Unfortunately, judging by the number of folks that find their way to my blog by searching for “how to calculate AVEs,” we are. So, I suppose the question isn’t so much “are we” as “why are we?” The industry, rightly so, is largely moving away from its use as a measure of anything meaningful.
The topic has been debated to (near) death. With the exception of the intriguing use that Angela Jeffrey at VMS puts AVEs (market proxy in her lingo) to, it’s a shame the metric hasn’t itself died. In addition to KD Paine’s entire book chapter on the topic, here’s a small sampling of some of the other recent chit chat on the topic out there:
- The Institute for PR’s white paper on it authored by Bruce Jeffries-Fox
- Metrics Man, Dan Bartholemew’s excellent blog post
- DummySpit’s take (Dr. Tom Watson)
- Canada’s Marketing Magazine’s recent piece on it
- PR Week’s contribution
PR is about so much more than product-related media coverage. And it’s much more than a support function to marketing. We know it’s about relationships (what Grunig refers to as interest group liberalism), trust, corporate social responsibility, reputation etc. All of these can and should be measured not just for measurement sake but to continue to legitimize the profession.