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Media Demands Corporate Transparency

In a first-of-its-kind research on 'Media-Business Interface' carried out jointly by Orion PR, the reputation management advisory, and Oriel, the Media and Soft Skills Training Firm, Corporate India is almost unanimous in calling for greater accountability from the Media and has suggested both internal and external regulatory mechanisms.

The Media, on the other hand, believe that, as part of Corporate governance, Corporates should be more transparent and open to the Fourth Estate, and more forthcoming with information.

"The opinion poll was carried out over the last one month amongst 300 journalists and Corporate spokesmen (150 each) covering Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad," Khalid Jamal, Principal Consultant & CEO, Orion PR, informs.

The poll covered host of issues concerning the current relationship between the Media and Corporate India:

Media's Perception Of Corporate India

  1. 57% journalists polled say Corporate India has changed for the better in its approach towards the Media in the last 5 years. However, the respondents say, Corporates need to be much more transparent and approachable.
  2. 29% say that Corporate India has marginally improved in its approach to the Media
  3. 14% feel Corporates are still negative about the Media

Corporate India's Perception Of The Media

  1. 63% of Corporates believe what the Media writes has a direct impact on their reputation, and suggest that the Media should be aware of the harm inaccurate and unsubstantiated reports can do to Corporate Reputation, and should therefore be responsible in reporting.
  2. These respondents complained of the lack of accountability on the part of the Media, and the absence of both internal and external mechanisms to check 'misleading reports'.
  3. Still, they feel the Media's understanding of how businesses function has improved
  4. They believe that media management has assumed importance in the last five years for top management, and considerable management time is now allocated to it.
  5. 28% believe the Media has improved marginally in its understanding of businesses and accuracy of reporting.
  6. 9% believe media coverage has no impact on their business, hence hold no opinion

Media's Positive & Negative Experiences
With Corporate India

  1. Some in Corporate India, especially at senior management level, are professional in their dealing with the Media. However, most will need to understand the Media's functioning and role far better for an effective interface.
  2. When you need the spokesman most, mostly he isn't available.
  3. Slow in responding to media queries or too aggressive.
  4. Some cross the limit, seeking publicity.

Corporate India's Positive & Negative
Experiences With The Media

  1. They, too, are becoming professional in their approach, thanks to increased and better interaction with the Corporates and competition in the Media.
  2. Very few prepare for interviews. Need to do more homework.
  3. Lack in understanding the sensitivities involved in business.
  4. Very often, 'accuracy' lacking in reports.
  5. Rarely open to corrections / suggestions.

Segment Of Industry That's Most
Communicative With The Media

  1. Information Technology and Healthcare.

Segment Of Industry That's Least
Communicative With The Media

  1. Financial Segment.

Media's Suggestion For Better Business-
Media Interface

  1. Availability of top management for interaction.
  2. Timely response.
  3. Transparency.
  4. Forthcoming with information.
  5. Understand media's functioning.

Corporates Suggestion For Better Business-
Media Interface

  1. Prepare well and be responsible.
  2. Give importance to accuracy.
  3. Admit mistakes and correct them.
  4. Understand the priorities of top management and accommodate.

Conclusion/Summary

The learning from this opinion poll are important for both Corporates and media as this will help understand the expectations of both sides. If nothing else, these learning will help in the future interactions of Corporates and the Media, and pave the way for effective interface," Jamal sums up.

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