Every year for the past 20 years the measurement of PR has taxed the finest PR brains. A group of the great and the good, including some of our largest global agencies and trade body the PRCA, arrived at the rather grandly titled Barcelona Principles as the way forward.
I had to look them up. And I suspect that if you were to ask PRs about the Barcelona Principles it would be the food and its world famous football club that will top the conversation, not PR measurement.
They are laudable and can be read here http://amecorg.com/2012/06/barcelona-declaration-of-measurement-principles/.
And now media monitoring outfit Meltwater has reignited the fire, calling for the continued use of advertising value equivalent, or AVEs. They suggest you multiply the advertising cost of that space by five to arrive at a true PR value.
AVEs, despite being much derided, continue to hang on. Agencies, and clients, still use them. I wonder why.
Perhaps one reason is that they remain easy to use, providing a monetary value that can be measured against spend, and are readily available.
I suspect AVEs have life in them yet.
A Meltwater white paper has sparked controversy in the PR industry as it recommends that practitioners use AVEs to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.