“64% of Millennials consider a company’s social commitments when taking jobs and will not work for a company if they do not have strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) values”- Cone Communications

“The most recent era in audio entertainment… users are asserting power over the medium to select particular content at particular times”- Mass Communication and Society Journal

“[onboarding] can also aid employees in identifying values congruence which is critical to career contentment and commitment which can significantly impact retention to both the field and the institution long-term” - Journal of Research, Assessment, and Practice in Higher Education

“There is value in a story that is, designed to drive the simulation and to elicit the [employee’s] best performance”- Society for Human Resource Management

“Three uses for storytelling in organizations: (1) to motivate employees, (2) for education and (3) to consolidate corporate culture”- Journal of Marketing

“Employees have a deeper affiliation with the message through organizational storytelling due to aligning stories with their own experiences and understanding”- International Journal of Business and Social Science

“As technology evolves, people have more options available to them, which may explain why [reports] found younger adults to be more likely to opt for audiobooks and the multi-tasking they enable”- Forbes

“There are currently about 1000% more titles published since 2011”- Audio Publishers Association

“Spoken word audio listening is up 40% in the past seven years, and up 8% year over year”- National Public Radio Organization and Edison Research

“A poor cultural fit is frequently cited as one of the main reasons [an employee] decides to leave an organization… defining the organization's culture through storytelling should start with branding of the organization and continue through the interview and onboarding process”- Physician Executive Communication Journal

“A focus on social responsibility is particularly important to attract, retain, and increase the commitment and engagement of Millennial employees and talented women”- Center for Creative Leadership

“Employees have a deeper affiliation with the message through organizational storytelling due to aligning stories with their own experiences and understanding”- International Journal of Business and Social Science

“Audiobooks have had a big shift in popularity in 2018 where for the first time, “a full half of all Americans ages 12 and older have listened to an audiobook, up from 44% last year”- Forbes

“Should produce positive effects on key audiences, such as increasingly positive attitudes toward the company and eventually behavioral intentions to support this company”- Public Relations Review

“Narrative presentation of corporate strategy, comparative advantage, is more effective at producing a consistent and confident choice of competitive advantage among an audience than a presentation of corporate strategy using a PowerPoint style, bulleted list approach”- Journal of Strategy and Management

“Researchers have shown that storytelling strengthens the connections consumers have to brands, so that to a great extent what a brand means to a consumer is based . . . on the narratives he or she has constructed that incorporate the brand.”- Journal of Business Strategy

“Online audio (podcasts, radio shows, music and audiobooks) has become more popular than ever before”- Publishing Research Quarterly

“Story-telling is an important element… involving the sharing of experiences and creation of mental-maps of the environment in which people are motivated to perform to their full potential”- Leadership and Organization Development Journal

“Over 71 thousand audiobook titles (were) published in 2020, a 39% growth between previous years”- Statista

“The storytelling process yields positive impacts on internal and external stakeholder outcomes including increasing employees’ thriving and meaningful work, as well as the attitudes and trust of multiple external stakeholders”- Journal of Strategic Marketing

Millennials are more technologically advanced than any previous generation [and] survey data has shown a correlation between age and reading preferences [where] younger people listen to more audiobooks than older Americans”- State University of New York

“The corporate world cannot ignore the demands and expectations of Millennials, who are devout in their desire to associate with companies aligned with their values”- Center for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown University

“Maximizing success through onboarding by storytelling during orientations, [helps employees understand] the company's culture and values [and] its goals and history”- Society for Human Resource Management

“The majority (79%) of Millennials want to work for a company that cares about how it contributes to society and 69% would refuse to work for a company that is not socially responsible”- Journal of Education For Business

“When it comes to digital storytelling for branding, there is, a more positive attitude towards the company when the employer branding message is using digital storytelling”- Management Dynamic in the Knowledge Economy Journal

“19% [of Millennials] say they have paid in the last year for a subscription service for eBooks or audiobooks such as Kindle Unlimited or Audible”- American Press Institute

“The audiobook market share shifted from 42% digital copy sales in 2009 to 87% digital copy sales in 2017”- Audio Publishers Association

“73% of the U.S. 12+ population (an estimated 209 million people) have listened to online audio in the last month, up from 68% in 2021”- Edison Research

“Brands can bring their CSR (corporate social responsibility) efforts to life through authentic storytelling [and] Millennials want to know what companies are doing to make the world a better place”- Center for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown University

“Stories are a device… [that] provide managers with a form of social and intersubjective interaction that reflects belief systems, role expectations, interpersonal norms and conditions for work behavior”- International Journal of Management

