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High-Impact PSA
Opening Up Communications to Stop a Killer Disease

Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry


The Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry received nominal funding to get its message on cable television stations in its community. They enlisted the help of Potomac to produce two television public service announcements (PSAs).


NOVAMís need was two-fold: to appeal to young people and awaken them to the need to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases; and to encourage family members to open up lines of communication.

Potomac conceptualized two PSAs with different target audiences: high school kids and parents.

Working with NOVAM, we sat down with about eight students in an informal focus group setting to learn from them what types of messages would be most helpful and/or attention-getting. Their input gave us the framework from which to design the PSAs.

At the home of an HIV-positive young man, we interviewed his mother, who became the focus of the first PSA. She appealed to other parents to talk to their children and help protect them from AIDS. The second PSA was shot at a high school, and showed how little young people know about the transmission of this disease.


The spots aired widely on Cable TV Arlington.

NOVAM received community praise for these videos.

One spot received a national Tony Cox Award for Excellence in HIV/AIDS Local Programming.



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