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October 08, 2009


Craig Hodges

I still talk, on a regular basis, to companies that use AVE. They sound apologetic when they admit to employing it and - even before I have to - they trot out the reasons it's a totally flawed metric. So why is it still used? It's a cheap and easy way of providing the concise, dollar-based metrics that boards commonly want. I think most people know the figure may as well have been plucked from the air. But if the alternative is investing a lot of time and money on studies to isolate the results of a PR campaign from other marketing activities, I think many will continue to opt for cheap and easy.

Paul Weiss

PR should not follow the models set up by traditional advertising; they have now become wildly divergent to the point of being oil and water. It doesn't matter that social media is 70% up this year according to Neilson; people expect social media to be advertising light if not free and will desert if it isn't (Myspace anyone?).

Paul Weiss

Promotional Products

I think Laurie makes a great point, relevant metrics are absolutely necessary moving forward. I like your passion in this post, you make a great argument.

Adrienne Webb

I have to agree with Kelly Rusk’s comment. In my experience, I have seen public relations practitioners use AVEs only because their clients request it. It has also been my impression that the clients requesting AVEs are too far removed from the PR and advertising industries to recognize AVEs are no longer relevant. Since it is likely in the best interest of the client to use more advanced methods of measuring ad value, how do you suggest PR practitioners approach this with clients, and more specifically, what are some simple measurements PR practitioners can ease their clients into using instead of AVEs?

Kelly Rusk

Hi Katie,

I definitely agree with you, but in defense of good PR people using AVEs, I think the disconnect happens internally--For example, execs outside of PR who want believe AVEs are a good measure and ask their PR people to use it.

I think for anyone who inherently knows the difference between PR and advertising it's an easy argument, but more difficult for those outside the industry.

Obviously it's up to the PR people to teach superiors/coworkers the right way, but how do you suggest this is accomplished? (Besides pointing them to your blog, which would probably help!)

Laurie Myer

I could not agree with you more! Great post. I think it's time to jump off this bandwagon - it's headed for the ditch. It will take work however to learn to apply metrics that are relevant in today's world - work and good planning!

steve cunningham

If there's one bright spot in all of this, it's that I think we've turned the corner. Those who do it like it's always been done are quickly making themselves irrelevant, and those who figure out the "new way" (like yourself) will be reaping the benefits.

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