What’s in a word?

Here at Lime Tree Communications we like to keep up to date with news, and take particular interest in PR successes or even PR calamities. We don’t just mean monitoring local issues arising in Dorset, Hampshire or the South Coast – but national and international matters that generate media attention.

For example, the latest furor regarding BBC terminology has created quite a buzz, with on line bloggers and forums going wild with varying viewpoints. There is current debate as to whether or not the BBC did issue any directive – but either way, this goes to show how important words are, and how using ‘wrong’ or ‘inappropriate’ wording can really kick up a rumpus.

In case the latest commotion has passed you by, the Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail ran articles about how the BBC had ordered staff to drop the terms BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) and replace with BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era).

The papers admonished the BBC for ‘absurd political correctness’ claiming that the BBC had dropped the terms ‘in case they caused offence to non-Christians.’

The BBC complaints website refutes any such claim stating ‘The BBC has issued no editorial guidance on date systems, and the decision rests with the individual editorial and production teams.’

Who knows whether an edict was issued to BBC staff or not? However, it goes to show that thinking about what you say and the terminology you use can have a major impact on your audience.

Of course this is all subjective. People will read or understand information based on their personal understanding or viewpoint. It also proves that getting it right is important and powerful. Any business or organisation, large or small needs to carefully consider what they are saying, and how they are saying it when communicating with their ‘public’.

At Lime Tree Communications we are here to help you write incisive and relevant copy. This is just as important for small amounts of wording – such as advertising and web content, to more loquacious communications – such as newsletters, brochures, prospectuses etc.

If you’re out to make an impression and you need the right words – count on us.