Technology firms dominate the PR League

Each month, we commission research looking at which of the top 20 international brands are dominating media coverage. In July, Google was knocked from its customary top spot by Apple, but in August it resumed its position at the top of the league. There was no change concerning which brands made the top five, the four most mentioned after Google were Microsoft, Mercedes, Apple and Honda.

The August PR League

Supplied by Echo Sonar

Mostly, the brands should be happy that there was little negative coverage, especially Mercedes which didn’t score any (but also had the least positive coverage at just 5 per cent). Google and Apple were the brands with the most positive stories, with 28 per cent of their coverage being good.

August Tonality

 Supplied by Echo Sonar

Here are the main topics for each brand:

Google – News focused on driving innovation, acquisitions, product launches and technology. For example on 26 August, bbc.co.uk reported: “Google is taking on internet telephone companies like Skype by allowing users to call from its free web-based email service.”

Microsoft – News was driven by Microsoft in the gaming industry, specifically product launches driving volumes, including this headline at zdnet.com on 16 August: “Windows Phone 7: Microsoft reveals launch titles and more on Xbox Live gaming”.

Mercedes – News coverage volumes were largely made up by mentions in passing about Formula One news. For instance, on 17 August skysports.com reported: “Nick Heidfeld has been released from his contract as Mercedes GP's test and reserve driver to join Pirelli's tyre development programme.”

Apple – The press profiled Apple as a global leader and the largest supplier of smartphone. One story at www.itportal.com on 11 August discussed the launch of the white iPhone: “Customers looking to buy a white iPhone4 may have to wait until next year according to Orange”.

Honda – The regional press reported multiple road accidents involving the Honda Civic, while other news focused on how it is the industry leader in hybrid motoring. Honda scored the most negative news out of all the brands last month (13 per cent of its coverage was negative), including this story on autoobserver.com on 16 August: “It appears thousands of Honda's Civic Hybrids may be experiencing accelerated deterioration of the car's crucial and expensive nickel-metal hydride battery pack.”

Methodology

PRmoment asked Echo Sonar to look at all UK online media coverage of the 20 top global brands as identified by Interbrand. Echo Sonar further analysed coverage of the five brands which had most coverage from 1 August to 31 August 2010, looking at volume and tonality.