Infy Bounces Back

In December last year, this Indian IT giant showed the promise of grabbing
the top slot in the DQ-Cirrus Image Index. Infosys has not disappointed. The
company moved ahead full throttle, switched on the after-burner and overtook
Microsoft by a huge margin in the first month of calendar year 2002. It grew by
71% from the December 2001 Cirrus image points (CIP) of 2,907 to post figures of
4969 in January 2002. In comparison, Microsoft, which had fallen from the peak
of 2,140 CIP in November 2001 to 998 CIP in December 2001, could manage to
spruce up its image by a meager 20% with 1,198 CIP.

While Infosys was racing ahead in January Wipro, CMC, TCS and Cisco dropped their percentage increase in image points over December 2001 by 23%, 51%, 26% and 14% respectively. IBM also made a massive jump of 172%–from 311 points in December 2001 to 847 points in January 2002. It moved two notch ahead in the overall ranking to take #6 slot.
Satyam Computers showed sign of aggression posted a growth of 923% over its December 2001 figures to score 1,422 points and moved up from #5 to #4 slot. While Wipro pushed Microsoft from the second slot in January 2002, it was at #3 slot for the period Q3 plus January 2002. During the same period CMC slipped from #6 to #8, TCS from #4 to #5 and Cisco from #9 to #10.
Q3 2001-02 plus January 2002

The big news from Infosys that really helped the company score high was the
handing over of the reigns from Narayana NR Murthy to Nandan Nilekani–the
former becoming the ambassador and the other in-charge of the company. This
earned Infosys 38% of the CIP. The second news that propelled them to new
heights was the Q3 financial results. Almost 19% of the image points were scored
on this subject. Another 12% came from the company’s tieup with the Chinese
government. Microsoft lost much ground in January because of the negative image
points earned by it from coverage of its ongoing legal battles. Finance and
financial results coupled with negative product related stories also pushed the
company’s overall CIP down. Interestingly, despite a 23% drop in image points–from
2,066 CIP in December 2001 to 1593 CIP during January 2002–Wipro has already
emerged a clear number two.

January proved to be a bad month for Microsoft on the EQ index. The company was pushed out of the top 10 list on this index with dismal 73 points as compared to its Q3 figures of 107.
Cisco was on the top with 157 points, closely followed by TCS at 155.
Wipro retained its number three position with 138 points while the Q3 number two player, CMC slipped down to the eighth slot.
Satyam, the leader of the Q3 pack, also lost shine and ranked fourth with 135 points as against 138 in Q3. Intel with 129 points ranked fifth.
HP and NIIT surprised all by bouncing back dramatically. While HP jumped from 55 points in Q3 to 126 points in January 2002, NIIT improved its score from 57 to 87.

In terms of quality of exposure (EQ) index, which is a ratio between the
image and visibility points–greater the index, higher is the ratio of positive
coverage in relation to total coverage received–IBM, CMC and Microsoft slipped
in January over the last quarter. In other words, out of all the articles that
appeared for these companies, the ratio of neutral articles far outweighed the
positive coverage, thereby adversely affecting their total image points. HP,
Cisco and Satyam have had more positive articles vis-a-vis others.

SHUBHENDU PARTH In New Delhi

METHODOLOGY

Cirrus, a service from agencyfaqs, is a quantitative evaluation tool that
evaluates a company’s media relation activity in relation to that of the
competition by tracking on daily basis news and articles featuring more than
1,000 companies in over 100 leading publications. Each piece is run through two
measurement tools–the first measures the visibility of a company, while the
second interprets the exposure tonality. A number of companies are now employing
Cirrus to bring in measurability and, hence, accountability to their media
relations programs.

The model assigns quantitative weights to factors like gross reach, article
space and prominence of coverage. Each news item is then measured for these
positive determinants and collectively they make up the calculation of
visibility points assigned to the company. The visibility points, however,
represent only the coverage received by a company but does not address the
nature it. To measure exposure tonality, each news piece is interpreted for its
reporting tone (positive/neutral/negative slant).

Once the tone level has been established, the visibility score is overlaid
with the tone to arrive at the attendant Cirrus Image Points. A piece that has
been ascribed a negative level will bear negative image points. Therefore,
greater the item visibility, greater the negative image points credited to the
company.

(Write to sandeep@agencyfaqs or to srinibalram@agencyfaqs.com
for more details on Cirrus)

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