FLORHAM PARK, NJ: Global Crossing, the giant fiber-optic network provider that went broke three years ago, turned its media image around dramatically following its emergence from bankruptcy in December, according to a survey commissioned by the company.
When Global Crossing filed for Chapter 11 protection in January 2001, it was the largest bankruptcy in U.S. corporate history. The media largely declared that the company couldn't recover.
The media image of Global Crossing has improved since bankruptcy, however, according to a survey released in February by CARMA International, a media research firm. Global Crossing's favorable media image rating increased from 34 points in 2002 to 57 points in 2003. Companies with the most favorable media images score 65 or higher.
Making the company available to the media was the biggest part of the turnaround, said Jerry Santos, SVP of corporate communications. CEO John Legere did regular one-on-one interviews with broadcast and print reporters. That included one weekend in March 2001 when Legere ran a marathon of back-to-back interviews touting a chance of recovery.
"Our philosophy from day one was to communicate, communicate, communicate," Santos said. "So we got our CEO out in front of television, print, anybody who would listen to our story."
The CARMA survey analyzed media coverage in daily newspapers, trade magazines, and TV from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2003. It covered 323 stories in the second half of 2002 and 362 stories for the second half of 2003. The percentage of stories with positive messages increased from 40% to 78%.
Global Crossing would not disclose the cost of the survey.