Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Measuring PR - a realistic look?

PR is constantly having to justify itself and consequently is under pressure to deliver or rather prove a return. That is how it should be, to some extent, but it can be a difficult ask and the pressure is there to keep clients and to keep marketing money in the PR pot.

I came across one ridiculous claim by an associate of a PR agency that because a client was mentioned in a national that the entire page counted or that is how it seemingly worked. The estimate was the value of the page was over £150,000. However, the venue, which paid the PR money, was only to my perception mentioned in a line; the rest were images but nothing that gave the location away, being too close up. The celebrities used got £150,000 worth of value, if anyone. Did the client buy the PR patter?

Rick from Brazen PR estimates the value of editorial at 3:1 (for newspapers) or 4:1 (for magazines) if I remember rightly. This seems more reasonable.

Of course there is no definitive answer. However, I have been thinking that the value is what the client sees and what advertising value he would swap the PR for could be an accurate measure (although not without flaws).

Let me explain. I achieve coverage worth £10,000 (in a national) if paid for from an advertising budget. The editorial value is calculated at say £50,000.

Would the client accept £50,000 worth of advertising instead of my editorial achieved, after all editorial is more valuable?

How about £40,000 of advertising? Less? £25,000? Yes.

Then, surely the editorial in reality is worth that much as that is how much the client would pay for or swap it for.

Of course this is not perfect, but inflation of perceived value is not either.


Anonymous Tom said...

I've never been a fan of AVE (advertising value equivalent) measurement of PR. It is unsophisticated and dumbs down the genuine value of PR. Especially when you get some agencies using ratios of 7:1 (not unheard of).

The only time it comes in handy is when dealing with less marketing-savvy clients - especially those with a sales or finance background who are reassured by big numbers.

Clients have to understand the difference between PR and advertising and their respective merits. Only then can they allocate budgets accordingly. £20,000 spent on advertising is unlikely to achieve the same results as £20,00 spent on PR. That's not to say one set of results will be more or less valuable than the other, it is just that the ends achieved are likely to be very different.

7:06 AM

Anonymous Rob Artisan said...


quite right


9:56 AM

Anonymous jimsym said...

So if AVE is not the right thing to measure effectiveness of PR what do you think is.

Could it be the increase in enquiries, sales leads and increased sales voumes?


2:12 AM


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