“[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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

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

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

“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

“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

“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

“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 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

“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

“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

“[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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

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

“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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Press Releases

Barefoot Wine Founders Finalists at 2020 Audie Awards (the Oscars of Audiobooks)

Business Audio Theatre September 14, 2020 90

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FORESTVILLE, Calif., Feb. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Audiobook Publishers Association announced today that The Barefoot Spirit Audiobook is a Finalist for the 2020 Business/Personal Development Audiobook of the Year Award. The original paperback version of The Barefoot Spirit, How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand was a New York Times Bestseller and chronicles the humble beginnings of the now ubiquitous Barefoot Wine brand.

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, Founders of Barefoot Wine, Founders of www.businessaudiotheatre.com,, authors of the New York Times bestselling business paperback, “The Barefoot Spirit, How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand”, and producers of the Audiobook Producers Association’s Finalist for the 2020 Business & Personal Growth category “Audie Award”, “The Barefoot Spirit” audiobook.
Cover tile for the fully casted and performed Barefoot Spirit Audiobook, available now at all audiobook retailers, and Finalist for the Audiobook Association’s 2020 “Audie” Award for Business and Personal Growth audiobook.

The audiobook was nominated based on its content as well as its original audio theatre approach to storytelling. Bonnie Harvey, Barefoot Wine cofounder and coauthor said, “We wanted our message to reach more people, so we presented it in a radio theatre audio play complete with a full cast of actors, scenes, sound effects, and music.”

Michael Houlihan, Barefoot Wine cofounder and coauthor added, “We are thrilled to be recognized by the Audiobook Publishers Association. It gives credibility to this new genre which we call Business Audio Theatre. The best way to communicate business concepts is through story and the best way to communicate story is through theatrical performance.”

Houlihan & Harvey’s company, Business Audio Theatre is looking to attract other founders who want to preserve their legacy and keep their entrepreneurial spirit alive through creative storytelling performed as audio cinema, using their experienced team of professionals.

The audiobook launched on all audiobook retail platforms on September 3rd, 2019 and has been garnering positive reviews from throughout the business community.

“The Business Audio Theatre format has a neat balance between modern technology and the charisma of the old-fashioned radio plays.” – Laura Sicola, PhD, CEO Vocal Impact Productions

“An enjoyable experience filled with the exuberance of the founders themselves.” Audiofile Magazine

“A Transformative Idea: Business Audio Theatre from the Founders of Barefoot Wine not Just Narrated … Performed!” – Forbes

At 90 years of age, the venerable Hollywood actor Ed Asner, voices the part of the grumpy supermarket buyer who initially rejects Barefoot Wine but ultimately paves the path for its success. Asner said, “I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to be a part of this new genre of Business Audio Theatre!”

Director Matt Weinglass, and founder of Sherwood Players Productions, whose company produced the audiobook said, “I’m excited to see this innovative type of storytelling [Business Audio Theatre] catch on as we continue to bring more business stories to life using all the cinematic resources available to us in our Industry.”

Ryan Foland, Executive Producer & Communications Specialist said, “This is a whole new way to entertain, engage, and educate employees and customers by preserving the founder’s history and principles.”

The 2020 Audie Awards Ceremony will take place at New York City’s Guastavino’s on Monday, March 2nd, 2020.

“The Barefoot Spirit” Audiobook is narrated by Alamada Karatihy and features Ed Asner and Gigi Perreau with Matt Weinglass, Hazel Paraoan, Ruffy Landayan and Tom Malloy, with original music by Tyler David Gilbert, executive produced by Michael Houlihan, Bonnie Harvey and Ryan Foland and is directed by Matt Weinglass.

For interviews please contact: info@thebarefootspirit.com or (707) 484-1600.

For more information or audiobook samples visit: www.barefootaudiobook.com

Media Contact:

Michael Houlihan

SOURCE Business Audio Theatre

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