My career in marketing and PR started in 1984. At that time I had just started working at the Sidcup Area Office of the Midland Bank – the company I joined straight from school in 1973. I was given the title of Business Development Clerk and I had the responsibility of co-ordinating all the marketing, promotions and PR activities of the 12 branches that made up the Sidcup group.
One initiative that I first launched in 1984 was a monthly newsletter for the Sidcup group called ‘The Score Sheet’. The concept of the newsletter, which was written and produced by me, was to engender a sense of team spirit as well as provide information, updates and features on all aspects of work being undertaken across the group.
The newsletter was popular among the staff and I always included a feature article each month which adopted a more tongue-in-cheek tone.
Here’s an article from ‘The Score Sheet’ dated April 1986 highlighting one of my first ever public speaking engagements…..which didn’t exactly go as well as I would have liked.
From time to time I get asked to speak at various clubs and societies in our area, To date I have given presentations at ‘Darby and Joan’ Clubs, schools and youth groups but last week I had the pleasure of ‘entertaining’ the ‘Welling Lady Conservatives’ at a hall in Falconwood, Welling.
I was asked by the entertainment secretary (my life is all show biz, darling) to come along to one of their bi-weekly meetings to talk about the ‘History of Banking’ and to answer members’ questions. This was no problem at all, but it did make me think back to the very first time I’d given the ‘History of Banking’ talk, which didn’t quite get the reaction I’d hoped for!
It was at a ‘Darby and Joan’ club in Bexleyheath. I had been rabbiting on about Goldsmiths and Italian merchants for half an hour and when I finished I received a ‘respectful’ round of applause. I then started to ‘work the room’.
The first member of my audience I came to when I got off the stage was a dear old lady sitting with her friends, enjoying a cup of tea. I asked her if she had any questions she wanted to ask me and back came the somewhat brusque and rather puzzling reply… ”I’ve voted Labour all my life and I’m not changing now!” As all of her tea-drinking companions nodded in agreement with their friend’s statement of loyalty to the Labour Party, I quickly decided to admit defeat and made my way rather rapidly to the door marked exit!
The Lady Conservatives were absolutely charming and seemed to enjoy my little presentation, if you’ll pardon the expression! I must admit though I was a bit worried about the questions I would be asked, although I felt pretty confident I wouldn’t find any card-carrying labour supporters at this gig! I imagined that I would get tax queries and questions about interest rate differentials but I needn’t have worried as probably the hardest question was ”where does the Griffin come from?”
It must have gone OK though as the entertainment secretary asked me to make a return visit later in the year, which of course I agreed to do. However next time I’ll ask if I can have coffee instead of tea as I can’t stand tea…but when the kind lady who could barely walk had taken the trouble to make me a cup, I could hardly not drink it, could I? Just another example of my selfless attitude in the line of duty!