“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

“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

“[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

“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

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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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 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

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

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

“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

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

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

“[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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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Tell Your Story With an Experienced and Award-Winning Team


Avatar Business Audio Theatre November 21, 2020 11

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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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