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Bob Berland on Transforming a Print Company into a Communications Provider

Published on February 14, 2012

Bob Berland, President of Berland Communications discusses how they transformed their legacy company into an integrated communications provider.

My name is Bob Berland.  My company is Berland Communications and we are an integrated marketing solutions company.  The reality is, is our company started back in 1927 and was founded by my grandfather, Sam Berland, and it was called Berland Printing, and we have been Berland Printing for about 84 years.  And just recently we effected our company’s very first name change from Berland Printing to Berland Communications, and that is a huge, huge decision in our organization’s history to make.  And the reason that we did that is because over the last seven to ten years we have transitioned from what was once considered a traditional conventional printing company into a communications organization with a focus on database marketing, and cross-channel strategies are what we use to effect our data base marketing.

And, therefore, we still utilize print.  We still have presses.  But we also integrate email marketing, SMS text messaging, direct mail, driving people to a website, creating landing pages, capturing information, trigger response mechanisms.  And we’ve been doing all of those types of campaigns and utilizing that technology over the last seven to ten years.  So Berland Printing was not a name that really reflected what it is that we do.  And it’s been an exciting journey.  We feel that we are now in a space that has great growth potential.  We’re excited about where we’re at.  We’re excited about the type of work that we’re doing.  We are expert at producing print, but we are also expert at producing cross-channel strategy campaigns.  And it’s an exciting time for our organization, in the history of our organization, to be where we are today.

With change comes resistance, and our company had to get used to the idea of not being perceiving ourselves as a traditional print company, but rather a technology organization.  And that took a lot of effort on behalf of our leadership team and a lot of buy-in from our staff, and it was not an easy transition.  But our staff now, today, is not intimidated by the technology component.  They don’t feel like their jobs are threatened and that they’re going to be eliminated because somebody else is going to come in.  But they have embraced the change, and it’s really exciting to see our team get excited about, and show the pride that they have, about effecting these cross-channel multi-media integrating marketing campaigns.  They’re starting to drink the Kool-Aid.  

And so the change for us has been one that is now starting to reflect everybody’s buy-in, for the lack of a better term.  The future of our organization lies in our commitment to work hard, continue to try to improve on what we’re doing today, to be better for tomorrow.  We’re never satisfied with the status quo.  You know, there’s a saying—you’re either moving forward or you’re moving backwards, you’re never standing still.  And we are continually pushing ourselves to the next level.  Probably the biggest challenge that we face is trying to stay focused on our core competencies and not get drawn into some of the other areas that this integrated marketing arena can kind of suck you into.  So that’s been a challenge but, you know, we’re excited about what we’re doing.

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