Political comms strategist John McTernan joins Penn Schoen Berland

Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), a global research-based consultancy, has announced that John McTernan, the political adviser, commentator and strategist, will join the firm as senior vice president.

John McTernan 1

John McTernan

London-based McTernan will lead the firm’s international political practice.

Don Baer, chair at PSB and worldwide chair and CEO at Burson-Marsteller, said: “John McTernan is a highly regarded pollster and political communications strategist with decades of experience counselling candidates, party leaders and heads of state. He is an ideal addition to PSB’s team of international political strategists, and our clients will benefit greatly from his experience, steady hand and sound judgment.”

Before joining PSB, McTernan was a columnist and writer for The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times and The Times. An experienced political strategist, he was director of political operations for the former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, director of communications for Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and chief of staff to Scottish Labour Party Leader Jim Murphy.

Previously, McTernan was thinker in residence for the Government of South Australia and Head of Policy for the Scottish Government.

Curtis Freet, CEO of PSB, to whom McTernan will report, added: “PSB has both historical and recent successes in campaign management and political communications and John brings a rich set of experiences to add to our portfolio. His career’s work providing strategic communications guidance to prime ministers and other political leaders across the globe will help refresh our political brand and serve as a strong complement to our corporate work, which has always been grounded in a political sensibility.”

McTernan will focus on expanding PSB’s political campaign management and polling work around the world and will provide public affairs and political analysis to PSB’s corporate clients. He said: “I relish the chance to build on PSB’s great history and strong brand to create a dynamic and growing international political practice.”

PSB is a member of Young & Rubicam Group and the WPP Group.

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