In my own personal crusade to put some teeth behind the Barcelona Prinicples, I created a bit of a kerfuffle last summer by suggesting that people who really believe in the prinicples -- especially the one that says "AVEs are NOT the value of PR," -- should avoid doing business with companies who insist upon using them.
Since then, a number of firms, especially some very major PR firms led by Weber Shandwick, have come forward and pledged to abide by the Barcelona Prinicples and eschew the use of AVEs. Kudos to them.
I also suggested that any organization that signed up to the Principles should also make sure that any one who uses AVE in an award entry is immediately eliminated, and there is movement on that front as well.
So SHAME ON PRWEEK for giving any exposure at all to crap like this.
What makes this particular annoucement so galling is that it actually uses AVE to declare Apple a "winner" for getting the highest AVE value in Q4 2010. What a complete and utter pile of horsepucky!
Never mind that that figure doesn't even consider the sentiment of a mention, so who knows how much of the $941 million assigned to Apple were complaints about reception or high prices or concerns about Steve Jobs health.
The point here, dear readers, is that if you are talking to a firm about monitoring, measurement or anything else these days, you need to make sure that they adhere to the Barcelona prinipcles, that they promise to deliver accurate and ethical metrics and that they don't try to BS by giving you data that has no basis in reality. And if you are a publication, you have an ethical responsibility to at least look into the hyperbole behind a press release and see if there is any validity to it at all.