Creating Media Darlings

They may score high on the revenue front but that does not essentially make
them darlings of the media. The Image Index for the Dataquest Top 10 companies
is an interesting tale of how these top runners of Indian IT industry fared in
terms of managing their media activities (read news coverage).

Amongst the top 10 DQ companies, Infosys tops the Image Index for the
nine-month period between October 2001-March 2002 (agencyfaqs started monitoring
media relation activity of Indian corporates only in October 2001) with a total
of 26,066 cirrus image points (CIP). While Wipro with a score of 23,775 CIP was
not too far from the #1 player, the #3 on the list was way behind with 9,930 CIP
but was also closely followed by TCS with 9,651 CIP.

positions of DQ Top 10 players based on the image score for three
quarters (Oct 2001 to Jun 2002). Tech Pacific India and Redington do
not feature in the list as they did not get significant media

The interesting story, however, is the respective positions that these
players have on the Image index vis-a-vis their rankings in the DQ Top 20
listing. While the #1 DQ Top 20 player TCS finds itself occupying #4 slot in the
Image Index, HP–#10 player of the DQ Top 20 list–surprises all by grabbing
the #3 slot in this list. Similarly, Compaq, the #4 player in the DQ Top 20 list
managed to score only 2,872 CIP and was #8 in the image listing. Most
interestingly, the two strong channel players, Tech Pacific India and Redington
India (#7 and #9 amongst DQ Top 20 respectively) did not score a single CIP and
hence have not been included in the list. While this does not mean that nothing
has been written about these two companies–they might have got media space in
terms of being part of other stories–it definitely indicates that news
originating directly from these companies did not find place in media.

The quality of exposure (QE) index, which is the ratio between the image and
visibility points and helps in understanding whether the nature of the coverage
was flattering or not, however, saw some of these companies fighting a close

On the positive list,
Wipro scored the highest–776 points. Infosys topped the neutral
stories’ list with 1,119 points, while HP topped the ‘negatives’
list with 180. HCL Technologies scored the lowest in all three areas–
with respective scores of 129, 183 and 16

Wipro just managed to squeeze past Satyam by 2 points to score 135 and grab
the #1 slot. Similarly, TCS was just 1 point behind Satyam to emerge #3 on this
list. On the other hand HP which scored high on the Image Index could barely
manage to float above the danger level with exactly 100 points and Compaq scored
the worst with just 72 points.

This implies that out of all the articles that appeared for these two
companies, the ratio of neutral and negative articles outweigh the positive
articles. While 53% of all Compaq news was neutral in nature, it got 20%
negative coverage (the highest amongst DQ Top 20 players) and 27% positive

In HP’s case, the percentage of news tone to overall coverage was 26%
positive, 59% neutral and 15% negative. Companies that scored high on the
positive front, include IBM (49%), Wipro (47%), Satyam Computers (43%) and TCS


While 51.9% of personality-related articles originated from
Infosys, Wipro, despite 28.1% share, had a much higher QE score of
149, compared to Infosys’ 117–a clear indicator than quality
and size of coverage don’t necessarily match. On the marketing
and sales front, while IBM got the maximum mindshare with 23.8%,
Wipro again scored the highest on the QE front, with 124 points.
In the financial results segment, Infosys turned the tables–despite
a 28.4% share, compared to 37.9% for Wipro, it scored the highest
190 points in ‘quality’. Satyam with 177 and Wipro with 172
were the other front-runners.

Overall it was an interesting period, watching these big guns fire their best
as they jostled for more share of the media pages. As for the subjects covered,
personality-based news and issues related to marketing and sales as well as the
financial results hogged the limelight.

(For more information on Cirrus, contact:


To arrive at the Image score, each news report for a company is run through
two measurement tools–the first measures the visibility of a company, while
the second interprets the exposure tonality. The model assigns quantitative
weights to factors like readership, article space and prominence of coverage,
the summation of which gives the visibility point. The visibility points,
however, represent only the coverage received by a company and do not address
the nature of news coverage. To measure exposure tonality, each news piece is
interpreted for its reporting tone (positive/neutral/negative).

Once the tone level has been established, the visibility score is overlaid
with the tone to arrive at the Cirrus Image Points (CIP). On the other hand
Quality of exposure (QE) index is a ratio between the image and visibility
points and the maximum a company can score on this is 200. Greater the index,
higher is the ratio of positive coverage in relation to total coverage received.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *