WCU Students Produce Award-Winning Audio PSA’s

Public service announcements for the American Red Cross prepared by two Western Carolina University classes recently received top honors at a statewide communications banquet.

The first-place award was presented at the North Carolina Red Cross Awards held in Myrtle Beach, SC, in recognition of a series of audio public service announcements prepared by the WCU students for the Asheville Mountain Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Members of the North Carolina Press Association served as judges for this year’s competition and praised the announcements as “a very creative way of getting out an established message.”

The community service project was a cooperative effort between WCU’s department of communication and theatre arts and the department of music. Students enrolled in a class in radio production wrote, voiced and produced the public service announcements, and students enrolled in commercial and electronic music composed and recorded original music used in the announcements.

The radio spots describe how an individual can volunteer to lend a helping hand in times of disaster, how knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid is essential when participating in extreme sports and how ordinary household items we take for granted can become “extra-ordinary” in times of disaster.

One spot centers on the biblical story of Noah, with Noah stock-piling disaster-relief items, in addition to two of every animal, in advance of the epic flood.

The project was coordinated by Don Connelly, visiting assistant professor of communication and theatre arts, and Bruce Frazier, an Emmy Award-winning music editor, conductor and composer who holds Western’s Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professorship.

Area radio stations are currently airing the public service announcements, which feature the Red Cross message for disaster services, and health and safety services.