WRAL-TV’s Shelly Leslie PSA Wins Numerous Awards

WRAL-TV’s Shelly Leslie PSA Wins Numerous Awards

drowning
Shelly Leslie‘s striking PSA warns parents that it only takes 2 minutes for a child to drown.
To view Leslie’s award-winning PSA, click here.

WRAL-TV Producer Shelly Leslie produced a gripping public service announcement (PSA) about child drowning prevention that got a lot of attention in the Triangle for its striking nature. Now that PSA has earned her a Best of the Best Award from the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters (NCAB). Leslie’s award was presented at the organization’s annual meeting in Wrightsville Beach, NC.

“Our spot ‘shows’ a kid fall into a pool, struggle and eventually go under,” said Leslie. “Now, you never see the kid. You only see what he sees. You feel his struggle. It’s intense, and apparently it’s effective.” The station received tons of viewer response about the spot, some applauding the effort and some horrified by the graphic nature of the spot.


WRAL-TV’s Shelly Leslie has won several awards for her striking PSA on child drowning prevention.

“Why did I take such an approach?” explained Leslie. “It’s easy to get distracted at the pool, reading a book or visiting with your friends…and my mission in this spot was to tell parents it only takes two minutes to drown. Two minutes. There have been a thousand spots produced warning parents to watch their children around the water, most blend in with all the other commercials. Last summer, we had several drownings locally, and I really wanted to jolt parents into paying attention.”

The spot also received a Promax Award, an international award considered to be the highest honor in the industry for Marketing and Promotions, in the Audio Mix category. The Promax awards were presented on June 29, 2002, in Los Angeles. The spot also won a Telly Award. The Telly is a national award that recognizes excellence in commercial, broadcast and public service production. The Tellys consider locally produced spots and million dollar ad campaigns produced by the likes of Nike, Disney Channel and ESPN side by side. Therefore, the Telly is a great honor for WRAL-TV.

Leslie also received recognition from Raleigh Parks and Recreation. Leslie and WRAL-TV received a letter thanking them for “taking such a bold approach…one that got parents’ attention and will clearly make a difference.”

“It is the single spot I am the most proud of, mainly because it caused parents to pay more attention to their kids at the pool,” said Leslie. “Hopefully, it prevented a tragedy.”

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