A major global initiative has been launched by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) and other industry bodies to eradicate the use of Advertising Value Equivalents (or AVEs) in modern public relations.
Used since the 1940s by public relations practitioners to calculate the “value” of their communication, many professionals have considered this flawed metric to undermine and discredit the communication industry. AVEs have long been the subject of intense criticism but because they claim to put a financial value equivalency on PR and communication work, and are easy to produce, there is still a lingering demand from some quarters of the communication profession.
Richard Bagnall, AMEC Chairman, said AMEC’s annual Global Summit on Measurement, held for the first time in Asia in May 2017, had ignited the need to take decisive action to eradicate AVEs. Bagnall is delighted that industry research showed client demand for AVEs had dropped from 80% in 2010 to just 18% in 2017. He added: “Now is the time to kill it off completely once and for all.”
The PRCA (Public Relations and Communications Association) and ICCO (The International Communications Consultancy Organisation), representing public relations agencies and institutions across the globe, have now joined this initiative and will be working with AMEC to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of effective and best practices for measurement and evaluation methods
“AVEs are a wonderfully deceptive ‘metric’ to reassure yourself how famous you were last week, while dodging accountability for actual business KPIs. Their continued use reflects a misunderstanding of the role of earned versus paid media,” says Marion McDonald, Chief Strategy Officer for Ogilvy Public Relations in the Asia Pacific Region.
Francis Ingham, ICCO Chief Executive, believes that embedding meaningful evaluation methods in the PR practice requires encouragement, praise, and education – not naming and shaming those who haven’t yet progressed on their measurement journey. He believes educating the industry is key to driving it forward.
“This Framework makes sense of the complexities of working across the PESO channels and shows how to shift the emphasis of evaluation from counting outputs to proving value via the critical outtakes, outcomes and organisational impact of our work,” added Bagnall.
AMEC will be hosting its fourth annual "Measurement Month" during September 2017. This initiative, which sees many events across the globe, aims to educate communication and public relations practitioners about the latest best-practices in measuring the effectiveness of their communication and reputational campaigns.
The Public Relations Institute of South Africa (PRISA) and Ornico, the Brand Intelligence research company, will host a Measurement Month workshop on 15 September 2017 in Randburg, Johannesburg.
Ornico (AMEC’s only full member in Africa) will provide an overview of the AMEC measurement principles, the updated measurement platform and framework as well as best practices that will replace AVEs as a measurement tool. The discussion will also provide an overview of AMEC’s Barcelona 2.0 Best Measurement and Evaluation Principles, as well as the Integrated Evaluation Framework.
Communicators are also encouraged to follow #AMECMM on social media during September to join thousands of global colleagues who are learning and working to better the public relations industry.
Ornico provides brand, media and reputational intelligence and research to provide an independent view of brand performance. Gain the competitive edge by making strategic marketing and communications decisions to outsmart the competition.
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