T H Barry Theatre at the South African Natural History Museum in Cape Town and Saartjie Baartman Centre, 35 trainees

In 2005, we ran a course for human rights NGOs and CBOs on conceptualizing and developing Public Service Announcements (PSA’s) for their organisations. PSA’s are short, clear social messages delivered to listening (radio) or viewing (TV broadcast) audiences in 30, 45 or 60 seconds. (35 Traineers)
Morgan Marcus and Amelia Thompson, HRMC interns from the School for International Training (SIT), conducted the research to access NGO interest in PSA training. Their research showed that many NGOs had had filmmakers making their PSAs, but that the relationship had been limited, unbeneficial and many had not seen the final product submitted to the Vuka Awards.

The objective behind this training was, therefore, to develop NGO’s capacity to conceptualise PSAs so they can engage with filmmakers as partners in developing their PSAs for VUKA Awards and promotional | marketing purposes.
Sponsored by the Multichoice Africa Foundation, Vuka Awards are designed to inspire and build our nation. To this end, filmmakers must produce PSA’s that support social issues of which 30% of the best entries receive free publicity on DSTV Africa channels.

The training consisted of two, one-day workshops, on 28 June at the T H Barry Theatre, and on 19 July at the Saartjie Baartman Centre. Thirty-five participants from 16 NGO’s participated including: tOpen Democracy Advice Office, Western Cape Blind Association, AIDC, Big Issue, Institute for Healing of Memories, Bipolar Support Group, South African New Economics, Saartjie Baartman Centre, Amy Biehl Foundation, Mandlovu Development Trust, Khulumani Support Group, the Centre for Early Childhood Development, Sex Worker’s Education and Advocacy Task Team, Refugees Group, RAPCAN and DELTA.

On 28 June, Julia Coghlan, of Gecko Communications, and Eli Binikos, of Multichoice Vuka Awards, presented many award winning PSA’s for discussion under the headings: the message; the emotive and factual content and the balance of these two elements; the use of sound effects, music and narration to convey the message; the visual component including the location(s), character(s), the script or lack of it, additional visual referencing used to convey the message; and, whether humour, shock, dramatisation, surprise, substitution, contrast and pulling heartstrings was used and how effectively.
The afternoon session was facilitated by the HRMC where participants discussed how PSA’s can benefit their organisations and overcoming obstacles they may encounter. Participants were given an assignment to develop a PSA within their organisations, including: the storyboard, sound effects, music and narration, location and characters, and the NGO information to be conveyed at the end of the PSA.

These concepts were presented at the follow-up workshop on 19 July facilitated by John Tindall. A creative designer from Jupiter Drawing Room that has won many Vuka Awards, gave valuable feedback to participants.
The Centre for Early Childhood Development, Saartjie Baartman Centre, Institute for Healing of Memories and the Amy Biel Foundation submitted their PSA’s to Vuka Awards in September. Regretfully none won awards.

Alison Tilley presents ODAC’s concept to the workshop. [image]
Feedback from participants of this low-budget training initiative, funded by the Ford Foundation – Southern African Office, was that it was enjoyable and it took participants out of their comfort zones to think creatively about raising awareness, marketing and fundraising.

2005: Public Service Announcement Training