The death of AVE: key digital metrics MENA PR pros need to use today

The death knell has been sounded for the use of 'advertising value equivalent', a 'vanity metric' for PR professionals, says Lama Abdelbarr, digital communications lead (Middle East & Africa) at Talkwalker.

AVE is a ‘vanity metric’ for PR professionals, says Lama Abdelbarr
AVE is a ‘vanity metric’ for PR professionals, says Lama Abdelbarr

The PR industry is changing rapidly and adapting to the digital age.

Modern PR can no longer make do with vanity metrics like Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE).

The following metrics can empower PR professionals to showcase the value of their work and benchmark themselves against tangible KPIs, giving the board no reason to question the value of their communications department.

Always remember, don’t monitor just for the sake of monitoring. Stop and think twice about how any metric translates to business value and if you can make a case for its contribution to driving results.

Qualified video views

When it comes to video, many brands fall into the trap of measuring the number of views. This can be wildly misleading as the number of seconds that constitute a ‘view’ differ from one platform to another and the first rule of measurement is consistency.  

Add to that, the fact that some platforms count a view starting when a user watches for a mere few seconds and that can really skew your metrics as it’s close to impossible for your brand message to be relayed fully and accurately in just a few seconds.

What good does the number of views do for your brand in this case?

That’s where qualified views come i nto play. This metric allows you to define your success based on what works best for your brand and your campaign. Simply, identify a point in your video where you believe viewers will have absorbed your main message. This point should be your timestamp for determining the quality of your views. If your audience passes the timestamp, they are truly a qualified view.


We can’t always control whether a media outlet will publish our work without removing the hyperlink to a brand website or landing page that we need to drive conversions. But we shouldn’t stop trying.

SEO is great for business visibility, branding, increasing business traffic and providing unmatched insights into your customer base. The more "do follow" backlinks on credible websites you get for your brand or your client, the better your visibility and the more trust your brand has effectively earned.

Sentiment analysis

We’re not just talking about outdated and tedious sentiment analysis that fails to detect sarcasm, irony, or human emotions. AI-powered tools now offer a great asset to PR professionals, boasting an average of 90 per cent accuracy with natural language processing that detects themes that are positively or negatively impacting your business.

Having these valuable insights about how consumers truly feel about your brand, product, launch, or campaign can be a gamechanger when it comes to planning, optimising, and shaping a brand’s strategy as a whole.

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