Microsoft was able to hold off other corporations by releasing a number of major product announcements and favorable financial disclosures, according to Cision, which releases quarterly rankings of the 100 largest US companies by positive media coverage. The company has finished first for seven of the last eight years.
Rival Apple finished number two, taking advantage of positive iPod and iPhone coverage, as well as good financial news, according to Cision's data.
Matt Merlin, research director for the index, said the tech industry tends to fare better than others due to positive earnings, and its “steady stream of product news.”
“That's really propelled them even in [Q4] and for , more than other industries,” Merlin said.
In descending order - Wal-Mart, Hewlett-Packard, Verizon, Intel, Disney, IBM, AT&T, and JP Morgan Chase rounded out the rankings' top 10. Counter to the media value of other financial firms, JP Morgan Chase received mostly positive coverage in 2008 during its acquisitions of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, Cision revealed.
Merlin said Wal-Mart was helped to third place by its common media depiction as a company with much to gain during an economic downturn.
Merlin added that Microsoft rival Apple has only a small chance of winning the number-one ranking because Microsoft generates considerable positive coverage via its many yearly product announcements.
“I don't think Apple is [going to dethrone Microsoft] because the large amount of news that Microsoft generates is just so immense, and Microsoft has so many different product lines of different items,” he said. “Also, Microsoft has a lot of partnerships with other companies, and those often make the news.”
Companies must have approximately $22 billion in 2007 revenue to be considered.
Updated February 25, 2009, 2:51pm