It’s the biggest issue facing PR pro’s today – how to value your work? Whether you are dealing with an agency or are running your own PR campaigns – you need to know that your effort is working. But how to do this?
Traditionally, publicity value used to be calculated through a method called the Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE). This basically measured the space of your media coverage, valued this in advertising space and used a multiplier.
The problem with this type of system however is that it doesn’t take into account some really important things:
a) Not all coverage is good coverage. The AVE might be worth $10,500 but if the actual content of the story actually doesn’t paint a positive light on your company – is this an accurate representation?
b) An AVE does not measure traction within your company. If you had hoped your PR campaign would translate to sales or a greater social media following – calculating an AVE doesn’t let you assess these goals.
I advise all of my business clients and brands to not use the AVE method. Instead, I suggest looking at some more simpler and tangible metrics:
Website traffic – can you see a spike in traffic to your site around the time of the article?
Social engagement – have you had online engagement resulting from the story
Links and sharing – did the story generate backlinks to your site or result in social sharing?
Reach – did the article allow you to reach media audiences you couldn’t otherwise through paid advertising?
Contact levels – have you had an increase in opportunities since the story was published?
These are all systems that you can easily implement and track on your own without the need for any complicated formulas or programs. So before you next PR campaign make sure you sit down and set some goals relating to these metrics BEFORE you commence your pitch – good luck kicking those goals!