<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=272494640759635&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Why you should stop using Advertising Value Equivalency to measure earned media coverage

By Katie Boyles

Advertising Value Equivalency is an outdated PR measurement


28705262_sEarned media coverage is a terrific way to get your organization in front of audiences that may want to purchase your products and services. Unlike advertising, earned media is an unpaid, third-party mention – that may be a quote, an endorsement or interview. How do you measure earned media coverage and prove its value to executives? Make sure you discuss measurement with your public relations agency early in the relationship so you have shared objectives for communication efforts.


In the past, PR professionals used advertising value equivalency (AVE) to place a monetary figure on the value of media coverage. However, AVEs are not an effective measurement because they don’t provide measurement for PR outtakes, outcomes and business impacts.

AVE = size of the article X outlet’s advertising rate  

AVE calculates the monetary rate of what the ad space would typically cost

The AVE formula is flawed because it's a vanity metric that doesn’t take into consideration the article’s content, sentiment/tone, varying ad rates as well as the audience’s perception to news versus advertising, cost versus value and other factors. It’s a simple formula for a big empty number that doesn’t provide executives with any communication insight whatsoever of your earned media coverage.     

With increased knowledge, insights and resources, the PR industry can report on earned media coverage using better metrics such as the following:

  • Website traffic
  • Inbound leads
  • Sentiment
  • Tone
  • Impressions
  • Mentions
  • Prominence
  • Geographical reach

Our PR measuring methods.


The public relations and communications industries are evolving to better prove their value toward business goals. Axia Public Relations is proud to align with The Barcelona Principles of measurement and use industry best practices to measure public relations efforts in a meaningful way. We’ve moved on to better quantitative and qualitative ways to evaluate earned media coverage results. For our program clients, we provide weekly updates, monthly activities and outputs reports, quarterly progress reports and yearly PR reports using the best measurement practices.

If your current PR agency is reporting AVEs on your company’s media coverage, it’s time to find a PR partner who uses best practices. Read Axia’s complimentary e-book “How to Fire Your PR Firm” to learn what you should expect from your PR firm and how to have a smooth transition when you decide to move on.

New Call-to-action


katie-bioClients love Katie’s energy and enthusiasm. She works with local, regional, and national clients coordinating their PR campaigns. Katie has worked with Axia Public Relations since September 2015. Learn more about Katie.

Topics: media relations, measurement, earned media


Comment on This Article

Blog Subscription

Recent Posts

Popular Posts