AVE. Three little letters I thought had been dragged and dropped into the PR waste basket some years back. Right next to "column inches", you know what I mean. Yet I have come across Advertising Value Equivalent no fewer than four times this week, coincidentally and oddly.

The first definition returned by a Google search is provided courtesy of SourceWatch: "...to 'measure' the benefit to a client from media coverage of a PR campaign". The description goes on to describe how you ask yourself the question "Mmmm, how much would this space have cost me to buy advertising stylee?" and then you multiply that by, oooh I don't know, 3, or 4, or 10?

Public Relations is about exerting influence and being influenced. We do this by sparking debate. Creating stimulating content, and demonstrating insight, passion and leadership by finding and starting conversations about the issues that matter to the marketplace, to our customers and prospects, and to our customers' customers.

What's the AVE of that conversation exactly?

Measurement and evaluation is a critical PR discipline. But we've got to get our chomps round smarter ways to guage influence and reconcile campaign effectiveness against objectives. Social Web Analytics is a good place to start. SWA marks the maturing of public relations as a chartered profession in my opinion.

Free social media ebook and video: New Media and the Air Force

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

The United States Air Force Public Affairs Agency, Emerging Technology Division just released a new ebook and video about how social media is used in the Air Force. The ebook and video contain excellent information for all organizations and should serve as a blueprint for social media guidelines for those who do not have them.

New Media and the Air Force
(Please note that this file is nearly 2MB, so be patient)

Air Force New Media
video on YouTube

For those of you who work in large organizations struggling with social media, please share this with your bosses. More...

Clever Tactical Ad Executions That Punch Above Their Weight

by Trevor Young PR Warrior of Parkyoung

Isn't it ironic it's often the small (but savvy) tactical advertising executions that generate the most attention and therefore are the most cost-effective.Companies spend millions of dollars producing and airing advertising the general populace doesn't see or care about. But then a 'small' ad punches well above its weight because it's cleverly executed and relevant (and unexpected).
Two cases in point:
I went to print an article from Wired.com when this little gem (below) appeared. More...

There is no such thing as a Twitter Strategy - supporting perspective in Ad Age post

by Philip Sheldrake of Racepoint Group UK

A few days after I posted the succinctly titled "There is no such thing as a Twitter Strategy but you should have clear expectations for your corporate Twitter profile", B.L. Ochman posted "Top 10 Reasons Your Company Probably Shouldn't Tweet" on the Ad Age DigitalNext blog.

Right up there at number 1:

"You think using Twitter is a social-media strategy. It's a tactic, a tool, not a strategy."

Now my post elicited some responses via Twitter (@sheldrake) questioning my definition of the word "strategy". More...

Is Advertising Enough?

by David Knowles of

In its Madison Avenue strutting heyday, advertising was the only way to sell. Back when people spent their evenings reading newspapers or glued to the TV, brands relied on ads to grow desire and plant jingles in people’s minds.

But unfortunately for the once cocksure ad man, people and times have changed.

The old adage of ‘advertise or die’ is now being replaced by ‘evolve or die’. People are binning newspapers permanently, and fast forwarding or switching off the TV altogether. More...

A New Alternative to Twitter Search: Identifying Tweets, Trends and People Related to Your Keywords

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

Twazzup, a new search for Twitter, debuted recently and it just may replace you're activity on search.twitter.com for the time being (thanks Louis Gray).

As Twitter vies for its place as your online attention dashboard, keyword search and the ability to link those discussions to real people becomes the key to relevant engagement.

Timelines serve as our centralized activity hub and determine what we read, what we say, and who we respond to simply by the information that continually flows through it. More...

N=5 weighs in for Fitness First

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Here’s a neat campaign from Dutch creative agency N=5 in Amsterdam for Fitness First in which the weight of a person sitting at a bus stop is displayed on the adjacent poster display.

As Viral Blog spotted the experiential work echoes a campaign by Electrolux last year where a billboard measured the level of noise in the surrounding area. More...

Can Twitter Impact our Emotional Compass?

by Anna Gueldenhaupt of Racepoint Group UK

Yesterday the Daily Mail reported that the volume of online content, driven by social media, could have long-term damaging effects on the emotional development of young people’s brains. The author, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, a researcher at the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, said:

“For some thoughts, especially moral decision-making about other people’s social and psychological situations, we need to allow for adequate time and reflection”. More...

The Race to 1,000,000 Followers Sends Twitter and Social Media into Relevance and Irrelevance

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0


It started as a simple and seemingly harmless contest. Who would be the first person on Twitter to reach 1,000,000 followers?

This wasn’t yet another follower push open to just anyone on Twitter however, not even the Weblebrities who helped propel the popular micro community to an emerging, iconic pop culture status; it was (and at the moment, still is) a race between the world’s most visible celebrities and prominent media brands.

It started when Ashton Kutcher, a television and movie star who’s also keenly astute and observant to the promise of new media challenged CNN and its founder, Ted Turner to the race. More...

The Domino's Effect

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

The latest viral video on the Web today isn't related to an upcoming summer blockbuster, nor the next Chocolate Rain sensation or even the next Obama Girl. Today's social video frenzy is a real time case study of what happens when the employees of a franchise use online video to inadvertently cause a global domino effect that financially and emotionally impacts other franchises, employees, customers as well as bruising the corporate brand overall.

Two employees from an individually owned Domino's store shot and shared a few devastating videos that will appall anyone and everyone who can actually stomach them. More...