Jack O'Dwyer posted quite a rant against me the other day that has created quite a stir in Twitterville and other places. Today, Jack took the conversation off line and emailed me the following:
"You and the measurers have fallen off a cliff and should retract this boycott.Cision, BurrellesLuce and Vocus provide AVEs to any client who wants them. My take is that the measurers and fans of "clear goals" are putting too much of a burden on both ads and PR. They bring customers to a product but the product must be excellent, well-priced, and competitive. The burden is on the product. Too much blame is being placed on ad/PR people who don't create the products or price them.
It's hard enough placing stories without demanding sales and other proofs. Good products that are well priced will sell. Does a homerun hitter have to prove that his homeruns are filling the park? Does he have to provide exact numbers of additional fans attracted, prices of seats bought, what the fans are saying about him, etc., etc.?
It's tough enough hitting a home run.
To which I responded:
Jack, measurement is not about justifying PR’s existence. It’s
about learning what isn’t working so you can move resources to what is. If you
don’t have a clear definition of success and a way to measure it, you have no
idea whether you are simply wasting your time & treasure, or moving closer
to your organizations goals. The problem with AVE is that it is a false metric,
used only to justify PR spend, and teaches you nothing about how you are
impacting the marketplace. I have no intention of withdrawing anything.
I post this here because I truly welcome the debate that is going on and I want to include as many people as possible in the conversatoin. In conjunction with the final release of the Barcelona Principles I think that PR is finally coming to grips with the fundamental issues that have prevented the proper measurement of our profession for as long as I've been in it. So may the kerfuffle continue!