WASHINGTON, D.C.: Mike Berland returned to Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB) as president on January 4, after three years away from the firm. In the new role, Berland will report to CEO Mark Penn and will head global business development from PSB's New York office.
Berland first joined the firm in 1990, and left in 2006 to work as an independent communications consultant. His departure wasn't a quiet one, though. In 2007, shortly after leaving PSB, Berland was involved in a lawsuit with the firm over alleged client solicitation, but it was dropped shortly after being filed. Berland declined to comment further.
During the interim, Berland worked independently with clients like the National Hockey League, wrote a book, What Makes You Tick, and handled some contract work with PSB for clients like Estée Lauder.
“After 20 years of being in the industry, PSB was an integral part of my life,” Berland said. “Mark Penn and I have been in constant contact since I left, and it was a matter of the opportunity being there [for me to return]. Having the perspective of being outside for three years helped me appreciate that opportunity more clearly.”
Berland said he will focus on spreading PSB's global footprint, building on client and research work in areas like Asia and Latin America. In 2005, he helped launch PSB's London office.
During his previous time with PSB, Berland built up a portfolio of clients in several sectors, including entertainment, business, and government. He worked on Hillary Clinton's 2006 senatorial and 2008 presidential race, and with Michael Bloomberg in his 2001 and 2005 mayoral campaigns in New York.
“My area of expertise is messaging and targeting, to identify the appropriate groups that will give my client victory,” he said. “I'll be taking those lessons from the campaign trail and applying them to our clients.”