“83% of Millennials would be more loyal to a company that allows them to contribute to social and environmental issues”- Cone Communications

“[the way employees are on-boarded] sets the tone for the culture of a place, the people, and the values of a new institution and can have a significant impact on employees’ sense of belonging”- Journal of Research, Assessment, and Practice in Higher Education

“Storytelling is essential to successful branding, since your brand is the sum of all your corporate behaviors and communications that inform your customers’ experiences with your product or company”- The Journal of Business Strategy

“116% growth in spoken word listeners 13-34 years old in the past even years, with 18% growth in the last year”- National Public Radio Organization

“Storytelling that integrates a moral and spiritual component can transform an organizational culture so members of the organization begin to feel connected to a larger community and a higher purpose”- Journal of Business Ethics

“Audiobook sales revenue has been on a steep rise since 2018, reaching 1.3 billion USD in 2020”- Statista

“Corporate storytelling is suggested to help demonstrate the importance of the corporate brand to internal and external stakeholders… as well as help a firm to bond with its employees”- Product & Brand Management

“Audio platform superiority was about the desire to use an audio platform that is perceived to be superior to other audio alternatives, including on-demand convenience (time and place) and content (vari- ety and uniqueness)”- New Media and Society Journal

“Storytelling that starts with the persona allows us to tap into these deeper recesses, where the influence of attitudes and emotions is greater… loyalty and trust are found there”- Journal of Business Strategy

“Audio narrative has recently benefited from profound cultural shifts in media consumption associated with on-demand television’s binge watching revolution and the advent of digital longform storytelling”- Journal of Radio & Audio Media

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We Connect with Someone Who We Believe is Being Authentic with Us


Avatar Business Audio Theatre December 14, 2020 28

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It used to be all about features and benefits, pricing and programs. And it still is to a degree. But now there is a growing preference to do business with companies and brands who are transparent, credible, and socially conscious. In other words, authentic.

Merriam-Webster offers a definition of authenticity that is timely and significant, “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character – sincere and authentic with no pretensions.”

What Are Your Values?

Hidden in this definition is what customers, employees and vendors want to know about you and your company. They want to know if they patronize, work for, or supply you that you stand for the same principles they do. It’s not just the transparency, it’s what the transparency reveals. In other words. “What are your values? And do they align with mine?” And more importantly, from a marketing standpoint, how do you communicate those values?

Communication of Values

Most companies have a list of company values on a plaque in their reception area, in their marketing materials, and on their website. But how do the people you depend upon know that you are sincere, true, and authentic? How do you convey your authenticity in a believable way? How do you get them to connect with you?

Using Story

One of the most authentic ways of communicating values is through true stories that demonstrate the values engaged in decision making. Why did she go this way instead of that way? Why did he chose a course that made less money but showed more integrity? Why did she spend more for higher quality parts when they weren’t necessary and reduced her profits? How was he able to convince the gatekeeper to let him in?

Outcomes Teach Lessons

All these questions have their answers in values. Stories are made up of scenes with actions and outcomes. The outcomes demonstrate the wisdom of the decisions – or not. Sometimes you can build more credibility by showing your humanity, your weaknesses, and your mistakes. Sometimes it’s more believable to witness the moments in the story that taught you painful lessons. It demonstrates how you learned and why you subscribe to a set of values today that were costly to learn.

Connecting with Hardship

If your story is to be believable, it’s authenticity is a function of not just it’s successes, but it’s failures as well. People identify with hardship. We have all faced it ourselves. Whether it’s financial, health, loss, legal, or physical, we have faced enough barriers to progress that when folks hear your story, they are more likely to identify.


There are two megatrends unfolding right now in the marketplace:

  1. The increasing popularity of audio as a means of communication. It’s highly mobile and on demand. It’s screen free and page free. It’s experiential and engaging. It’s memorable and applicable. It can be downloaded from your site. It’s file size and cost is a fraction of video. Audio is the fastest growing form of communication for good reasons.
  2. The new generation of employees and customers. They are mobile, work from home, concerned about their future, concerned about health, the environment, diversity, equal pay, security, and stability. They know they are voting with their purchases. They want to support companies and brands that reflect those values in their products and services.

Busines Audio Theatre is an effective approach to these megatrends as it offers a solution at the intersection of audio story and the new generation. It give founders the opportunity to perform their stories to save their legacies, demonstrate their values, and engage the people they depend upon. It is a platform that provides authenticity, entertainment, and education.

We all connect with someone who we believe is being authentic with us. What is more authentic that the true story of how you built your business?

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