WILLO TALK: PR agencies have got it down to a T

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SOME people make me laugh.

I used to work with a lass who thought Sheffield Wednesday was a bank holiday, and another one who thought Portugal was a part of Spain.

But last week, during a typically frenzied news day here at Mail Towers, I was amazed to see results of a survey carried out by a firm who had done one of these questionnaires where they seem to ask everybody but me for their opinion.

God knows where they carry out these surveys, but hey, if there’s a column to fill then I’ll quite happily cut and paste it into this page if it means I can get home in time to catch the end of Pointless.

Anyway, this PR-type from London rang me up last Friday, moments after sending me an email packed with facts and figures about food.

Why do people ring to check you’ve had an email, why don’t they just ring to say they’re going to send an email?

Anyway, desperately trying to tell me how her press release would make a ‘fab’ story, she chortled down the phone telling me that 77 per cent of people in the UK thought a cucumber was a vegetable when actually, it’s a fruit.

I chortled back to keep her sweet, desperately trying not to tell her that I’d have fallen into the ‘23 per cent are divvies’ category had she quizzed me with the cucumber question before revealing the answer.

Not content with that little bombshell, PR woman then couldn’t wait to tell me that there was an even better line in the findings, and this time us daft northerners actually fared quite well.

According to this research, we’re the only region in the country who know that bacon comes from pigs.

Some people elsewhere in the country think it comes from cows, while one or two just said “Tesco”.

Five per cent fowled up when it came to a question about chickens, claiming they had no idea where chicken came from.

PR woman clearly knew her onions when it came to food, though she was struggling when I asked her to name three fruits starting with the letter T.

She quickly said ‘tomato’, thinking I was trying to catch her out with a cucumber-style curved ball, then she followed that up with ‘tangarine’ for her second point.

I left her in suspense with the third one, but I’m confident she won’t get tin of peaches.

I’ll email her the answer now, then ring her to make sure she got it.