Fifty-six entrants in the Global Power Book, PRWeek’s directory of the most influential people in world PR, went for Apple. The iPhone maker's ability to move into different sectors and innovate was repeatedly highlighted as the most admired attribute.
Google (29 votes), Tesla (13), Starbucks (12) and Virgin (12) rounded off the top five. Google was praised for its products, while Tesla and Virgin were highlighted for their "start-up entrepreneurial" spirit.
Despite its tax controversy in the UK, Starbucks was heralded as a beacon of "good business" by US respondents who continue to be impressed with its cultural impact and how it has make strides to improve education, healthcare and veterans' support.
Weber Shandwick and McKinsey had the distinction of being the only PR/consultancy firms to be mentioned, with three votes each. Jay-Z was the one person named-checked; perhaps unsurprisingly, as he once quipped in a song: "I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man."
Despite being named as the world’s most reputable brand in April, BMW (four) did not outdo other car firms by much with Mercedes-Benz (three), Jaguar Land Rover (three), Audi (one) and Ford (one) following closely behind.
There was little love for social media, with LinkedIn (three) and Facebook (two) barely managing to break on to the list. Twitter was not mentioned despite its importance among comms leaders as a source of breaking news.
Q: Which business or brand (other than your employer) do you admire most?
1. Apple (56)
2. Google (29)
3. Tesla (13)
4. Starbucks (12)
5. Virgin (12)