“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

“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

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

“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

“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

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 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

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

“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

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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

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

“[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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

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Balancing Goals with Attention Span is the Recipe for Business Audio Theatre

ARE WE THERE YET?

Business Audio Theatre September 14, 2020 19


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Probably the most common question we get from candidates interested in having us produce a Business Audio Theatre for them is, “How long will it be?” and it’s corollary, “How long will it take to produce?” followed by, “How much will it cost?” All these question are related to and depend on duration. So let’s address the first question, “How long is it?”

To better engage the listener, Business Audio Theatre is performed, not just narrated. It is a 3-D radio drama reminiscent of the 1940’s, before television, where producers engaged their listeners’ imagination to tell a convincing and memorable story.  The result is more like a movie only without the physical sets and videography.

The length of a Business Audio Theatre (BAT) production has everything to do with what you want it to accomplish. Designed as a learning tool to engage employees by relating the founder’s and company’s principles, we help the founder clarify what those principles are, and what stories can be told to achieve the objective of relaying those principles. At Business Audio Theatre, we have an award-winning journalist who will help founders lay out those objectives and develop stories to achieve them. In fact, that is the first step in the process of the audio playwriting.

During that initial interview, the goals of the founder will be discussed in the format of a BAT production. Some of the questions we ask are:

  • Who will be the recipients of your BAT? New hires, current employees, your customers, lenders, business partners or investors, suppliers, end-users of your product or service? It may be one or all of these, or it may be something entirely different, such as to preserve a family legacy.
  • Do you want to simply convey the story of your business?
  • Is your goal to go beyond the history of your business and demonstrate actions and outcomes that exemplify a type of behavior, thinking, or spirit that you want to imbue into your new and existing people?
  • Do you want the listeners to recall those scenes and use those principles to guide their actions within your company, like their relations with vendors, fellow employees and outsourced services and customers?
  • How do you foresee this BAT being used?

Like a book, duration is based on the number of words. A standard business book today runs about 200 – 300 pages with approximately 300 words per page or 60,000 to 90,000 words. If simply narrated, that would result in 5-6 hours. But in the case of Business Audio Theatre, the founder’s goals may be met in a 1, 2, or 3 hour production, or in a series of 3-5 BAT productions, each with a different theme or principle. No pre-written book is necessary. Our journalist will write the stories that depict the principles of the founder.

In our Business Audio Theatre production, The Barefoot Spirit, our goal was to both tell the story and also demonstrate the spirit of our unique company culture, revealed in action-packed scenes . In order to accomplish that, and in respect for folk’s short attention span, we performed 5-10 mini scenes, each 2-4 minutes long, and put them in 10 segment or chapters. Each chapter is 25 – 45 minutes, making our total production 7 hours. We also added a 2-minute podcast-style interview at the end of each chapter with the real founders where they reflected on the events acted out in the chapter.

There is an obvious balance between the attention span of people and the time it takes to get the message across in an entertaining and engaging way. That’s why we broke ours up into mini-scenes but kept the segments, or chapters, to 30-45 minutes, a reasonable time for a commute, jog, or task.

That’s the framework and consideration for planning purposes during the initial interview.

So, how long? Let us help you answer that question at www.businessaudiotheatre.com and our new BAT LinkedIn page.

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