This week I’ve been busy going through the company archives seeing what we need to keep and what we can throw away.
It’s a pleasure to look at the old prospectuses and courses. They are time capsules where you can see changes taking place – not only in the designs and writing, hairstyles and fashion but also in a wider social context.
In the original sales course, for example, there is information on when it’s appropriate to offer your client a cigarette – something you can’t imagine happening these days!
In 1973 we started to produce literature aimed at women – certainly a change in attitude here where it became acceptable for women to consider a job in sales.
We also have a letter that starts with ‘Fed up of the three day week?’ from 1972 which reflects the realities of work in Britain at that time.
Women in the Picture
Looking at the pictures on the covers of some of the prospectuses you can see that selling a salesmanship course was about presenting an image of success. Part of being successful meant you had a beautiful wife, a lovely home and some pretty children. So we weren’t selling a course as such, but a way of life. Exactly what every brand does today!
The little lady in the image was happy and content to have a husband, house and children to look after and love. Is this a real image?
How Advertising Shapes Our World View
What you have to remember is that the image isn’t a true picture of life. It’s a life made up by marketers to appeal to a particular audience to sell – in this case – salesmanship courses. To see what the 1960s and 70s middle class housewife was really like we’d have to find a different source to the marketing material designed to appeal to men.
There is a great piece about advertising and how it developed in America in the 50s and 60s on this BBC blog. It’s very interesting if you’re into marketing and its history.
If you fancy being a part of the advertising and marketing world and you like to write then you should look at copywriting. And, naturally we have a great course – the Complete Copywriter – which not only shows you how to write killer copy but also tells you how to find clients and set up in business as a freelance.
Our Salesmanship course will be available in the Autumn – email me to reserve your prospectus. Please include your full postal address.
For the next couple of weeks Shelley will be filling in for me while I’m away. She’ll be looking at the pros and cons of different business formats. Enjoy!