PRmoment’s regular analysis of the PR performance of global brands, shows that Google continues to grab the most headlines

Each month, we commission research looking at which of the top 20 international brands are dominating media coverage. This month we focus on coverage in UK national newspapers. The top five brands to hit the headlines (in order of greatest amount of coverage) are Google, Apple, Microsoft, Toyota and Disney. Comparing this to our last study reveals that Disney has made it into the top five at the expense of Coca-Cola. However, the last period of research did focus on online, rather than print, media.

The PR League - by media volume

Supplied by Echo Sonar

Considering today’s obsession with new media and latest technology, it is hardly surprising that the table is topped by Google, Apple and Microsoft. In the first two Brand League Tables, Microsoft was ahead of Apple in terms of coverage, but in the last month Apple has succeeded in scoring more newspaper column inches.

The PR League: Tonality of leading brands

 Supplied by Echo Sonar

Since PRmoment’s league table began in February 2010, Toyota has been the brand generating the most negative coverage. The percentage of bad stories about the company has actually increased from 30 per cent to 38 per cent in the last period. Whereas Disney wins the prize for least amount of negative coverage (2 per cent). The greatest source of news for all the brands, apart from Disney, is the Financial Times (FT). Disney appears most often in The Guardian.

Toyota’s troubles obviously began with the massive recall of many of its vehicles last year, and it hasn’t been given an easy ride by the media since. One of the recent FT stories about Toyota concerned yet another unwelcome investigation. On May 11, FT.com writes: “US opens new investigation into Toyota”, describing a “further blow to Toyota’s image”.

Google, on the other hand, with just 6 per cent of negative coverage, appears to be the media’s darling. Andy Barr, co-founder of PR agency 10 Yetis, believes that this position is firmly deserved: "I firmly believe that Google is well worth the love that it receives from the media. Not only does it consistently put out interesting and engaging stories that demonstrate that it really 'gets' the media, it is also a great business inspiration story." Barr adds that Google's success in a relatively short time is a huge motivator for small businesses and start ups with big ideas, which is another reason for the media’s admiration.

Methodology

PRmoment asked Echo Sonar to look at all UK print media coverage of the 20 top global brands as identified by Interbrand. Echo Sonar further analysed coverage of the five brands which dominated the national newspapers (Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Observer, and The Independent) by volume of articles, assessing tonality. The research period was 12 April to 11 May 2010.