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Perspicacious, moi?

Author: Nicky

Twelve PR Co-founder
Perspicacious and the importance of truth in PR

Perspicacious means acutely perceptive or discerning. It’s our word of the month for April on the Twelve desk calendar. 

If you’ve got one of these stylish, handy calendars on your desk right now you’re either a client, supplier, or friend of ours. If you haven’t got one and would like to become a client, supplier, or friend get in touch!  We’d be delighted to send a calendar and begin a new relationship.

Perspicacious is the most pertinent of the twelve words on our calendar – at least in my humble opinion.

How do you discern or perceive the difference between truth and lies? We need to be perspicacious!

AI can write perfect copy on most subjects faster than any human. How do you know if it is true or correctly referenced? However, you don’t need AI to spread untruths,  humans can also write copy that isn’t based on facts or is deliberately misleading.

In the business world, the benefit of writing things that aren’t strictly, or even slightly true, is so great that it has had to be legislated for:  ‘Greenwashing’ firms face steep new UK fines for misleading claims. Legislation could see companies fined millions of pounds for making unproven environmental assertions to sell their products The Guardian

Public relations agencies are probably the marketing professionals mostly closely involved in the use of words on a day-to-day basis.  How carefully we craft our messages; labour over the choice of words, hone a headline, or nuance a boilerplate. We are writing for a discerning audience, one which is perspicacious.

Or are we? The world is divided between those who have the means to be discerning and those who do not. Being a discerning customer, whether in the consumer or business market comes down to having the time and money to make a choice.

Where people don’t have the luxury to choose, they should be protected by a duty of care, in the UK enshrined in the Advertising Standards Authority Code of Conduct

“The central principle for all marketing communications is that they should be legal, decent, honest, and truthful. All marketing communications should be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and society and should reflect the spirit, not merely the letter, of the Code.” Advertising Standards Authority.

This is why at Twelve we place such great store by evidence. Our messaging workshops are never just ‘messaging’ they are always ‘messaging and evidence’ to ensure any statements we make on behalf of clients can be evidenced and supported by facts.

We once lost a pitch for a big piece of new business and smarted at the feedback, “too academic.”  It wasn’t our lack of creative ideas, which we pride ourselves on (check out the evidence – delivered through our ‘twelve ideas’ concept). It was for our evidence framework and messaging checklists that seemed too arduous.

But we didn’t smart for long. We hold up our evidence-based approach as a badge of honour. We work in the education and environment sectors – it matters. But it matters whatever area of business you work in.

The Collins dictionary offers a slightly difference explanation of what perspicacious means, “someone who is perspicacious notices, realizes, and understands things quickly.”.

If that describes you, and you’d like to work with a PR agency with skills and experience to match, do get in touch. 

Multi Award-Winning PR Agency