Strong Performance of Big Tech Firms Boosts Reputations of Microsoft, IBM, INTEL AND HP in the Media
NORWALK, CT, May 22, 2006 – Elevated by news of product development, financial management and strong revenue growth, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) benefited most greatly from the nation’s leading media in the first quarter, taking the top spot on Delahaye’s Media 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 Delahaye, a provider of media research and analysis services for communications, public relations, and marketing professionals.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) enjoyed positive media coverage as a result of its acquisition of Pixar Studios and the divestiture of its ABC radio stations. These one-time events capped a high volume of favorable news that boosted the entertainment giant to second place.
Augmented by positive news of strong earnings, International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) reaffirmed its leadership status for the technology sector, advancing to third place. The world’s leading chip maker, Intel Corporation (Nasdaq:INTC), was ranked in fourth place with news of Apple’s use of Intel microprocessors for Macintosh computers.
A new line of digital products drove positive media coverage for Hewlett-Packard, (NYSE:HPQ) advancing them six spots and landing them in seventh place. This is Hewlett-Packard’s highest score on the Index since it rebounded from its CEO turmoil of early 2005.
Delahaye found that the overall coverage of news improved dramatically for the financial sector during the quarter, as media shifted attention away from stories of negative, high-profile wrongdoings, to stories about corporate advancement and continued economic performance. Reflecting this trend, Citigroup (NYSE:C) moved up six spots to sixth place, while Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was ranked fifth, and Goldman Sachs held onto eighth place.
The Index also revealed that The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) gained positive media attention during the first quarter from aggressive marketing of core trademark brands and the accelerated rollout of new drinks such as Coca-Cola Blak and Vault, a hybrid energy soda, thereby advancing them 17 spots to place 16th in the first quarter.
News of a strong backlash against huge profits, sky-high gasoline prices and record earnings, pushed Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) back two places to 21st place.
Stories of declining fiscal health continued to fuel negative news for the automotive industry as General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) took last place and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) was ranked 99th .
Delahaye President Mark Weiner stated, “This quarter’s Index results reinforce the dynamic and fragile nature of corporate reputation. The auto manufacturers who ranked among the highest just six months ago find themselves now among the lowest. Conversely, The Coca-Cola Company’s dedication to new products and brand extensions elevated the company 17 places to the 16th position. The tech sector continues to be one of the strongest and most stabile since the Index began in 2000. Across 21 quarters of research and analysis, companies such as Microsoft and IBM have consistently demonstrated their ability to very effectively manage’ their reputations through the media.”
Q1 2006 Delahaye Index: Top Ten Companies
- Microsoft Corporation
- The Walt Disney Company
- Intel Corporation
- Verizon Communications, Inc.
- Goldman Sachs
- General Electric
- Morgan Stanley
Methodology of the 2006 Delahaye Index
Delahaye begins by gathering news from America’s most prominent national news sources. From the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to Fortune, ABC World News Tonight and Bloomberg, Delahaye captures news from all of the nation’s most influential general and business media. The 2006 Delahaye Index includes analysis of different print and broadcast news items to measure the reputations of the Top 100 U.S. companies.
Each company’s score is based on how many positive and negative reputation-driving attributes are found within each story. These attributes are classified into five dimensions: stakeholder relations, financial management, products and services, organizational integrity and organizational strength.
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