The UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) put out an announcement stating that they would publish a new professional standard regarding public relations measurement this summer.
According to CIPR, the new professional standard will “identify the use of AVEs (advertising value equivalency) in public relations as unprofessional and set out an expectation of members that their use will cease.”
In addition, the announcement said that members currently using AVEs would have one year to transition to “valid metrics”. Members who fail to do so after the transition period “may be liable to disciplinary action”.
The debate in the public relations sector has been raging over what is the best and most effective metric for measuring ROI for decades. AVE has always been a somewhat misleading metric used to measure media value of earned media by comparing it to advertising of similar size and placement.
It seems AVE is an outdated metric. As we approach 2019, PR practitioners should be guarded against placing a value on earned media by providing AVE values. This is perhaps just fooling ourselves and really false justification of the efficacy and return on investment of public relations. Public Relations is more than media relations, and when justifying the efficacy and return on investment, we should take into consideration the Brand Impact, Digital Impact and Bottom Line Impact (i.e. Profit Impact). Gone are the days of evaluating public relations campaigns by counting clips and determining their advertising value equivalency in isolation.
It is doubtful that an advertiser buys advertising space at rate card prices. Media publications offer various discounts. Does PR take that into consideration when determining the AVE value? Are PR practitioners aware that advertising and PR are inherently two different things? Do PR practitioners ask themselves if such a thing called PR Equivalency exists in advertising?
THE DEATH KNELL FOR ADVERTISING VALUE EQUIVALENCY AS A PR METRIC HAS SOUNDED….
SOUTH AFRICAN PR PRACTITIONERS……. IT’S TIME TO REVISE OUR EVALUATION METHODOLOGIES. If one of the world’s leading professional body has declared its intention to send it into exile is perhaps an indication that it’s time to move on from using AVE as a PR metric.