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Featuring Women’s History at Your Business Might Increase Sales
by Jamie Frevele | 12:32 pm, March 6th, 2012
If there’s anything that history geeks like, it’s context. Like why people did things that went down in history and under what circumstances did they find themselves, and how it applies to the present day. And that’s why one Boston-area PR agency, History Smiths, is trying to do for local businesses for Women’s History Month. They say that the more women find out about their successful foremothers, the more they will be motivated to go further in their personal and professional lives. And as far as businesses go, incorporating women’s history into their own promotions will attract more customers, male and female. We approve of this highly geeky approach to PR!
History Smiths was started by Bonnie Hurd Smith, a historian and author (We Believe in You) who felt that appealing to women by telling them about their predecessors would make for a nifty marketing strategy for businesses. Not just reserved for Women’s History Month, Smith founded her company in 2010 and provides several kinds of services (in the form of lectures, speeches, and other events) that put the spotlight on women like suffragists, abolitionists, and writers — but in a retail atmosphere. For example, she gave a lecture at an event at a women’s clothing store about women’s history. Refreshments were served, and then sales at the store jumped. On another occasion, the Brookhouse Home for Women in Salem celebrated its bicentennial with a Victorian-style tea party fundraiser. Combining history, fundraising, and snacks — it is impossible to lose. Everybody wins!
Smith also targets public spaces, like schools and libraries, for events like these, asking the locations to sponsor such events that have proven to draw a crowd. Because the women she talks about aren’t just role models for their major accomplishments; it’s their skills (networking, communication, organizing) that modern women in several situations — business or otherwise — can admire and relate to:
“From an early age all of these women had a sense of life purpose, what they were good at and who they were,” she said. “They had courage in taking action despite obstacles.”
And while Smith is clearly teaching, educating, and enlightening people, she’s also giving her clients visibility and added revenue. Because history, as it turns out, is not just for geeks! It serves everyone. And who doesn’t like to hear a cool story once in a while?
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