Posts Tagged ‘AVE’

Measuring the Success of Your PR Campaign

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Tape measure bar chart“We don’t all measure the same things, measure the same ways, or use the same tools or terminology,” wrote Jack Felton in the forward to the 2002 edition of the Dictionary of Public Relations Measurement and Research. The dictionary unifies the nomenclature of PR and media measurement, but once you know the vocabulary, it’s time for the down-and-dirty work of actually measuring.

David Rockland, partner and managing director of global research at Ketchum, said of the principles of PR measurement, that “Public relations has evolved at an extremely rapid pace of the past decade, and with that evolution must come a comprehensive and effective way of measuring its value.” Within are some of the most effective measurement tips to assess the progress of your PR campaign.

Establish Goals

Every successful PR campaign starts from clearly-defined, measurable goals. Is your aim to create brand awareness, to generate leads, to increase sales, or to position your organization as an industry leader? The scope of your organization’s goals affects methods of measurement and definitions of success.

Set Benchmarks

Establish your benchmarks based on what enables you to clearly, quantitatively, or qualitatively determine success. Most PR campaigns utilize media outreach, so it’s imperative to track tone, prominence, share of voice, and page visits. These are central to tracking how your key messaging plays in the media.

For goals that influence target groups, include metrics like brand awareness, recognition, credibility, and image. Business-oriented goals like increasing revenue, brand value, or market share are best measured through market analytics and sales tracking.


The quality of media coverage your PR campaign receives is just as – if not more – important than the quantity of coverage it receives. Don’t focus solely on circulation or media value; qualitative measures like tone, prominence, and share of voice are indicators of campaign success.

The Right Quantity

Though Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) has proved a popular PR yardstick, there are more revealing quantitative measures to use. These quantitative measures don’t need to be confined within narrow parameters, and the most effective quantitative measures distinguish placement and publication prominence and message variety.

Social Media

Now that social media is an inherent component to most PR campaigns, it must also be measured, and there are plenty of social media tools to help. When monitoring social media platforms, look out for discussions relevant to your organizations and become an active participant. Approach social media with an analytical eye and identify patterns, trends, and opinions.

Quantify the results of your social media efforts by shares, recommendations, retweets, followers, reach, and tone, as well as social media measurement standards such as impact and value, influence, relevance, reach, impressions, and sentiment.

Remember to identify who your most active users are. Active users can not only help spread your social media messages, they may also be prime candidates for becoming brand evangelists.

Best Practices for Measurement

Choose measurement benchmarks that can consistently track progress over extended periods of time. Keep your analysis on a manageable scale; limit your analysis to a few select publications or competitors, or keep the tracking within a shorter amount of time.

Finally, make use of experts. This could mean enlisting internal experts on tracking and coding, or it could mean hiring a third-party expert to provide a comprehensive, robust measurement report.  Make sure that any expert fully understands your goals and objectives, and be sure to ask plenty of questions so you know exactly how things are measured and the depth of analysis your campaign requires.

How do you track your PR progress? Which metrics do you find most revealing?

AMEC European Summit on Measurement 2011 – Creating a Focused Measurement Agenda 2020

Friday, June 24th, 2011

AMEC International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of CommunicationI recently attended and participated as a speaker, on behalf of BurrellesLuce, at the AMEC 3rd European Summit on Measurement in Lisbon, Portugal. The conference represented nearly 200 delegates from 33 countries and provided some good insights and conversation about the future of public relations research, measurement and evaluation.

Last year, in Barcelona, Spain, AMEC was the driving force behind the Barcelona Principles. Many of you have likely seen these referenced in conference presentations or blog posts (some even here on Fresh Ideas) and have worked to apply these basic principles to your own organization’s measurement efforts. The AMEC U.S. Agency Research Leaders Group also provided communicators with the framework and context of how to apply these metrics to drive organization outcomes in the validated metrics overview.

This year, the focus of the group was on identifying and starting to work on the top priorities and issues referenced as the Measurement Agenda 2020. During the delegate discussion, each delegate had the option to select four topics where the organization would look to focus effort and resources.

The top ranking issues, along with their percentage of the vote, are represented below:

  1. How to measure the return on investment (ROI) of public relations (89%)
  2. Create and adopt global standards for social media measurement (83%)
  3. Measurement of PR campaigns and programs needs to become an intrinsic part of the PR toolkit (73%)
  4. Institute a client education program such that clients insist on measurement of outputs, outcomes and business results from the PR programs (61%)


Media Measurement: A Long Term Investment

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

by Tom Kowalski*

Media MeasurementIn this day in age, it’s becoming exceedingly important for public relations professionals to show their worth.  As PR pros, we all know that effective public relations is as equally important as the rest of the communications mix. Unfortunately, some top executives are still hard-pressed to understand the value of PR. This is where media measurement and analysis are vital to demonstrate results.

Recently, Randall Chinchilla, external relations manager, P&G, spoke with Erica Iacono, executive editor, PRWeek, at a BurrellesLuce sponsored round table discussion to underline the importance of measurement in long-term ROI (return on investment.)  He explained that executives are more apt to understand the value of public relations when shown measurable results over time and the impact to the business. 

