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Why every content strategy needs an Enid

 For Barclays.
Pictured is Enid Hayes at the Barclays Bank branch in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. Enid has worked for Barclays for over 50 years.
Photo by Fabio De Paola

Some months back, the Content Works team here at Speak heard through the Barclays grapevine about two women who had worked for the bank for more than 50 years. Each.

We knew they had the potential to tell a good tale. We didn’t know they would be so difficult to track down. We soon found out that as dedicated branch staff, they were far too busy helping customers to worry about phone calls from a content agency!

Eventually – and thanks to dogged persistence, from one member of Barclays’ in-house communications team in particular – we got one of them on the phone. Enid Hayes had worked in branches in the Staffordshire area since 15 August 1964, when she was 18.

She took some persuading – Enid is not one to brag – but we bagged the interview and she was able to tell us what it was like working out every transaction with pen and paper, while dealing with endemic sexism in the workplace.

The reaction has been astounding. So far, the article – aptly headlined “It’s been brilliant” – has attracted over 550 likes and comments on LinkedIn (Barclays’ average this month is 182) and big-hearted comments from former colleagues and customers ranging from “truly inspiring” and “amazing lady” to “I’m very proud to have worked with you” and “thank you for all you did for me”.

They might not be flashy, but loyal people like Enid are the backbone of any business. Had we not had the nose for a good story, and the network to make it happen, her story might never have been told.

The moral of this tale is simple. People like stories. Especially people stories. And we know how to tell good ones.

Laura Smith