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August 23, 2007



Hi Katie,

Completely agree about the near worthlessness of AVEs as a measurement tool for public relations programs.

Unfortunately we are very frequently asked to measure anchored to advertising value of it. It is a client demand, and normally regionally deployed by multinational clients…and then compared across countries as a matrix for success, make of that what you will.

Mentioned in the comments to our post is a client who sets 8:1 AVE returns on PR budgets. Not to make this a PR-in-Asia issue, this a European multinational company, in the mobile phone and PDA space - and sets the same requirements globally. Again, make of this what you will.

Another of our clients, a very large Japanese company, collates AVEs twice a year from all countries for regional ROI cross referencing (by dividing AVE by PR spend to generate a '3:1' type number for activities undertaken in all markets)

In my career in this industry, I have never once advocated using AVEs to measure PR effectiveness, and neither does our post.

Indeed the first thing we have said above is that we do not agree with relying on AVEs for measurement of public relations…yet it is something frequently (and increasingly) demanded of us.

This is - as noted in the title - part one of our evaluation systems posts, each of which will be related to a client or project that we work on.

Perhaps you will prefer a post (which will not be until Oct at earliest) that measures anchored to findings from media audits in order to gauge effectiveness of our efforts in media education - which has been set as the priority for the client.

One of the benefits of doing PR in an outpost such as Vietnam is we are privy to a lot of measurement programs as deployed by various clients or agencies around the world. Basically every client pretty much arrives fore-armed with their own systems, meaning we see a wide and diverse array of ways in which our industry is measured, and perhaps our next post on the topic will be on a less controversial means-to-measure.

Cheers, and thanks for the feedback...am sharing your blog with my staff.


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