rather than money to the organization of their choice. Sponsored.

Hunger

  • RACHEL'S TABLE. WWLP-TV, Springfield, MA - In cooperation with the Jewish Federation of Springfield, the station produces PSAs that ask people to collect food from restaurants, grocery stores, caterers, and hosts of 25 or more dinner guests. The food is distributed by the Federation to area soup kitchens. The station promotes public awareness of the food-collection effort, and one of station's anchors is spokesperson for the project. School children often prepare sandwiches from donated coldcuts and bread. Not sponsored.
  • HOLIDAY ROUND-UP. WXMI-TV, Grand Rapids, MI - The station cooperated with a 28-restaurant chain, the sponsor. restaurant patrons were encouraged to round up their bill. For example, a $4.50 bill might be rounded up to $5.00, with the difference going to the "Holiday Round-Up" to buy food for needy families in Western Michigan. The project is centered around Christmas. The project raised $15,000, which was turned over to a local food bank that distributes food. The station promotes the project through PSAs, and sends talent to the sponsor's restaurants to visit with patrons. The restaurant chain promotes the campaign with tent cards, buttons, and placemats. Sponsored.
  • THE MAYORS FEED THE HUNGRY. WWSB-TV, Sarasota, FL - The mayors of the three major cities in the DMA and their staffs worked together on a three-month campaign to feed the hungry. October was devoted to collecting food and dropping it at a grocery store chain. The month was proclaimed by each city as "Fight Against Hunger Month." In November and December there was a concentrated effort to raise money. The money was converted to food vouchers redeemable at the grocery chain for $1.10 worth of food for each $1.00 worth of money raised, thanks to the generosity of the grocery chain. Each community hosts luncheons, sent out mailings, and made other efforts to raise additional money. The station aired a PSA blitz promoting the campaign. The station also did daily updates on the campaign's progress, people features, and stories on the effort. Sponsored.

Poverty/Welfare

  • HABITAT FOR HUMANITY. WSVN-TV, Miami, FL - As a result of hurricane Andrew in 1992, the station embarked on a campaign to build 200 low-income homes. It made a four-year commitment that involved all of the multiple resources of the station. PSAs were tailored to specific needs at critical times, such as seeking volunteers to pound nails, sponsors to donate money, roofers to donate labor and/or materials, etc. The Habitat for Humanity organization screened low-income families for qualification. The homes are owner- occupied with low payment, no interest loans. Station personnel, including on-air talent, work on the homes. Not sponsored.
  • DREAM HOME. WZZM-TV, Grand Rapids, MI - Contractors and suppliers donate time and materials to build a house and furnish it. The public is invited to tour the house for a fee. Those touring the house become eligible to win the house in a drawing, and proceeds from the fees go to Habitat for Humanity. The station promotes the campaign with PSAs. Not sponsored.
  • LIFE SKILLS SURVIVAL TRAINING PROGRAM. WZTV-TV, Nashville, TN - In cooperation with the YWCA, the station produced a campaign, the goal of which was to teach basic skills to welfare women on subjects such as nutrition, money management, child management, and personal health. Workshops last from six to 18 weeks, culminating in a fashion show fundraiser. Businesses were solicited to provide business attire and outfits for each participant. The participants attended the fashion show at a fancy restaurant in their new clothes, and their self-esteem was enhanced. Prior to end of workshops, the station hosted an all-day workshop designed to enhance elements taught in the other workshops. Role playing and legal questions were handled. The goal of the campaign was re-entry, or entry, into the workforce. PSAs were aired to promote workshops. Not sponsored

Senior Citizens

  • CREATIVE AGING. KOZK-TV, Springfield, MO - For five years the station has aired a weekly half-hour program that focuses on topics relevant to senior citizens. Once a month the station produces an hour-long program with a panel of experts whom the audience can call with questions. Each program features several specific segments: health care, fitness, financial management, and nutrition. A senior citizen, not station talent, hosts the program. Monthly a program segment spotlights an outstanding senior citizen. The station promotes the program with PSAs, newspaper ads, and booths at various fairs. Sponsored.
  • SENIOR EXPO. KGET-TV, Bakersfield, CA - The station produced a one-day event held at the local convention center. Businesses and organizations that provide goods and services for senior citizens paid for and hosted their own booths to showcase their services. Some of the more than 50 participants included an ambulance service, insurance groups, drug stores, travel agencies, and a motor home dealer. In order to attract people to the expo, a nationally known celebrity from daytime television made an appearance, which was heavily promoted, and local bands provided entertainment throughout the day. PSAs and promotion spots aired on the station, on a radio station, and posters were distributed to stores for windows.

Gangs

  • DO SOMETHING. WNOL-TV, New Orleans, LA - In cooperation with the United Way, the station produced a project to demonstrate that young people's acceptance by their peers is not necessarily tied to gang membership. The project highlighted young people who had a positive influence by virtue of their accomplishments, regardless of grades or athletics. A teen advisory board and an educational advisory board were formed to select candidates and to help in producing PSAs and other promotional materials. The New Orleans Saints helped as talent for the kickoff PSAs. Two thousand pamphlets were circulated to students, libraries, and civic leaders describing the program and how to nominate candidates. Those selected were featured on 30-second PSAs, which ran during prime time. One young person was selected each week. Every six months a dinner was held honoring all the young people featured. Not sponsored.
  • METRO DENVER GANG COALITION. KUSA-TV, Denver, CO - The station brought together several agencies and organizations that were addressing the issue of gangs and got them moving forward in a coordinated, concentrated effort to deal with the problem. Billboards, radio, print, and posters augmented the station's on-air promotional effort. The focus was on demonstrating alternatives to gang membership to the youth community. Not sponsored.

