Public relations' value is more than merely getting a mention in a publication. It also doesn't fit within the neat and tidy landscape of advertising values, which have the general viewpoint of how many people saw an ad or a brand mention and what impact that will that have on a company's sales. Measuring PR isn't that simple.
PRSA has long held clear positions against the use of AVEs to measure PR's value. We are one of several international trade organizations and professional associations, along with industry professionals, that have been pushing the profession in the right direction of developing more unique measurement standards. In doing so, it is hoped we will no longer have situations in which a public relations professional, such as was quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article, "throws a [value] number out of thin air," but instead, can provide clients, media and the business community with clear and demonstrable proof of PR's significant business value.
Through the work of the Barcelona Principles, which laid out a framework for global measurement standards, along with the recently held European Summit on PR Measurement, both of which PRSA was a party to and played a role in advising, we are confident the public relations profession is well on its way toward developing more stringent global measurement standards that will meet the business community's desires for measurable value regarding its investment in PR services.