Got questions about programs and services offered by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources? You might get some answers by listening to your favorite radio station.
Where can you sign up for boating safety or hunter education in your area? What is “Take One Make One” and how can you get involved? Why should you recycle oyster shells, and where are the recycling centers located? How can you keep you and your family safe while boating in the cold winter months? Listen and download PSA’s at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/news/Yr2006/audio/psa.html.
Answers to dozens of questions such as these make up a public information campaign designed to maximize the use of electronic media, such as radio and TV, in communicating S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) messages, according to Mike Willis, DNR spokesman and communications director.
“The public’s use of electronic media as a source of news and information has reached an all-time high and is still growing,” Willis said. “Our public information radio campaign is simply utilizing a medium that is a part of our customers’ everyday lives.”
Several factors have contributed to the program’s success. “To begin with, I think we’re producing a quality product,” Willis said. The announcements are recorded in digital audio and printed on compact discs before either being shipped or e-mailed to radio stations statewide. Both 30- and 60-second versions of each public service announcement (PSA) are provided with easy-to-follow scheduling instructions. The naturally intriguing subject matter is also an asset.
“The program and public service directors that I’ve talked to are happy to play our PSAs because their listeners find it as useful, interesting information,” Willis said.
Part of the agency’s increased public awareness effort, the radio announcements answer the most commonly asked questions about the functions of the DNR. Most use an interview format, with Willis asking department personnel to talk about their areas of expertise.
“We have a tremendous amount of talent in this agency,” Willis said. "What I strive for in this series is to put the biologists, scientists, natural resource managers and law enforcement officers out front and let them talk about what they do best.”