Friday, 11 March 2011

Ring the changes

More from OPU's retro cataloguing boxes this week! These Post Office publications demonstrate how image and design were being used to recruit staff. They also reflect the changes in the industry at the time. The recruitment leaflet from 1971 looks like this: The leaflet looks like this in 1972: The people in the photos look more glamorous and the photos more polished. The clashing orange background has been replaced by a less eye-wrenching colour. Unlike the leaflets for telephonists issued at the same time, these are aimed at both men and women. Perhaps the newer, revamped leaflet's function was to boost the Post Office's recruitment as they expanded in the early 1970's. The Post Office was busy selling itself to its potential employees: "Or else you are working on management duties...which is every bit as interesting!" This large expansion was due to the Post Office Act 1969. Services separated and became specialized for greater efficiency, with exchanges growing in size and technology to accomodate STD and international dialling. Ten years later the Conservatives split telecommunications away from the Post Office. In 1981 the British Telecommunications Act saw the creation of British Telecom. (Photos show 'Become a telecommunications traffic officer' leaflets from 1971 & 1972, shelfmark GPD.21)

No comments: