I welcome Stephen's comments about the CIPR's decision to crack down on PR firms that continue to use AVEs as a method of measurement. He shines a spotlight on the issues surrounding not just the AVE question but the professional standards of our industry in general.
I don't doubt that the CIPR's disciplinary committee will be busy - it will be interesting to see how many firms really are bought to task for using AVEs when clients demand it. But I do feel that a stake should be put in the ground whereby consultancies can push back on clients who on the one hand want our industry to have professional ethics and standards but on the other force us too use the outdated sorcery that is the AVE.
So rather than carrot and stick, I'd look at this move by the CIPR as a method by which industry members can change opinions and educate clients as to why they cannot - indeed must not not -- use AVE in the measurement arsenal.
The CIPR’s story is one of an organisation that has spent 70 years helping improve practice. Along the way it has sought to drive up professional standards through education and qualifications, creating a career journey for practitioners, and promoting public relations in the public interest.The announcement last week means that in the CIPR’s view the use of AVE’ as no longer just bad practice but unethical .It means that members found to be using AVE in 12 months time will either be kicked out or have to leave. I would love to add a long list of industry ills to a list of unethical practice such as spamming journalists, lack of planning, gender pay inequality, and unpaid internships, but without creating a licence to operate it’s unrealistic.