Media Monitoring division of Maverick PR has released the 2016 Media Banking Report. Among other things, it features the Top 3 Featured Economists in Indonesia. The battle for “the most featured analyst” title in 2016 was undeniably dominated by PermataBank economist Josua Pardede, followed by BCA Chief Economist David Sumual.

Banks depend on trust and there is nothing that wins trust more easily than thought leadership. This is why so many banks empower their economists to become their spokespersons. A media savvy economist makes the bank relevant to its customers and other stakeholders by providing learned opinions and analysis on market trends and the economy. In the process they win credibility and trust for the bank.

With such an important task before them how well do banks empower their economists to become their spokespersons and how well do these economists actually perform?

At Maverick’s Media and Analytics section we collected data from January 2015-December 2016 and came up with intriguing findings.

Our data suggested that each of the media houses have their go-to economists whose opinion they often seek out for a quote on articles, but not all go-to economists are equal: some get ahead of the pack to become media darlings.

In 2015, such a role was shared between former Standard Chartered economist Eric Sugandi and PermataBank economist Josua Pardede. Eric showed strong media visibility in Q1-Q3 2015, before he left the bank in Q4. Eric was highly quoted by the media during his active years that we ranked him as the third most featured economist in 2015-2016, despite missing out on the later half of our two-year observation after he ended his tenure in 2015.

He is still frequently quoted by the media. However, as this report didn’t collect data from non-bank institutions, we didn’t take his current performance into account.

In the meantime, Josua stepped into the breach and cemented his position as “media darling” in Q4 2015. His total mention/quote in media has grown each quarter, and generated the most mention/quote.

He was even more visible in Q2 2016 when his coverage exceeded 100 articles for the first time, and peaked in Q4 2016 with 146 mentions/quotes.

He was followed by BCA Chief Economist David Sumual, whose coverage also consistently grew from quarter to quarter. In Q3 2016, he was mentioned/quoted in 100 articles – his personal best thus far. BCA, however, is a much larger BUKU IV bank than BUKU III PermataBank, so Josua was actually punching above his weight.

There is quite a gap between Josua and David. Josua was dominating the economist coverage in banking industry. His position only once replaced by David in Q3 2015, with only a slight difference. In two-year span, Josua gained 200 articles more than David.

Based on this data, we see that Josua is clearly the current media darling. His performance has proven to be beneficial for PermataBank’s media performance. In Q3 2016, for instance, Josua made up 44.1% of PermataBank total coverage.

Beside the top three economist-spokespersons, several new economists have started to emerge in 2016. Among them are Mandiri Chief Economist Anton Gunawan (88 mentions/quotes in 2016), Standard Chartered Bank Chief Economist Aldian Taloputra (64), and Mandiri economist Andry Asmoro (53). Only Anton, however, showed a consistent positive trend, while Aldian and Andry saw their coverage dropping over time.

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