DETROIT: General Motors has promoted the former head of PR at Saturn and moved another company veteran into the vacated post.
DETROIT: General Motors has promoted the former head of PR at
Saturn and moved another company veteran into the vacated post.
Julie Hamp, former Saturn VP for communications, has been named group
director of communications for GM’s North America Car Group. She will
oversee a staff of 35 pros, and is responsible for internal
communications at 13 GM plants, supervising what the company calls
’business integrators’ (essentially PR staffers who deal with employees
and local media).
Hamp, who had spent a year and a half at Saturn after four years with
Cadillac, said she took the position because of its focus on overall
communications issues and messages. A GM employee since 1982, Hamp also
noted her interest in the engineering side of the auto business, and
said she will have the opportunity to provide information on the
engineering and technology aspects of new GM models.
Replacing Hamp at Saturn is Susan Mallino, whose GM tenure began in
Most recently, she was director of communications in the GM Technical
Center, where she headed media relations and employee communications for
GM’s research, development and planning arms, advanced technology
vehicles and engineering and design centers.
Along with new model introductions, Mallino’s PR challenges will include
continuing to stress Saturn’s consumer-focused approach to car sales and
maintaining good relations with dealers and with the United Auto Workers
It will be difficult, if not impossible, for Mallino to generate the
extensive media attention Saturn received when it launched as a
’different’ kind of car company, observers noted. Saturn has gotten
media attention of late with the debut of its L-series, a new larger
Saturn, but the company has had a low profile.
Hamp is aware of this: ’We cannot assume that growth in the product
alone is the way we’re going to grow our company.’ Mallino, then, will
need to find other ways to capture public and press attention. One
possible growth area may be using the Internet to reach consumers. At
the same time, the company must be sensitive to the needs of dealers
concerned that auto manufacturers may sell cars directly via the Web and
thus bypass dealers.