Tech companies top media reputation index

CHICAGO: Results from Cision's Corporate Media Reputation Index for Q2 2008 show that technology and telecomm are faring best in media coverage.

CHICAGO: Results from Cision's Corporate Media Reputation Index for Q2 2008 show that technology and telecomm are faring best in media coverage.

Companies representing these sectors grabbed seven of 10 slots in the top ten, with Microsoft coming in at one.

At number eight, jumping 32 spots is Dell Computer. And Comcast leapt 20 spots to reach number ten. Other tech and telecomm companies topping the list are Hewlett-Packard (4), Verizon (5), and Intel (6).

The technology sector so far has not been as hard hit by the economic tumult, which might have helped lift it in the rankings.

“This economic downturn has its own unique properties that have left [the technology] industry relatively untouched compared to other industries,” said Matt Merlin, research director for the Index.

For example, Merlin attributes Dell's high ranking to a mixture of elements including positive earnings results and the company's push into retail stores. Telecomm has benefited from customer loyalty to the industry, he adds; people are not willing to give up their cell phones.

The success of these industries, however, is dampened by a drop in media reputation for all corporations overall. About 1/3 of companies had a net negative news score (more negative news stories than positive or neutral) with financial services companies representing four of the 10 with the largest decline.

“It's not because these [technology] companies are doing so great,” said Merlin. “It's a bright spot, but a relative one.”

The tough economy might also be starting to seep into the tech sector. Recent media reports noted that Microsoft's second quarter earnings were up 42% from a year ago, but it missed expectations by a penny a share. IBM's earnings were up in Q2 while Google's disappointed.

The Index ranks the media reputations of the largest 100 companies in the US analyzing coverage in top-tier outlets such as The New York Times and Fortune.

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