PR impact goes beyond the coverage ‘flood factor’

For the last two decades – possibly longer – there has been a lot of debate surrounding the use of AVE (or AEV) as a measurement of PR success. More recently, this debate has garnered pace, and there has been quite a shift in the search for a more accurate way to measure the impact and effectiveness of PR. It is particularly topical now, during AMEC Measurement Month, an awareness campaign to promote the benefits of measuring PR in a more insightful way.



Last week, AMEC joined forces with the PRCA to deliver a session on this very subject, and introduce a new evaluation tool, devised by research and data experts across the PR and communications industry. PR is about so much more than column inches, or indeed the ‘flood factor’ of press coverage, so attributing an advertising value based on size, to a piece of editorial makes no sense; it ignores the quality of content and the inherent value of editorial and journalistic integrity.

Like any other marketing activity, PR measurement and evaluation should be tangible, and should absolutely be tied to business outcomes, rather than vanity. After all, we are in the age of ‘Big Data’ – why shouldn’t we use the tools at our disposal to showcase the real difference that cleverly planned, executed and measured PR campaigns can do for a brand or a business.

But is there a risk of all this data killing the creativity of today’s passionate PRs? Not at all, according to the experts. And I have to agree. Thinking about measurement from the early planning stages will actually deliver a more effective campaign, and provides a clear focus for the activity, and the objectives. From our own experience, a campaign that has clear objectives and direction – as well as clear indicators for measurement and evaluation – is one that will be more successful, which can only be a good thing for our client – and for the integrity of the PR profession.

Slowly, the industry – and clients – are moving away from the traditional AVE measurement model – from 80% client demand in 2010, to just 18% in 2017. After decades of using such a universal benchmark, it could take some time before proven metrics can step out of the shadows of a disputed and over-used industry standard. Encouragingly however, there seems to be a growing number of evangelists who are driving the agenda for a new standard of measurement, reporting and evaluation which highlights the true power of good PR.


If you’d like a more powerful PR campaign from a PRCA Approved Measurement Champion, that delivers business outcomes for your bottom line, get in touch today. For more information on the new AMEC evaluation tool, and Measurement Month campaign, visit or follow #AMECMM on Twitter


by Jaclyn Thorburn, Managing Director – Digital & Marketing