COMMENT: Letters; Let tests assess the measure for measure

I certainly endorse most of the comments made by David McLaren regarding the widespread usage of ‘advertising equivalents’ in the evaluation of PR media coverage (PR Week, 27 October).

I certainly endorse most of the comments made by David McLaren regarding

the widespread usage of ‘advertising equivalents’ in the evaluation of

PR media coverage (PR Week, 27 October).



Apart from being a poor reflection on the confidence of the PR industry

(one could hardly imagine an advertising agency assessing its coverage

in terms of ‘editorial equivalent’) it is actually a very flawed

measure.



This measure makes the assumption that advertising rates equate to

coverage. This is not the case. Advertising rates are a reflection of

the supply and demand for advertising space in a particular publication.

Publications with a high business readership charge more, and those with

a downmarket reader profile charge less. If your target audience is, for

example, housewives or young people, then an advertising equivalent

measure would be positively misleading.



Furthermore, ‘advertising equivalents’ merely measure media coverage.

The objective must be to get the desired message in from of the targeted

audience.



A much better approach would be to emulate the advertising industry and

use the measure they themselves use. The evaluation system we use at

Test Research measures exposure of target groups to different messages

using the same measures (reach, OTS and gross rating points) that are

used by advertisers to assess advertising exposure.



The solution is not to use an ‘advertising equivalent’ measure but to

adopt the equivalent measure used by the advertising industry.



Tim Burns, managing director Test Research



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