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Anyone who knows how I got into public relations knows I did so due to my total lack of skill at anything accounting-related in college.

If you don’t know that story, check it out here.

But I digress.

As you can imagine, with my total lack of accounting skill, measuring the return on public relations investment – or ROI – has always been a bit of a struggle for me.

Well, apparently I am not alone. And with the explosion of digital communications, things seem murkier each day.

But, perhaps there is a light at the end of the tunnel, courtesy of the great folks over Ragan Communications. Recently, they posted a great blog about measurement that sparked a deluge of comments on both sides of the ROI coin. Check it out here if for nothing else then all of the great comments and insight from across the country.

The response was so great – and sometimes mean, actually – that there is now a second post on the topic with additional great points, not to mention responses to many of the comments made on both sides.

I took two pretty major thoughts from this series of blogs, comments and posts:

  • As an industry, we need to soundly spank advertising value equivalency, or AVE, and consign it to the graveyard.
  • The real value of public relations is when we successfully use the multifaceted communication channels available to us—from the media, to blogs, to social networks—to educate and evangelize our audiences and communities (internal as well as external) into taking those actions that have a positive impact on our organizations.

Well said. How have you been able to measure ROI for your clients? Still using AVE? Agree is should be stomped out? Would love to hear from you below.

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio

2 Comments

  1. Kyle Rhodes says:

    Excellent post Alison – you’ve turned me on to HMA PR and Ragan Communications in one fell swoop. Keep the ammunition for proving ROI in PR to executives coming!

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