Sarah S. Berman is Founder and President of The Berman Group, Inc. Sarah has over 15 years of experience in strategic business communications and has earned a strong reputation for her creative corporate identity programs, targeted cross-marketing campaigns, creative advertising and sales training programs. Sarah and The Berman Group team produce frequent professional seminar and conference programs for clients in diverse industries. Recently, The Berman Group was tapped by the Mayor’s Office of New York City and New York City Economic Development Corporation to launch a public events series in Lower Manhattan to spur economic development along the Water Street corridor after Hurricane Sandy.
How did you get into the PR industry?
I studied Urban Planning and I was enamored by New York City when I arrived from Philadelphia to study. I got my first job in communications in the textile industry and then I found another position doing communications in the real estate business—I have remained focused on the real estate industry ever since.
Tell us about The Berman Group. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?
I wanted to help the construction and real estate industries define what they do and I found public relations to be a creative vehicle to spread the word. I was fortunate to make many friends in construction and real estate early in my career and my vision was really just to support the friends I had made in these industries. Today we are fortunate to be one of the top agencies serving these fields and I love to push the envelope of what is possible—whether it’s using new technology, hosting a huge industry event, or engaging the public in a publicity campaign.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to The Berman Group's success?
We have built strong relationships with media outlets as well as trade associations. We support several trade associations with pr, marketing and events services but we also have leveraged these associations to foster our networks and enrich our clients’ businesses through speaking and leadership roles.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
Everyone wants the newest technology enhancement or innovation—we need to be current and push our clients to move to the next level. Our programmers study and learn at every stage of their careers and we have used social media and technology-driven communications on every campaign we complete.
Life only happens when you show up.
The Berman Group's Motto?
Be the best you can be—no one can ever fault you for trying harder than anyone else.
Your greatest success as Founder/CEO of The Berman Group? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
My greatest success has been finding others who can innovate and lead areas of our business. Like any business owner, I have experienced setbacks, but I find it’s how we deal with them that is what people judge. My team depends on me to know the answer or the “way out” if a problem arises and almost everything in business can work out if you have the right attitude and a will to succeed.
Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Believe in people as much as you believe in yourself. Nurturing great talent has been a challenge but has given me the most satisfaction. I am extremely risk-adverse but starting my business was a great decision for me—aspiring entrepreneurs should know that if they love what they do and believe they do it well, others will see this too.
Describe the ideal experience using The Berman Group.
I would love to do a major charity event with all of our clients—we are coming up on our 10th anniversary and I have tried to figure out a way to bring people together around a cause like this.
How do you motivate your employees?
I support them as they learn, I always stand behind them, and I like to think we help them realize potential–we don’t set limits as to how much employees can achieve in any given position.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Fish tacos (ideally on a beach) with wine.
What literature is on your bed stand?
A ridiculous pile of fashion magazines that I don’t read until I travel; then I take a super heavy bag to the airport (one area that I realize can be aided by technology but I prefer to stay in paper age).
Role model - business and personal?
My dad (business and personal)-he owns a small auto repair business in Norristown, PA. I think we deal with the same issues every day but the cast of characters is different.
Spin class and becoming a better cook
Favorite travel destination?
I took an amazing journey to Zambia on a charitable mission at the end of last year and I hope to visit again soon.
What's next for The Berman Group?
I hope we get to keep working in a field we love with enough time and resources to support good causes.