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July 30, 2008

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KDPaine

I just finished judging for another PR award with a strict requirement that results MUST match the objectives. I found it remarkably easy to throw out about 50% of the entries because they had goals like "increasing awareness" which they measured via AVEs. I threw out another dozen or so because they calculated "ROI" in AVEs. Sadly, it was mostly PR consultancies-- those people who corporations turn to for advice! -- that presented AVEs as measurement. I can't figure out if they're clueless or just stubbornly sticking to a buggy whip in the age of the Priuis.

Barry Leggetter

Katie's comment has provoked the equivalent of a lightbulb moment for me. Forget the long and winding road of educating PR professionals about evaluation techniques. Instead take Katie's US experience and introduce in the UK and Europe a top-down approach where the discipline of measureable goals is established through the many PR Awards schemes. PR trade associations earn valuable income through Awards schemes so it will be a test of faith on their part to change the rules but is totally consistent with an ambition to raise industry standards, I would have thought?

Richard Houghton, Vice Chairman, PRCA

The challenge with leaving the drive for change to the trade associations is that the award entries naturally reflect the work that is done in the market.

AVEs are asked for and supplied because they are cheap and the figures resonate with the non-communications specialists.

As we live in an ever increasingly online world may I suggest that the sector grabs the opportuity to demonstrate the real value it delivers by using web analytics alongside more traditional methods. This will soon show up AVEs for what they are - irrelevant.

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