What is an NCSA/PEP?

A non-commercial sustaining announcement (NCSA) or Public Education Program (PEP) is a radio or television campaign, or combination of the two, used to deliver an important public interest message. NCSA/PEP candidates contract with the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters to have this message delivered statewide.  Funding for the program can come directly from non-profit organizations or government entities, from coalitions of those groups, through grant funding or through a partnership with a commercial company or foundation.  Airtime is provided on a “multiplier” basis. For every $1 of grant funding, the association will guarantee $4 worth of airtime. In some cases, this number is higher offering a 1:5 or even 1:6 funding-to-airtime-value ratio.  The allows NCSA/PEP partners to stretch a marketing budget and reach a statewide audience effectively.

How is it different from a PSA?

A public service announcement (PSA) is aired by a station without a monetary commitment, and is therefore aired by the station at its own discretion—if ever. PSAs are an effective and useful campaign approach for organizations who do not have access to funding and who rely solely a station’s commitment to community service.  Stations, however, receive dozens of PSA requests and PSAs do not hold airtime guarantees.

Who is the “ideal” NCSA/PEP candidate?

A suitable NCSA/PEP candidate is a statewide government agency or nonprofit organization. Because the effectiveness of an NCSA/PEP campaign is its reach (approximately 90% of NH’s commercial stations participate in the program), the ideal candidate is someone who needs to communicate a statewide message.

Secondly, the ideal candidate is someone who has not/will not purchase advertising with a competitive form of media. In other words, organizations who pay for regular print advertising, or who are buying time on some stations for the specific program in question but not others, are not eligible to receive “multiplier” rates through the NCSA/PEP program. The association exists to support its members, and asking our stations to provide quadruple an organization’s investment when the same has not been asked of other media outlets, is not justified.

Some NCSA campaigns aired by the association in the past include the Army National Guard, the Coast Guard, the NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management, NH Department of Transportation, NH Department of Safety, environmental services, health and human services, emergency preparedness, tourism and consumer protection.

Learn More about the NCSA/PEP Program

NCSA/PEP campaigns guarantee a 1:4 delivery, and often have a 1:5 or 1:6 delivery ratio and is the most cost effective way to send your message statewide!  NHAB makes it easy by managing the creative, distribution and reporting of your campaign!  NHAB provides values and airtimes for all NCSA/PEP spots that air on a quarterly or monthly basis.  Ask us about more in-depth reporting through Nielsen. Click here to read FAQs about the NCSA/PEP program to see if it’s the right fit for your organization.

For a list of current NCSA/PEP campaigns running on member NHAB broadcast stations, click here.  Click here for a printable NCSA/PEP fact sheet.

NCSA/PEP Frequently Asked Questions

A non-commercial sustaining announcement (NCSA), sometimes referred to as a Public Education Program (PEP) is a radio or television campaign, or combination of the two, used to deliver an important public interest message. NCSA/PEP candidates contract with the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters to have this message delivered statewide. Funding for the program can come directly from non-profit organizations or government entities, from coalitions of those groups, through grant funding or through a partnership with a commercial company or foundation.  Airtime is provided on a “multiplier” basis. For every $1 of grant funding, the association will guarantee $4 worth of airtime. In some cases, this number is higher offering a 1:5 or even 1:6 funding-to-airtime-value ratio.  The allows NCSA/PEP partners to stretch a marketing budget and reach a statewide audience effectively.

What is the ideal NCSA/PEP message?
Whereby the ideal candidate is a statewide organization, the ideal message is one of importance to a vast majority of people within the state. Those who find NCSA/PEP campaigns to be most successful are those who have a distinct branding message, have a cause or issue that is important to the state as a whole and who has an “issue” with a long window of time. I.e. a 20-week campaign is more measurable and more easily spread than a 6-week campaign.
What is the typical ROI with an NCSA/PEP campaign?
Results, or return on investment, are guaranteed 1:4, but are often 1:5 or 1:6 in terms of airtime garnered. Every dollar spent with the program is guaranteed to get $4 of airtime in return.  Secondly, an NCSA/PEP campaign gives an organization the ability to broadcast its message statewide, an effort that would otherwise be virtually impossible for most NCSA/PEP candidates from a cost perspective.
How much does it cost to air an NCSA/PEP campaign?
Cost is determined by two factors: campaign duration and whether your campaign is radio- or television-based, or both.  Email ed@nhab.org for campaign cost examples.
Where and when will NCSA/PEP spots be aired?
Virtually all commercial  stations who are members of New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters air the NCSA/PEP spots—radio and television included.  Participating stations air NCSA/PEP spots in various day-parts, seven days a week.  For a list of stations likely to air NCSA/PEP spots please email ed@nhab.org
Why do stations partner with the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters and participate in the NCSA/PEP program?
NCSA/PEP revenue helps to fund the many programs offered to the association’s members like training, job fairs and scholarship programs.  It also helps keep annual dues at a very reasonable dollar amount.
What kind of confirmation is received?
NCSA/PEP candidates receive affidavits of delivery (or airtime report) to illustrate the stations their spot aired on, dates and times. Most stations provide this information to the Hampshire Association of Broadcasters; however, some do not. In this case, the association will provide documentation based on the association’s agreement with that particular station.  These affidavits are matched with station spot values to give a total value for the campaign.  Ask us about further metrics through Nielsen.
Are there rules pertaining to the radio/television spot creative?
There are basically two rules of thumb when preparing an NCSA/PEP spot, radio or television. All NCSA/PEP spots must be tagged with: Sponsored by (NCSA/PEP candidate), brought to you by the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters and this station.  Additionally, spots cannot be voiced by publically elected officials (Governor, Mayor, members of Congress, etc.) during an election year.  It is also important that spots not be considered “issue advertising.” In other words, pushing a political agenda. Stations that shy away from editorializing their content will not air spots that weigh heavily on partisan issues. Thus, in turn making it potentially impossible for the association to deliver on its contract with the NCSA/PEP candidate.
Does the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters provide resources to create and distribute the spot(s)?
Absolutely, radio and television is what we are all about! Having the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters help write, record and produce your creative is the best way to ensure that your message abides by the above qualifications. We know what it is our stations like to air, why not take advantage of our resources and knowledge to create the best possible creative for your campaign!  Yes, the association distributes the spot(s) to the stations and works directly with the stations to ensure delivery success, resend creative (if necessary) and collects all proofs of airtime (affidavits or airtime report).