How we pick the list: Simple question has complicated response

It’s the first question we get as soon as our ROI Influencers: Power List comes out each year: How do we pick the list?

There is not a simple answer.

While we take ownership of the rankings — and stand by them — it’s easy to say the selections are not ours and ours alone. 

In addition to following the news and newsmakers all year, we reach out to dozens of people in dozens of industries to get their recommendations. And we reach out to different people every year.

There is no formal nominating process, but dozens of suggestions pour in by phone or e-mail — which we welcome.

Our goal is to be accurate, which is why each “final” list gets at least one more “final” check from someone in the sector, just to make sure we have not overlooked an obvious selection.

That being said, we’ve always felt the beauty of our rankings is not found in the obvious choices, but in the selections of those many of you are not familiar with. We love to identify people who are otherwise unheralded.

Even more, we pride ourselves in searching for Influencers in communities that long have been shorted on lists such as these, including:

  • People of color;
  • Women;
  • Anyone from South Jersey.

After all, you have to acknowledge your shortcomings if you want to correct them.

We feel the depth among our Influencers is important. 

It’s why we changed the format to list folks by sectors. It’s why we long ago abandoned the idea that a Power List had to stop at 100.

And why, in a population of nearly 9 million, we feel it’s more than reasonable to suggest 200 or so have great influence.

These lists are never perfect. We strive to be accurate and diversified. And we’re always looking for suggestions. 

So, enjoy the list you’ll find in the pages ahead — or in the links below. And if you feel we’ve overlooked someone, let us know.

To read the ROI Influencers: Power List 2021, click here.