Last week, PR Daily ran an OpEd about the difference between advertising and PR. The article begins with the differences: one is paid, one is earned. Yep. Totally agree. But then the article takes a time machine back 20 years.

PR takes the value of advertising and builds upon it based on enhanced impact. Editorial is third-party opinion, so the impact is considered three times that of a paid advertisement. For instance, if a half-page ad in the local newspaper costs $500, then a half-page worth of editorial in the same newspaper would be valued at $1,500.

This isn’t 1990. Publicity is not PR. Advertising equivalencies, or AVEs, were thought to be dead.

Thankfully, Ragan had the foresight to invite a seasoned veteran, Shonali Burke, to write a rebuttal, which was done with class and grace, but made a strong point. Even if clients (or your internal clients) are asking you to track AVEs, it’s your job to educate them they’re asking for the wrong “results”.

Joe Thornley also recommends familiarizing yourself with Katie Paine’s blog, where she provides all sorts of real ways to measure your PR and publicity efforts.

Die AVE, die!

In other news:

  • The PRSA section for agency leaders, Counselors Academy, has its annual conference in Lake Las Vegas next month. If you’re an agency leader or owner and aren’t already planning to be there, rethink your conference schedule and get there! And Inside PR will do a live recording among the slot machine sounds…or maybe Martin Waxman will bring his sound machine.
  • Joe attended Social 2011, the Radian6 user conference, where they announced a new analytics platform that will allow you to track data from other services, such as Klout. Read more about it on his blog.
  • Also struck by the composition of the group at the conference, Joe discusses his thoughts on the disappearance of personalities behind brands.
  • Martin is catching up on Mad Men and is watching the fourth season now. He has three things he learned from the 1960s ad agency: It takes guts, time is of the essence, and we are and always will be a service industry.

Do you have comments? Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini Dietrich, Joe Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Our theme music was created by Damon de Szegheo; Roger Dey is our announcer.

This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.


  1. Kristine

    Hi Sallie,

    Thanks for the comment. I looked in to it and I fixed the link.

    Sorry for any inconvenience. I hope you enjoy the show!

  2. Joe, thank you for the lovely comments about the conference and product announcements on the podcast. It was great to see you again and thank you for adding to the dynamic conference with your participation on the ROI panel.

    Lauren Vargas
    Director of Community at Radian6

  3. Lauren, I am in awe of the way that Radian6 has grown and developed. It is one of the foundation three measurement tools that I recommend to every client. And I don’t see that changing in the future. In fact, I’m very keen to see how Sales Force will wed its customer insights with the social media data from Radian6 to give us even more insight. That could be a huge leap forward in measuring the ROI of social media.


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