It will be interesting to see the reactions to the Harris/WSJ rankings of the world’s best and worst corporate reputations [free feature].
“Top-ranked Microsoft managed to beat Johnson & Johnson, whose emotionally appealing baby-products business had kept it in first place for a remarkable seven consecutive years.
The article implies that Bill Gate’s personal philanthropy efforts are what raised the company’s rank. This seems quite logical — even obvious — but I can’t see in the actual survey or explanations of methodology — except, perhaps, from the comments of survey respondents — where the theory that Gate’s personal actions are what drove up the reputation of the company. Again, I think the theory is probably correct, but it’s just a theory — it’s not something teased out in the survey but is, rather, an interpretation by the reporter.
For fun, here are my predictions for the response from various places on the blogosphere to the announcement that Microsoft is the world’s most respected company:
From PR bloggers: “It proves allowing employees to blog helps humanize a corporation and soften its reputation.”
From some tech bloggers: “It’s because of Robert Scoble.”
From other tech bloggers: “It’s because Robert Scoble no longer works there.”
From tech media: “It’s because real people don’t read blogs.”
From legal bloggers (blawgers): “It’s because of the time lapsed between the antitrust settlement and now.”
From business bloggers: “Warren Buffett’s billions are driving up the reputation of Microsoft. What’s his ROI on that investment?”
From pop culture bloggers: “It’s proof that people love John Hodgman and hate Justin Long.”
From cult of Mac bloggers: “They only surveyed idiots. What about viruses?”
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