PRI Underwriting Policy
Affiliated stations, as well as listeners, rely on PRI to uphold the highest standards of public service broadcasting. Therefore, PRI has adopted guidelines that govern approval of underwriters and define the ways by which underwriters achieve recognition on-air and in associated promotions. These guidelines are revised as required to maintain compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy and with generally accepted industry practice. Producers and affiliates seeking national underwriting for PRI distributed programs must also conform to this policy.
PRI requires the submittal of underwriting credits for review; credits that in the judgment of PRI do not meet the standards contained herein may be withheld from distribution until altered to comply with these guidelines. Credit language must be submitted to PRI, for approval, by the 15th of the preceding month.
The interpretation and application of this policy is the responsibility of PRI management, whose decisions regarding the approval of underwriters and underwriting credits are final.
Terms for underwriting candidates:
- Underwriters will not be accepted where the public might reasonably perceive bias in program content based on the public position or interests of the underwriter.
- Underwriters will not be accepted that are involved in illegal activities or in a consistent pattern of unethical behavior.
- Underwriters may not exert editorial approval or control, or in any way act to influence the content of any programming.
Sources of sponsorship
PRI accepts underwriting from a broad range of funding sources, including corporations, foundations and individual donors. PRI will not accept underwriting from entities engaged solely in the manufacture or marketing of distilled spirits, firearms or tobacco products. PRI will accept underwriting from companies that manufacture or market wine and beer.
PRI works closely with underwriters to develop individualized on-air credits that recognize the underwriter. Credits are generally aired near the beginning and end of programs and at natural intervals within the program. Credits may be changed or rotated within a program, and adjusted seasonally. Credits are read carefully and distinctively by the program host(s) or professional on-air announcers provided either by PRI, its producers or affiliates.
Underwriting credits MUST:
- Be non-commercial in nature and consistent with the tone and content of public radio programming.
- Be entirely factual and value-neutral.
- Not exceed 15 seconds (less time may be available in some programs).
Underwriting credits MAY include:
- A description of products or services, including brand names.
- The location of underwriter, products or services.
- A description of key or target markets.
- Long-standing slogans that identify the underwriter's business.
- A telephone number and/or website address, but not include a "call to action."
Underwriting credits MAY NOT include:
- Qualitative or comparative statements.
- Advocacy, ambiguous or misleading statements.
- Pricing information, discounts or incentives to purchase products or services.
To learn more about national sponsorship and/or receive a sponsorship proposal, contact Elton Langland by phone at 612.330.9251, by e-mail or mail:
Public Radio International
401 2nd Avenue North, Suite 500
Minneapolis, MN 55401