Penn Schoen Berland launches in Middle East

DUBAI: ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller has launched the first Middle East office of Penn Schoen Berland.

DUBAI: ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller has launched the first Middle East office of polling firm Penn Schoen Berland.

Headquartered in Dubai, the new office has five staff members comprised of researchers and analysts.

PSB Middle East will offer corporate and government clients support with communications strategy development and brand positioning. The firm will focus on sectors including energy and environment, finance, food and beverage, healthcare, media and entertainment, retail, technology and telecommunications, and the government.

“We have a strong positioning in the US and Europe, and we have identified the Middle East as a key market for us,” said PSB interim global CEO Jay Leveton. 

This week PSB conducted a media outreach campaign about the new office, targeting Middle Eastern publications. The firm will continue to do outreach around the launch but did not elaborate on its plans. 

The company will focus on finding new clients, differentiating PSB Middle East's product, and helping clients understand the value of its research.

“In the Middle East we will be contending with the typical challenges you find in a communications consultancy every day, similar to Dubai, Tokyo, or Washington,” Leveton said. 

PSB is already established in the Middle East, providing the fieldwork and market research analysis for the annual ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey since 2008.

“We have a good understanding of what youth in the market are thinking and doing, and this launch is a great opportunity for us to leverage that. It's part of our natural progression," Leveton said. 

Research into public opinion is still limited in the region, said Leveton. PSB Middle East will aim to improve access to reliable data on audience and customer perceptions, and to help communicators in government, business, and civil society deliver more effective and strategic campaigns.

“One of the biggest issues is that the region's market follows a face-to-face methodology, which means that it may take longer to conduct research there,” he said. “But as things move forward, the pace and amount of the research will pick up in the Middle Eastern market.” 

Last week, PSB appointed Billy Mann as president.

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