NEW YORK: The most visible influencers on US energy issues are Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Greentech Media editor-in-chief Eric Wesoff, and ClearView Energy Partners analyst Christine Tezak, according to a report from Text 100.
The 2012 Energy Digital Index, compiled by Text 100 and research firm Statsit, determined the most influential politicians, journalists, and industry analysts in the energy sector. The report evaluated the influencers' presence in media, blogs, and forum discussions through a series of searches that included energy-related keywords.
Whitfield, who serves as chairman of the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, ranked first in the elected officials category partly because of his time promoting an “all of the above” energy strategy that would use Kentucky coal and other sources of energy available in the US. Whitfield was followed in the elected official rankings by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).
Among journalists, Wesoff topped the list for his coverage of issues such as renewable energy sources, electric vehicles, and the bankruptcy of solar panel maker Solyndra. Associated Press energy reporter Jonathan Fahey, Politico energy reporter Andrew Restuccia, USA Today's Wendy Koch, and Grist staff writer David Roberts rounded out the top five media influencers.
Tezak had the highest influencer score among industry analysts because she is a source for top media outlets such as Reuters and Bloomberg as well as her analysis of climate change issues, including coal emissions and domestic drilling. Next in the analyst rankings were IDC Energy Insights' Sam Jaffe, GreenBiz Group chairman and executive editor Joel Makower, Bob Gohn from Pike Research, and IDC Energy Insights' Jill Feblowitz.
“Every campaign you do starts with an understanding of your audience,” said Nicole Fachet, VP and co-lead of the energy practice at Text 100. “PR professionals can use this report as a reference tool to get a jumpstart on identifying influencers who can help them champion a cause.”
The most frequently discussed issue among politicians and journalists was oil, while analysts talk about clean energy more than any other topic.