Emergency Relief

  • IOWA CARES. WHO-TV, Des Moines, IA - In cooperation with the Red Cross and two sponsors--a bank and a department store chain--the station created a campaign to raise money for flood relief. Some of the relief came as vouchers to the Red Cross, which flood victims could exchange for needed items. The station produced a 28-hour telethon to raise money. It also produced PSAs and made fund-raising appeals during news broadcasts. One-hundred percent of the money raised went to the Red Cross. The station also created an open-line phone bank that people could call in and ask questions and for help. The project ran for two-and-a-half months. The station also produced a commemorative videotape of the flood, which sold well. Sponsored.
  • HEAT RELIEF. WKXT-TV, Knoxville, TN - The area has high temperatures and high humidity in the summers. Therefore, the station produces a campaign to collect fans, air conditioners, and money to provide heat relief to the needy. A regional grocery store is the drop point for fans and a local bank waives transaction fees because donations are deposited in the bank. A Federal agency with local jurisdiction determines who gets fans or money. The Telephone Pioneers (retired telephone company volunteers) help in picking up and delivering any fans that are donated. A local hardware store donated 200 fans, so the station did a live shot from the store, which gave a boost to the campaign. The station produced and aired PSAs and news segments featuring some of the needy. Also, a prominent local newspaper feature article helped to make the campaign successful. Not sponsored.

Environment

  • HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION DAY. KGWN-TV, Cheyenne, WY - The station created a campaign to promote a one-day hazardous materials cleanup. Families were encouraged to bring their old car batteries, oil, paint, etc. to the city recycling center. The city cooperated and provided an incentive called "Trees For Trash" that day. Anyone bringing trash to the center received a free tree. The station produced live remotes from the recycling center during the day. In addition, the station produced and aired PSAs that promoted the recycling event and alerted viewers to the problems of hazardous waste in the home. Not sponsored.

Safety

  • OPERATION FIRST ALERT. WJW-TV, Cleveland, OH - The station produced a campaign to provide smoke detectors for low income, disabled, and elderly families, and also encouraged all viewers to install smoke detectors in their homes. The station cooperated with the local gas company, local fire departments, and a local department store chain, which distributed the smoke detectors at retail prices. The project ran for year and a half. The previous year, several houses had burned and 18 people (mostly children) had died. The fire department found that most deaths could have been prevented if there had been smoke detectors in the homes. In the time that the campaign ran, 75,000 detectors were distributed, resulting in fewer deaths that year. The station produced dramatic PSAs and raised money to give smoke detectors to low-income families. Sponsored.

Jobs/Unemployment

  • JOB LINE. WCIV-TV, Charleston, SC - The station produced a project that focused on how to get jobs. A naval base closing eliminated 50,000 jobs. The station's project assisted people in preparing a written and video resume. It also maintained a job line that kept an updated listing of jobs. Coincident to this effort was the "Good News Campaign" emphasizing all the good attributes connected with living in the area notwithstanding the base closure and its obvious devastating effects on jobs. The station has helped, in one way or another, more than 30,000 people in the last 3 years. Not sponsored.

Sports

  • BEAT THE PRO. WBRC-TV, Birmingham, AL - Run by the sports department, "Beat The Pro" is a golf event put on at two different golf courses. Local celebrities go to courses on a Wednesday and hit from a 3-par tee, and their ball distance from the pin is noted. On the following Friday, the celebrity Wednesday volunteers, who each represent a local charity, are at the hole soliciting donations from anyone wishing to try to "Beat The Pro." The event runs for 12 weeks, and there are 12 weekly winners who get closest to the hole. On week 13, the winners have a shoot out for the final, major prize--a car--which has been donated. Smaller prizes are given out during the previous 12 weeks for weekly winners. The entry fees each week go to various charities. The station does extensive promotion for the event and runs PSAs. The station feels this project raised money for some non-profit organizations that might otherwise have difficulty doing so and promotes them as well. Sponsored.

Voting

  • 10. KZTV-TV, Corpus Christi, TX - Voter turnout in the city was a low 16%, and the station set out to try to improve it. The station produced a get-out-the-vote campaign. It interviewed first-time voters and produced PSAs having these voters tell the viewers what voting meant to them. The station also worked with local colleges to dig up stories on the meaning and importance of the issues in the upcoming election. PSAs and news stories explained the issues and urged people to vote. The station also produced a program just before the election that discussed and explained the importance of the issues. Not sponsored.

Men

  • BROTHER-TO-BROTHER. WJZ-TV, Baltimore, MD - This project highlighted positive contributions made by young men in the community. PSAs showed how men had made responsible choices. One element of the project was a contest for men 14-21, who entered by writing lyrics and music. Ten finalists were selected to perform at a local event where three winners were selected, and one was awarded a recording opportunity. Another element was a salute to men who contribute to the community. The public was encouraged to nominate men, and several were elected and honored by the station. Another element in this on-going project was one that gives selected young men a video camera so they could use it to chronicle the positive things in their lives. Sponsored.

The Arts

  • IMAGINATION CELEBRATION. KKTV-TV, Colorado Springs, CO - The station produced a month-long celebration of the arts that focused on making all aspects of the arts available to those financially unable be exposed to them otherwise. The station produced PSAs to get people involved, and then helped organize, coordinate, and promote a variety of events and activates. Some schools wrote operas and toured the state. National celebrities came to Colorado Springs and performed. Dance and music festivals were organized. The manufacturers of Crayola Crayons donated materials to the local schools and included drawing training workshops. Not sponsored