According to Chinchilla analysis should be done over time, not only on a “project” basis. Yes, it’s great to see colorful charts and graphs that give a visual (perhaps a spike in publicity for a certain campaign) but more important is how that specific event contributes to the business’ goals over time. It’s hard to determine ROI from a single event when engagement from an event can have a long cycle. When a company invests in a campaign, usually it’s a long term investment. Therefore, the results need to be measured consistently as well. When meaningful analysis reports are presented over a period of time, budgets for measurement are less likely to be cut. 

In a digital age, where most of the chatter is online, there are also many challenges to understanding and measuring the messages on the Internet and it is difficult to predict how they directly impact your business. Chinchilla explained that it’s a constant uphill battle on how to best evaluate discussions on blogs and social media (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) and how it affects long-term ROI. The consensus? There doesn’t seem to be any real clarity on how social media affects the future of the business.    

Another great point Chinchilla made was that measurement cannot be cookie cutter. One organization’s goals are not the same as another. A great example is that media value or AVE (ad value equivalent) are not a good single-measure of how successful your business is doing. It’s great to show what PR is worth in dollars, but more important for P&G is engagement. There are many other variables that should also be incorporated into the evaluation, but they are different depending on the goals of your business. Are we tracking the online conversations and what’s being said?  Is the message positive or negative and how is it directly affecting the organization in the short-term and perhaps more importantly over a long period of time?

The bottom line: Information and data come in fast, but analysis of results takes time in order to be impactful and thoughtful.

So, how do we really know how PR affects the future our business? How can we align our analysis strategies with organization objectives to show added value?


*As an Account Manager at BurrellesLuce, Tom Kowalski works closely with New York-based clients and PR agencies. Tom brings extensive knowledge of the PR industry with more than 7 years of agency experience. He hopes to stimulate readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas by sharing useful information related to the communications industry and business in general, as well as different perspectives on customer service. LinkedIn: Tom Kowalski Twitter: @BurrellesLuce Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Magazine Ad Value Per Minute Study- Relevance or Selling Their Own Hype?

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

A recent article on MediaDailyNews describing a report by Magazine Publishers of America, revealed an index comparing TV, online, radio, newspapers, and magazine advertising values. After an apparent shift in supported data there appears to be a new opinion and a new metric for successfully measuring these values. When Time/Ad Impact Ratio is applied to major consumer media it implies magazines carry more than twice the impact of TV, online, radio and even photo courtesy of Johna Burkehigher than traditional newspapers. While this appears to be an attempt to create a new metric supporting this thesis I discourage PR pros from giving this too much credence.

Using Ad Value Equivalency (Media Value) as a media measurement metric is a common PR practice, but not considered a best practice. BurrellesLuce counsels practitioners who are required to show AVE to use it as an index over time vs. a stand-along metric. If you currently provide AVE as a metric of media measurement, the “best practice” is to only use the portion of the article specific to your mention. While there are those who will immediately dismiss the relevance of AVE the reality is there are still executives demanding this evaluation. Realizing there is a certain amount of trust that must be built up before you can convert AVE advocates we want you to know you have a support system with BurrellesLuce. By using this as one metric in an index where you will likely see some correlation practitioners will ultimately be able to provide a more holistic (quantitative and qualitative) analysis to raise the profile of public relations.

While I don’t subscribe to the theory that magazine advertising is more credible I know I don’t want to go without my beloved glossy pages. I believe within the thinning pages of Time and Fortune lies some of the only remaining investigative reporting. The thought of being without magazines is ghastly as long as the “please discontinue use of all portable devices” rule is in effect on every flight.

Can you imagine waiting for your dentist, doctor or hair appointment without the companionship of magazines?

A Holistic Media Measurement Program Can Secure Your PR Position

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Why are Arizona legislators investigating a new tripod based photo radar camera? Supporters of the program will tell you it’s because these cameras help enforce the law and make our streets safer. Skeptics will tell you it’s all about the financial gains, an estimated $165 million for 2008, generated by the statewide system. I believe it’s a combination of both. Let’s face it, states just like many businesses are struggling in this economy and it’s good business to look for revenue opportunities. There are many facets to this story, but one particular quote from Arizona Attorney General, Terry Goddard’s struck me: “Public safety and common sense require that reckless speeders be held accountable before a criminal judge and not be allowed to turn our highways into ‘pay to race’ mayhem scenes.” After hearing about the growing number of citations issued for drivers exceeding 100 mph my support of the program is growing. I myself occasionally feel the “need for speed”, but I fight that urge to avoid unnecessary risk to myself or my fellow Arizonans. Truth: the growing camera population influences my decision as well.

A holistic media measurement program can help you avoid a PR highway of mayhem. If you implement your own “photo radar” system of your department to evaluate your spokesperson effectiveness, key message saturation and prominence you can leverage your measurement efforts for other business purposes. The reality is if you don’t police your efforts you are subject to the parameters set upon you by others (impressions and AVE) versus metrics you can influence with your PR skills. Whether you are starting a program or supplementing a current quantitative program with qualitative metrics you need to self-police your initiatives now more than ever.

The photo radar system has reduced fatalities by 50 percent in Arizona. Comprehensive strategic measurement efforts have the potential to save you and fellow practitioners in the event that lay-off talks occur in your department.

No matter what your source for media monitoring (i.e. BurrellesLuce, Google or Yahoo) you must develop a plan to apply measurement to your coverage. Just as only having one approach to law enforcement will not catch all traffic violators – no one approach to media measurement will provide a comprehensive view of the effectiveness of your efforts.