Compiled ByTraci Purdum A good corporate image can benefit a company, but the public can be fickle in its perception of those companies, according to the third annual RQ (Reputation Quotient) Gold 2001 study conducted by Harris Interactive, a Rochester, N.Y.-based market research and consulting firm, and The Reputation Institute Inc., a private research and advisory organization based in New York. The study, which measured corporate reputations of 60 highly visible companies in the U.S., polled the public, consumers, investors, employees and boycotters. Twenty attributes classified into six dimensions of reputation -- emotional appeal, products and services, vision and leadership, social responsibility, financial performance and workplace environment -- were ranked. Those at the high end of the 100-point scale include Johnson & Johnson (82.5), Microsoft (81.8) and Coca-Cola (80.8). "The general public is remarkably good at sensing what companies are up to," says Charles Fombrun, executive director of the Reputation Institute. "On one hand, Microsoft earned good marks from the public for carrying out a smooth leadership transition from Gates to Ballmer and for emerging relatively unscathed from the government's antitrust efforts. Coca-Cola got credit for conveying invigorated leadership under CEO Dick Daft and unveiling an effective global advertising campaign. On the other hand, the public was not fooled by DaimlerChrysler's [61.9] rocky intercontinental marriage and Lucent's [64.5] unraveling business model." Other tech companies, aside from Lucent, that slipped in the ranks: AT&T (65.2), Gateway (69.7), Xerox (71.3), Amazon (70.1) and Yahoo (71.3). Additionally, troubled tire-maker Bridgestone/Firestone slipped to a 46.7 ranking and Philip Morris eked out a 56.4 score.