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Evaluating the media: Is it ever okay to use AVEs? - Thinking the unthinkable

PR geekiness - the tools & techniques to gain insights from PR exposure

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Is it ever okay to use AVEs? - Thinking the unthinkable

I was reading this article on the BBC website about the value to sponsors of the Olympics and it led me to think a little about that horrid PR conundrum. Are there ever circumstances when the use of AVE is acceptable?

AVEs have loads of reasons for their non-use. I really don't want to rehash that list, but they are irrefutable and compelling. They are also the default measure for lazy PR folk. They are just complicated enough to allow the lazy types to explain the methodology to the layman and make them look clever, but not so complicated as to loose those same people.

However the world changed and they are now a bit like Babycham, deeply unfashionable, widely regarded as horrid. The transparency around AVEs methodology exposes their flaws making them easy to reject; end of discussion....

But I keep getting this pain...it nags away at me demanding satisfaction. Its a question...why won't AVEs just die?

If they won't go away are there circumstances then they might be considered as okay to use them? Arguably within the sponsorship industry they are still widely used as a measure of velocity (frequency & audience & scale). All sponsors coverage is positive (?) and progress is ink on page. I have major questions about applying same thoughts to the digital world. Also, (& this is where lazy PR can happen) if we say its okay to measure sponsorship coverage by default it is okay to measure other 'good news' stories - the creep begins!


Blogger Mat Morrison said...

In his role as chair of the PR judging panel at Cannes this year, David Gallagher noted:

"too many entrants mistake advertising equivalency value – the estimated value of earned media – as a useful measurement of a result, and some as a result itself."

What's slightly shocking to me is that this metric has begun to creep into my own and other marketing disciplines. Even worse, I'm seeing it become the de facto way for some organisations to value their Social Media activity. I've dealt with this elsewhere, but here it's enough to say:

If anyone really believed in the AVE model, they'd consider reducing their media spend to reflect the additional value that they're receiving through earned media. That they don't tells you all you need to know about this metric.

9:07 am

Blogger Michael Blowers said...

Really sorry taken ages to publish. Crappy Blogger is not notifying me on postings. AVE's too easily fall into the wrong hands and without question have become a cancerous growth on PR.

11:56 am


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