News and Events

Why we don’t like AVEs…

Communications Strategy
by Chris Chilton
Published on

The PR industry itself (well, most of it anyway) doesn’t value AVE’s, and recent news shows major players  making this explicit. Ogilvy, for example, are ditching the method altogether with their Australian MD Kieran Moore describing AVE"s as ‘more about justification than determining actual effectiveness’.

So we think it is a good time for us to be helping businesses re-evaluate how they measure the success of their PR activity.

In a visit to Guernsey, Jay O’Connor, a past president of the CIPR said that PR should be about outcomes, not outputs, and that measurement should reflect this. We should not be counting clippings, or measuring space, or working out how much it would cost to buy the same amount of coverage we have negotiated on behalf of our clients. What we should be doing is measuring how effective our PR is: Is it in the right place? Does it contain the right messages? Does it have the right people in it?

At Orchard we try and identify what it is our clients want to achieve before we suggest methods of measurement as it’s rare that someone comes to us and says, ‘we just want to be in the paper’, and so we should measure the success of our work on that basis. We look to identify relevant objectives, such as winning more business, what tactics would support our clients in achieving this and what that would look like in terms of media coverage - then we can measure our success in providing what was expected in terms of targeted media activity, but also in any contribution to the overall objectives.

Good measurement can’t be done without good objectives and that is why one of our first questions to new clients is usually ‘why do you want to be seen in the media?’

Chris Chilton
Chris Chilton

Managing Director - Finance & Operations

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