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Corporates throwing money at PR agencies without checking if they are delivering REAL results

Advertising Value Equivalents

I was in a meeting recently with a huge Holding Group CEO, when the discussion on media and advertising came up. In the discussion in emanated that the company did have a specific media specialist. They also just left it to ad hoc staff to manage as and when opportunities came up.

He then called in his ‘division manager’, who was to discuss the possibilities of us working with the group to promote their work, and drive brand engagement.

When the manager arrived, he was firstly peeved that the discussion was taking place without him, and then he went further to state that there was no need to assist as they already had a corporate dealing with their PR. I then scheduled another meeting with the CEO the next day, after I had done some home work.

This company named, with some relation to the moon :-), was a straight PR company.  I then took the time the next day to call the same company to pose as a client, and discover their offerings. Amazingly, the call was taken by a young woman, who sounded very eager to assist and manage my R40 000 p/m retainer budget.

I delved cautiously into what her personal background was, to know who I was going to give R40K a month too, and what I was going to get in return. She said she was still studying but was skilled in her work, for all of her experience in the  last 6 months. What???!! 6 months, no degree and professing to be skilled? Interesting…

Their offer as a company was simply, they would to about 3- 4 press releases a month for my company, and hope it get published. ROI? she stated that they use the AVE (advertising value equivalence) as a measure of the value generated…Then the multiply it by 3 or 5 and then profess that this is the actual value generated….

Someone slam on the BRAKES here!!! Were they still using this outdated method? Of course, YES! I then asked her about the Barcelona Declaration of Measurement Principles, that was published in July 2010. She had no idea what I was talking about. This essentially ruled that the AVE is now outdated, and could not be used to squander clients’ budgets.

I then asked about their social media offerings, since they claimed to be a cutting edge agency. She stated that they had fantastic offers but outsourced all of it. Wait, what?? Why don’t I just deal with them directly then, I asked…now she was getting rather pissed at my direct questions.

All in all this is the modus operandi of many ‘agencies’, who employ much cheap staff who have little, if any experience, in any industry, and allocate them manage huge corporate budgets. They further have little  or no education, or maybe some short course from ABC or some other School of Advertising, and now profess to be seasoned and skilled, and even qualified to manage the sizable budgets.

I then got back to the CEO, and detailed him, on the exact offering and the “ROI” as they called it, and provided him a copy of the Barcelona Declaration of Measurement Principles. This lead to us becoming a preferred consultant to the same Group, as we were willing to be transparent as well as up to date with use of leading technology innovations, and of course social media.


Lesson: Be honest, open and transparent. Let you client be your priority, not your bottom line.

Facebook changes fanpage settings

facebook terrence kommal


It is now clear that Facebook is employing new strategies in terms of fans/ likes and their activities of these brands with their fans.

Many may feel that the new layout and changes will discourage the interactions with fans, as it limits the use of FBML landing pages. I actually don’t think so…

First you don’t have a choice in the matter. The change is happening, and facebook , like the almighty Google, will do as it pleases.

Secondly, the changes also allow page owners to log into their ‘pages’, and interact on facebook as if the fan page were a person. This creates a fantastic opportunity for brand owners/managers to directly interact with their fans and create a more personal interaction.

All in all, it is not just about the changes, but rather being able to use the new changes on facebook to facilitate a personal interaction with your fans, and provide them the importance that they deserve, after all they are the closest, and most promising home, that you will ever get to interacting and developing ‘brand evangelists!”


Amazing coincidence of the movement of the Indian Diaspora

india sa flags

Amazingly I am inflight on the way to the African Meetup of Indian leaders in Durban known as Pravasi Bharatiya Divas or PBD 2010, and the plane itself appears to be a part of this meetup. With tons of our fellow South African Indians (and a few well known cell phone shop foreigners) owners in this flight I had a first hand opportunity to see each one up close…. the privileges of sitting up front….

Is it a coincidence or simply people going home for the weekend? Lots of them for the weekend ;-)

Dr Terrence Kommal is the CEO of SUTRA

Terrence Kommal and Shahrukh Khan

I am the CEO of SUTRA Magazine and the CEO of the sister SUTRA Media.

These two companies, as my passion are my offerings to the global village, with a fantastic range of services and content.

SUTRA Magazine is Africa’s leading Indian Lifestyle and Fashion publication with a range of exclusive, intriguing and fascination content. From the latest catwalks, to the humbly profiles of leaders globally, and from amazing lifestyles to colourful and sexy Bollywood, SUTRA is the ultimate offering.

SUTRA Media is a dedicated social media company that offers full turn key solutions to brand development, optimisation, engagement and obvious lead generations! With tons of companies in the South African market claiming to a market leader…yet have their OWN social media strategies simply…well suck  are appalling and dismal, SUTRA Media simply provides its own portfolio and proof of pudding results for the clients to peruse…and envy of course

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Important: The information provided here is not necessarily by Dr Terrence O. Kommal. This site is contributed to by a range of writers. Any opinions stated are attributed to the respective authors thereof. Dr Terrence O. Kommal and SUTRA Media accept no liability for any consequences of using such provided information. The information provided are considered for information purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice. Copyright 2013, SUTRA Media