CHICAGO, IL, May 7, 2007 Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) benefited most greatly from the nation’s opinion-leading media during the first quarter of 2007, according to the Delahaye Index, a quarterly assessment of how news coverage reflects and helps to shape the corporate reputation of the 100 largest U.S. companies. The Index is conducted by Cision, formerly known as Delahaye, a leading provider of media research and analysis services for communications, public relations, and marketing professionals.
Cisco Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSCO) secured second place on the Index as a result of high-profile coverage derived from Cisco’s negotiations with Apple over the name of the iPhone, and news of its recent acquisitions resulting in expansion of its business beyond networking hardware.
Despite several quarters of high-profile negative coverage, General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) made a complete turnaround from a year ago, when the automaker ranked in last place. Elevated by news of strong earnings and honors won at the 2007 North American International Auto Show, GM’s news coverage improved dramatically, capping a high volume of favorable news that boosted the auto giant 97 spots to third place.
“Corporate reputation is uniquely measurable through the media, as news affects and reflects public sentiment,” stated Steve Newman, CEO of Cision North America. “This quarter’s Index results reinforce the dynamic nature of media coverage as evidenced by General Motors who ranked among the lowest just a year ago, and now finds themselves among the highest.”
“That being said,” added Newman, “the companies that recover most quickly are those that generate sufficient positive visibility and effectively manage their reputations through the media.”
Positive news in the first quarter also benefited Verizon (NYSE:VZ) with coverage of upward growth in its wireless and internet businesses, moving them up two places to fourth. Cision found that overall coverage of news improved for Intel Corporation (Nasdaq:INTC) on the announcement of a major chip redesign and plans to open a $2.5 billion chip factory in China.
Strong financial coverage of record profits offset negative stories of sky-high gasoline prices and unfavorable environmental coverage as Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) advanced ten spots to number six. Newman stated, “Financial performance proves to be a strong driver of both corporate reputation and volatility in the media as Exxon Mobil benefited most greatly from this phenomenon.”
The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) fell three spots on the Index to seventh place as a result of reported analyst warnings in the first quarter that jet orders may have peaked. Index results revealed that Wal-Mart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) dropped from second to eighth place in the first quarter with news of reported lackluster holiday sales and a court ordered settlement of $33 million in an overtime case. Despite favorable coverage of its fourth quarter profit report and its push for wider health care coverage for workers, the media continued to report negative news for Wal-Mart during the quarter. This included a lost appeal in a job bias case and the dissolution of Wal-Mart’s plans to open industrial banks.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) slipped three spots to tenth place during the first quarter after a fourth quarter boost from its acquisition of BellSouth.
Cision is a leading global media intelligence company, serving the complete workflow of today s communications, social media and content marketing professionals. Offering the industry s most comprehensive PR and social software, rich analytics and a Global Insights team, Cision enables clients to improve their marketing and strengthen data-driven decision making. Cision also represents the Gorkana Group, PRWeb, Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and iContact brands. Headquartered in Chicago, Cision has over 100,000 customers worldwide and maintains offices in Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Finland and China. For more information, visit www.cision.com or follow @Cision on Twitter.
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