« Measuring Engagement is just another term for Measuring Relationships | Main | Social Media is Making Measurement More Vertical »

January 18, 2010



Thanks for this!

Brad Rawlins


AVE is evil because it gives the wrong impression that publicity is equivalent to advertising. It is popular because it is easy to compute, and it gives PR efforts a dollar value that often makes the efforts look good. But, earned media and paid media aren't the same, and the practice should be condemned as the IPR did last fall.

However, this paper isn't arguing for resurrecting the AVE. The purpose of WMC isn't to compare PR to advertising but to compare the value of the channels where the messages appear. Some media channels are more valuable than others. And advertising costs usually correlate with the value of the medium (the more valuable the medium, the higher the advertising cost).

The paper argues that including this information improves the correlations between the output and the outcome. I was brought into the paper to check the data, and in each case including the WMC increased the correlation. It's better than just using clips, or OTS, or other measures as part of the model mix.

I also agree that the outcomes are by far the most important thing we ought to be measuring. However, measuring output is a valuable measure of the process that leads to the outcomes. Without measuring messages it would be difficult to argue that the improved outcomes can be attributed to PR efforts. Where this becomes an issue is when the output is viewed as the outcome and the measurement stops there.

As we teach in our program at BYU, the media are an intervening public not a target public. The media help you get your message to your target public where the intended effect should be evaluated, whether it is increase in awareness, attitudes or behaviors.




Spot on... Reverting back to simple and archaic forms of measurement, such as AVE detracts from the business fundamentals of what communication is about.

Here is South Africa; we are privileged to have the new King Report III on corporate governance, where one of the sections deals with Stakeholder Relationship Management. It is a tool that provides communication and PR practitioners with renewed impetus to raise the calibre of the profession to an executive management level.

And yet, instead of discussing how PR exposure can correlate to impact and brand recognition, people are asking how much a blog is worth. We need to overcome the mindset of ‘because it’s been like this for 50 years it’s still being done right’ and open our minds to the value of engagement and the affect it has on a business. How else can we possibly hope to move the profession forward? Hats off that an open and rigorous debate is at least taking place. I will be addressing this at a talk later this week at the PR Institute in South Africa.

The comments to this entry are closed.