2003 – The idea of Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) has been around for many years. It has generated much debate in the Public Relations industry, with this debate focusing on both its reliability and validity. Many people are attracted to it because it appears able to put a dollar value on media coverage and, by extension, allows media relations people to compare their results with advertising. Yet the measure has a number of problems and it is important to anyone considering its use to consider both its strengths and its weaknesses.
The Commission for PR Measurement & Evaluation does not endorse Ad Value Equivalency (AVE) as a measurement tool, but we hear all the time from people who have bosses or clients who demand it. This paper will provide some answers to those demands, as well as some other ways to think about showing the value of what media relations professionals do.