Thursday, March 04, 2010

West Michigan Companies Fare Well on 'Most Admired' List

Of the five Michigan companies that made the Fortune Magazine list of "World's Most Admired Companies," three are from West Michigan. In order to make the list of most admired, companies had to be ranked in the top half of their industries. 1,400 companies were considered, and 346 companies made the cut. None of the Michigan companies are in the top 50.

Herman Miller of Zeeland held its number 1 ranking in the Home Equipment, Furnishings industry. In the same industry, Steelcase of Grand Rapids was ranked 6th, slipping from number 2 a year ago. Kellogg, of Battle Creek, moved up from 6th last year to 5th in the Consumer Food Products industry.

Pulte Homes of Bloomfield Hills and Dow Chemical of Midland were the other two Michigan companies to make the most admired list.

Let's hope the positive reputation of these West Michigan companies enhances the reputation of the West Michigan region as well.

The list is determined by a survey of executives and analysts who rate companies in their industry on nine criteria, from investment value to social responsibility. However, the consumer and other publics are not consulted. So it becomes difficult to conclude that this list is of full public relations value in terms of reputation--it's an 'insiders' view. However, once the list is published in the March 22 issue of Fortune, those external publics of investors, consumers and others will no doubt take notice.

One interesting observation. Apple topped the list again for one primary reason: products. That's a good reminder to PR pros who get too carried away with messaging. Reputation is not based on image, but experience.

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