CHICAGO, IL: The quarterly Delahaye Index found that GM's reputation, as viewed by "opinion-leading media," dramatically increased after a year of floundering.
GM was behind the largest corporate improvement from the first quarter of 2006, when it was dead last in the rankings. Four quarters later, after strong earnings news and auto show awards, the car company landed in third place, an increase of 97 spots.
The Cision index is a study of how news coverage effects the corporate reputation of the 100 largest US companies.
GM’s movement in the index, according to Matthew Merlin, research director of Cision, had a lot to do with better financial performance, but he added that the company’s media outreach during tough times hastened the movement.
“They’ve been really engaging the media, and the stories have been pretty balanced,” Merlin said. “There were quotes from GM balancing the negative numbers.”
He added: “Engaging the media is definitely important even in times where there are negative issues. Some companies are learning that engaging is much better in the long run than bunkering down.”
Microsoft’s reputation was highest on the index in the first quarter of 2007. Merlin cited Microsoft’s high volume of coverage for its Vista operating system launch and charitable contributions from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as boons to the company’s reputation.
Cisco Systems placed second, bolstered by the coverage of its public deliberations with Apple over the name of the iPhone. Rounding out the rest of the top five were Verizon coming in fourth, followed by Intel Corporation.
The index is determined by scoring articles in major business and news publications based on “how many positive and negative reputation-driving attributes are found within each story.”