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

“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 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

“[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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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 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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

“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

“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

“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 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

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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

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

“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

“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

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

“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

“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

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

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Tell Your Story With an Experienced and Award-Winning Team


Avatar Business Audio Theatre November 21, 2020 17

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If you are considering bringing your business story to life in an audio theatre production, you want to make sure that you are engaging with the right team. After all, this is an investment in time and money that will provide you returns for generations.

  • You want a team that has a business background and has been through their own entrepreneurial journey so they can appreciate yours.
  • You want a team that has experience in business education so they can understand how important story is to convey business principles.
  • You want an author who can listen to your story and recreate the characters, actions, and outcomes in scripts that convey your real life events in an entertaining and informative audio play.
  • You want a production team with some of the top actors, directors, editors, sound engineers and musical score writers in the entertainment industry.
  • You want your own executive producer to be responsible for every aspect of production.
  • And you want a team that has not only done it before, but an award-winning team, recognized by the Audiobook Publishers Association for excellence in a new form of business audiobook.

The Dream Team 

This dream team has been created, proven, and awarded. It has already produced the first example of Business Audio Theatre, The Barefoot Spirit. It’s the true story of the creation and building of the world’s #1 wine brand. Based on the New York Times Bestseller, this audiobook story was recognized as one of the top five business audiobooks of 2020 by the Audiobook Publishers Association. It was quite an honor for us to be recognized by an organization made up of and financed by the largest audiobook publishing houses in the country!


The Founders of Barefoot Wine and the creators of Business Audio Theatre, Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, will personally oversee the creation and production of your audiobook story. They have been through it before and understand the details and subtleties of the process. They are experienced executive managers in their own right, with 20 years of successful entrepreneurial experience from startup to enterprise, and 15 years in international entrepreneurial education, thought leadership, business writing, and service as advisors to companies of all sizes. They will make the team they used to do their own Business Audio Theatre, your dream team!

The Writer

The Stanford journalism alumni, New York Times bestselling business story coauthor, and award-winning audiobook playwright, Rick Kushman, will be your playwright. Rick has had a career as a newspaper columnist for the Sacramento Bee, television journalist, book writer, and producer of hundreds of business and marketing pieces for such major organizations as E&J Gallo and UC Davis Medical Center. He was the co- author of The Barefoot Spirit and the playwright for the business audiobook version.

The Producers

Sherwood Players, the multiple-award-winning Hollywood movie and production company, headed by celebrated Director Matt Weinglass, will be your director, and his incredible talent bank will play your characters with authentic and realistic role casting. His expert audio, sound and music editors will bring your story to life in a compelling performance that will engage, entertain and inspire your listeners.

The Manager

Through all of this, Bonnie Harvey, who oversaw production and supply chain management at Barefoot Wines and again, through the entire writing and production process of the first business audio theatre, will be your guide, production manager, executive producer, and account executive.

Find out more about the process and your Business Audio Theatre team.

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