The Middle East PR industry’s second annual survey of PR practitioners and top executives in the region shows that although 72 percent of communications professionals believe Advertising Value Equivalencies (AVEs) do not constitute effective PR measurement, 63 percent still rely on them to measure a campaign’s effectiveness.
The 2013 survey by PR agency Ketchum Raad was conducted across the UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Lebanon to greater illustrate the value and importance of measuring PR. The 2013 results illustrate that the region’s PR industry is lagging behind more mature geographical markets, where AVEs have already been banned from many communication departments and international standards are rapidly moving away from using AVEs. Across the region, 26% of respondents stated that AVEs do appropriately capture the outcome of a PR campaign.
The 2013 survey, conducted in conjunction with MEPRA, the Middle East’s Public Relations Association, highlights some surprising figures when compared to 2012 survey results, (UAE only). In 2012, 79 percent of respondents felt fully briefed on what the objectives were before starting a campaign, compared to 65 plercent from across the region in 2013. The UAE figure was slightly stronger at 81 percent – showing a UAE increase over 2012, but also illustrating the disparity across the four countries surveyed.
Results also show that 76 percent of agency clients, and 84 percent of agency consultants, ranked measurement tools as important or very important, and are using a variety of ways to do this including looking at impressions (number of people who saw or heard about the product or campaign), share of voice, tone, using web analytics or communications audits, but still with an over-reliance on AVEs – the value of media space equivalent to if you had purchased the space for advertising.
In 2012’s UAE survey, just 29 percent of respondents were aware of the Barcelona Principles, resulting in MEPRA hosting a number of events in the UAE focusing on PR measurement to increase awareness and share international best practice and thought leadership, led by Ketchum’s Nicola Gregson.
The 2013 survey results for the UAE shows 48 percent of respondents are now aware of The Barcelona Principles, and of those who had attended one of MEPRA’s 2012 PR Measurement workshops, an encouraging 92 percent reported success in making changes to measurement methods. Across the region, there is still work to be done, with 33 percent awareness. However, this is still an encouraging figure and gives MEPRA a clear indication on where to focus training and share best practice.