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

“[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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

“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 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

“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

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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

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

“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

“[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

“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

“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

“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

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

“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

“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 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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

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

“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

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Mercenaries to Missionaries


Avatar Business Audio Theatre November 17, 2020 41

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Specialization and divisions of labor have long been touted for their efficiency. But does their very existence promote isolation, competition, and a lack of cooperation?

Any successful company culture is based on a team approach to satisfy the customer, keep the products and services relevant, and commitment to a set of goals, principles, and common purpose. In the absence of any fostered higher purpose, specialization can itself become the default culture. The current employer can be viewed solely as a line on a resume to impress a future employer.


Does the “professionalization” of each specialty isolate and insulate those professionals from their co-workers? How do they contribute to the sales and customer service process that supports their salaries, bonuses, and benefits? Do they identify more with their profession than the company they work for? Do they entertain the idea of leaving for a few dollars more? In other words, have they become mercenaries who, like samurai and ninjas, will work for any organization?

The Challenge

How do you win their loyalty? Is it money, benefits, career path, or promotions? How do you get these various professionals to identify with your company? How do you get them to identify with the history, challenges, and principles of your company? In other words, how do you get these specialists, who could work for anyone, to work for you, stay with you, and engage in the sales and customer service process, no matter what their profession?

Story Works!

We think it’s through story, the story of the founder and the company, the story of not just the “whats” and the “hows”, but the “whys”, the guiding principles the founders relied upon to overcome challenges and create their businesses. The story conveys the goals and aspirations of the founders, the obstacles they had to surmount, and the way they did it. It’s story that humanizes the founders and gives the listeners the opportunity to identify with them and pull for them.


Every company wants to change their customers into advocates. But unless you start with your own people and turn them into advocates first, the customer may see your products and services simply as commodities rather than the movement they want their friends to join. That’s why we created Business Audio Theatre. It’s 21st century solution to an age old problem: How do you change mercenaries into missionaries?


Business Audio Theatre captures your business story in a fun and entertaining way. It is in an audiobook format but the similarity ends there. Unlike most business audiobooks, Business Audio Theatre is performed, not just read. Your story is brought to life with actors voicing the parts in scenes with actions and consequences, with sound effects and music – just like a pre-TV 1940’s radio play. This format captures the imagination as you see the action with your mind’s eye. Critics call it “3-D Audio” and “Transformational.” Plus your employees are already familiar with the format and love the screen-free and paper-free total mobility only audio can deliver.

Mercenaries to Missionaries 

Once your (specialized) employees experience your story, they will approach their work with new gusto. Now they know where you came from. Now they know what you stand for. Now they want their friends to know the story. Now they have a new level of appreciation for the company and its history. Suddenly, it’s not just a job. Suddenly, it’s a cause with which they can identify! They are proud of where they work! And isn’t that the whole point?!

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