Can we find 120 "true fans" of World Audio Drama Day?
We are asking for funding help to continue our publicity work and keep the website available. I am hoping to hire a part-time intern. Thousands of people have become aware of World Audio Drama Day, and different producers, podcasts and performing groups keeping this artform alive, because of these efforts, including paid releases over PR Newswire, an international wire.
The World Audio Drama Day website not only hosts articles and content in six languages (En 2018 tuvimos nuestra primera historia escrita en español, gracias a la ayuda de mi amigo David del Pino), but - importantly for additional publicity - also factsheets about audio drama, and images that can be easily utilized by the media to educate the public and new listeners about radio drama of the past, and podcasts and performances of the moment. Gradually, information is also being added about modern podcasts and silver age theatre.
I'm Sibby Wieland, and I started the holiday as National Audio Drama Day in 2013. Since then I have managed the website, Twitter and other social media presences over the last five years, through Sound Stages Radio (2013-2017) and newer project Kettle Falls Media.
I am forever grateful to podcasters Scott Sigler and Veronica Belmont, who graciously announced the first "Audio Drama Day" for us on October 30th, at the 2013 Parsec Awards, held at DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia over Labor Day weekend. I tip my hat to them for the help they gave all audio dramatists by doing that.
But isn't it enough that I use the hashtags for World Audio Drama Day? Nothing pleases me more than to see people share their favorite podcasts, including their friends and colleagues' work. The purpose of World Audio Drama Day is to get attention for this artform beyond existing creative circles.
And to also unite under a single term that would help deal with the jargon - "full cast audio", "radio drama", "podiobook", "spoken word", "fiction podcast", "podcast serial" - that makes promoting the artform more challenging than say, promoting a "film" or "movie".
The way to get beyond our existing silos is to employ publicity and PR techniques, and they take time, and money assists in reaching more people.
In 2020, we are inaugurating #AudioDramaHelps. We are hoping that students and other new audio dramatists around the world will create a microseries for release and sharing by next year, the 7th World Audio Drama Day. This microseries should be either a short set of audio drama podcasts 5 minutes or less or a set of scripts for use by rural, community and educational broadcasters that run the same length. It should be on a topic of wide concern: improving health, preventing illness or suicide, coping with climate change, emergency preparedness. It should be accessible to listeners who have an 8th grade vocabulary, and produced under a Creative Commons license that permits reuse and adaptation.
Audio drama will only thrive into the 21st century if future generations continue to have opportunities to hear it, and write, produce and perform in their own audio dramas. Among the most crucial places where this happens is in developing countries and rural areas around the world, where broadcast radio is still very important, and where mobile networks are often the most accessible method of getting online. When audio drama is used in this way, it’s called “entertainment-education”. There is a history of audio drama, as well as other media formats like television, being used to educate on sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDs, improving food sanitation and agricultural practices, domestic violence, and more.
Your best friend already listens to your favorite podcast, right? If you are already producing new audio drama, I would like to challenge you to make a complete microseries to benefit vulnerable people in your country, state or territory and release it next year – the lucky 7th World Audio Drama Day, 2020.