Microsoft Maintains its Media Reputation Lead Among 100 Largest U.S. Companies for Fifth Straight Year

Cision’s annual Corporate Media Reputation Index of U.S. companies highlights continued strength of technology and telecom-oriented companies

CHICAGO, IL, February 20, 2009   For the fifth straight year, Microsoft claimed the number one media reputation in the Cision Index of the 100 largest corporations in the U.S. While the start of 2009 has seen a significant uptick in negative news from many of the country’s largest companies, Microsoft was able to maintain its top ranking in 2008 as a result of an ongoing stream of major product announcements and favorable financial results.

The assessment of how news coverage reflects and helps shape corporate reputations of the 100 largest corporations in the U.S. is compiled quarterly by Cision (us.cision.com), a leading provider of business and communications intelligence for public relations and marketing professionals.

Technology- and telecom-oriented companies continued to dominate the Cision Index top 10, claiming seven of the slots. Wal-Mart (3), Walt Disney (7) and JP Morgan Chase (10) were the only non-tech firms in the top 10. Other companies in the top 10 were Apple (2), Hewlett-Packard (4), Verizon (5), Intel (6), IBM (8) and AT&T (9). Apple and JP Morgan Chase were the two newcomers to the top 10 as compared to the 2007 list.

“2009 has already seen a huge volume of negative news from many of the country’s largest firms, which obviously will have an impact on corporate reputations in the coming year. In 2008, however, Microsoft continued to dominate the Cision Index with a massive variety of corporate and product news that received mostly positive media coverage in the big-picture,” said Joe Bernardo, President and CEO of Cision North America. “In addition to being number one for 5 straight years, Microsoft has held the top spot for seven of the last eight.”

Apple, which only became part of the Cision Index this year, continued its strong performance coming in at number two. The company continued to ride extensive and positive coverage of its iPhone and iPod product families, as well as good financial news. Wal-Mart was the top non-technology company in the Index, as the chain benefited from its low-price strategy to outperform all other major retail chains.

The big surprise in the top 10 was the appearance of JP Morgan Chase amid an avalanche of bad news from the financial services industry. The financial services company, which acquired Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, was portrayed favorably throughout most of the year, while other banking giants were showered with negative coverage.

Energy Companies Gain Ground Despite Rising Prices

One industry group that saw a collective rise in its ranking was energy. Despite the fact that skyrocketing oil and gasoline prices were received poorly by the American public, record financial results enabled these firms to garner significant, positive visibility. Leading the way was Exxon Mobil, which came in at number 16, while the biggest gainer in the group was Valero Energy, up 38 slots to 58. All 7 companies in the energy group showed gains in 2008

Methodology of the 2008 Cision Index   U.S. Edition

Cision’s Corporate Media Reputation Index includes analysis of news items to rank the media reputations of the largest 100 U.S. companies. Cision gathers news from America’s most prominent national dailies, and top business and news magazines, ranging from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to Fortune and Forbes. Each company is assigned a score based on the number of positive and negative reputation-driving attributes found in each story. These attributes are classified into five dimensions: stakeholder relations, financial management, products and services, organizational integrity and organizational strength.

About Cision:
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.