Don Bartholomew has a great post on measuring the value of PR with respect to Advertising Value Equivalency – AVE. Measuring the effectiveness of PR is still more art than science, but thanks to people like Don and Katie Delahaye Paine progress is being made.

AVEs are calculated by measuring the column inches (in the case of print), or seconds (broadcast media) and multiplying these figures by the respective ad rates. By assessing your media coverage in this way you can assign an overall AVE to your coverage.

For those interested in learning more about AVEs, see the Institute of PR white paper at this link. Here’s a brief excerpt:

How much a publication charges for advertising is a reflection of its circulation, and its reputation versus its peers. In Canada, for example, the Globe & Mail and the National Post have identical circulations, but the Globe & Mail can charge considerably more for ad space because it is the more credible publication. When using ad rates, therefore, you are taking into account both of these factors.

Some people have gone beyond these calculations and applied another multiplier to allegedly take into account the “PR factor.” This refers to the idea that news messages are presumably more credible than advertising messages and are therefore more persuasive…

Don is an executive VP at GCI Group, a global communications firm. Thanks to Katie Delahaye Paine for pointing Don’s post out to us.

[tags] AVE, PR measurement, ads, circulation [/tags]