The BT-Cirrus survey is in its 5th year and it is, by far, the widest in the country, with more than one million articles analysed for the minutest corporate mentions and considered.
Each survey has been a great learning exercise. Till 2006, we considered only articles that predominantly featured one or more companies. This, we realised, was, perhaps, not very fair for all sectors. Consultancies, for example, receive a majority of their coverage in the form of quotes from the industry experts they employ. So, we have broadened the scope of the survey to include every mention for all companies. As a result, there was considerable impact for some.
We have seen a few remarkable achievements in 2007; there are companies that came from almost nowhere to the Top 100 over the last two years. The difference between the #1 and #100 has also reduced substantially.
The difference with #1 and #200 was also marginally lower—a clear sign of increased focus and wider coverage that India Inc. has been receiving both in the print and audiovisual media.
The information technology, automobile, telecom and aviation sectors continued to dominate while real estate and retail have made it big as expected. Consultancies and financial services sectors also did extremely well compared to previous years. The leaders in banking, durables, FMCG, F&B, IT hardware and oil & gas were also prominent and feature prominently on this year’s list. But insurance, pharmaceutical and securities companies continued their poor run. Even the top players ranked way down our list.
Overall, three out of the Top 10 in 2006 slid to #25 and below, 14 of the Top 20 lost ground to other more aggressive companies. Then, a little more than 20 per cent of this year’s Top 200 list comprises newcomers.
Cirrus Media Research Pvt Ltd (www.icirrus. com) is a national corporate image monitor that pioneered media evaluation in India. Cirrus analyses over one million news pieces in nine different languages on more than 2,000 corporate entities. Cirrus is an independent third-party evaluator and not associated with any PR agency.
Having said that, we must accept that for most companies, making it to the Top 200 is a great achievement. This is particularly so for companies that do not belong to the so-called “hot” sectors.
Now to some general trends and observations. This year, we have noticed certain prominent and disturbing trends in content. We are not sure whether they are undesirable consequences of the media boom. Business dynamics have led a section of the media to focus on news that makes economic sense for them. In the mad rush for eyeballs and readership, even regular news is often branded “breaking news” on television and “exclusive” in the print media.
Fortunately, we see less of this in the financial media, but the trend is worrying. Then, the recent launch of several new newspapers across the country has created a demand-supply mismatch in business journalism like never before.
The domain that belonged to the creamy layer has been invaded and you can see the imprints all over. However, things are improving and the leading publications are consolidating their positions further even as some smaller ones are gradually becoming inconsequential. To sum it up, 2007 was a step forward and most companies focussed more on better public relations and the management of their corporate image.
However, corporate communication in India still has a long way to go. It will come with higher awareness at the “C Suite” and proper communications education at the highest level. Hope to see some great work on HR, CSR and environment fronts. This year promises to be brighter.
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