It’s high time gut feeling and AVE was extinct!
For years, the most common practices of evaluation have been the measurement of column inches of press cuttings and other observational and experiential methods based mostly on experience. “Gut feeling” was thought to be an acceptable criterion of whether a campaign has been successful. It was high time, pr practitioners realized that these methods were nor reliable or objective. As a consequence, there was a shift towards more professionalism and practitioners sought to find more scientific methods of evaluation, since 1990 approximately. Still 15 years later, though there has been progress and new models of evaluation have been proposed, numbers contradict what is actually said among PR scholars and practitioners.
Nevertheless, Advertising Value Equivalents (AVE), where an advertising space value is given to media coverage, is still being used as evaluation method from a considerable amount of practitioners, though there is no indication of its validity. Wilcox et al. (1992) describe AVE vividly as “a bit like comparing apples and oranges”.