BENTONVILLE, AR: Wal-Mart has hired Chrysler marketing vet Julie Roehm as SVP of marketing communications, a new position.
At Wal-Mart she will be responsible for the overall development and execution of advertising strategies, creative services, and special events for Wal-Mart Stores USA. She will report to CMO John Fleming.
Kevin Thornton at Wal-Mart said her appointment will not change the retailing giant's media relations or PR strategy.
"It's really a different area, and she'll be mainly focused on advertising," he said.
Although PR is separate from marketing at Wal-Mart, Roehm said she plans to bring PR to the table.
"I'd love to involve PR in marketing," she said. "At Chrysler we found PR to be a tremendous asset to marketing. One of the first things I want to do when I get there is meet the PR team and work with them to see what we can do together."
She said a lot of marketing efforts at Chrysler were integrated with a PR team getting messages to media. "I'm hoping to build that kind of relationship," she said.
Roehm, who came to Chrysler from Ford Motor in 2001, where she helped launch the Ford Focus among other vehicles, made a name for herself at Chrysler with risky – and sometimes risqué – ad campaigns, as well as delving into new media and promotional activity. In 2005, she was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame and featured in Automotive News as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in the Automotive Industry.
Suraya Dasante, public relations manager for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge Communications, said Chrysler will divide Roehm's responsibilities between Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge marketing teams.