One of the founders of Specsavers is to oversee the company's public relations.
Mary Perkins will head the new in-house PR department, which is responsible for Specsavers' professional and consumer PR, and raising brand awareness.
The company is also looking to appoint an agency in Scotland.
Previously, PR fell under the remit of a general communications department.
Now Perkins, formerly purchasing director, becomes PR director of a dedicated department. She oversees the work of consumer PR manager Jo Moody, and Gill Robinson, who has moved from the professional publications manager role, to professional communications manager.
The moves reflect a change in the company's marketing activities. 'In the past we have concentrated on building brand awareness through advertising and above-the-line activities,' said Perkins.
'Although we will continue our marketing, in an increasingly competitive environment we felt it was time to give more emphasis to PR, which has an important part to play in the marketing mix,' she added.
Specsavers retains Barclay Stratton as its national PR agency, Equinox PR in Wales and Carmah Communications in Northern Ireland.
Perkins co-founded the company in 1984. It now has 400 stores throughout the UK, Ireland and Holland, with a 25 per cent market share.