We had two good debates this week between my University of Southern California students on two key aspects of journalism and PR. The journalism aspect was the importance of the content and practice of “objectivity”. The PR issue was the importance of Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE).
AVE is where the PR company reports to its client and tries to put a money value on the editorial coverage it was secured for its client. If the article was an advert, what would it be worth?
Both are key to how these “professions” relate to their clients. In PR, how can the client put a money value on their PR service? And in journalism, what is the relationship with listeners, readers and viewers?
Kant and the clock
The journalists arguing for objectivity even used the German Enlightenment philosopher Kant in their support. But there is a problem with Kant. He used to take his walk through the town at exactly the same time each day. He used the church clock to tell the time. But the church warden used to set the time by his walk because he was so regular. Work than one out.
Objectivity lost; and AVE won.