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How Much Is Publicity Worth?

What’s worth more advertising or publicity? An age old argument that will probably never be won. Let’s be honest, there is no industry standard in either camp on how to measure the value of a 15-second TV spot or making the front page of the Wall Street Journal. I came across an article entitled, “Publicists Pump Up Value of Buzz; Don’t Believe the Hype” that did catch my eye, especially this paragraph:

Meanwhile, Front Row Marketing Services calculated that American Airlines’ foresight in buying the naming rights to the home arenas of this year’s two NBA finalists, the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks, was worth about $64 million during this month’s championship series. Front Row’s analytics branch came up with the number by logging every instance in which the logo appeared in television coverage, and then assuming that a second of exposure to the company name was worth a second of ad time.

The argument still does hold a lot of merit as we try to put a dollar value on an agency’s service and more importantly their value-add to a brand. In many instances it is hard to have a successful brand without paying special attention to both advertising and public relations. After all, “if a tree falls in a forest, does anyone hear?” Or in other words, if you have a great product but don’t tell anyone, is it really a great product?

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