Fast 15: Molly Blakeman

by Talk Business & Politics (admin@talkbusiness.net) 60 views 

Molly Blakeman believes in going the extra mile.

“I like to get things done and get them done right,” she said.

The Paragould native plays an active role in managing public perception of the world’s largest retailer, as senior manager of national media relations and a spokesperson for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

She calls the office, “probably the busiest press house in the country, besides the White House.” Her work requires her to field interviews with news sources like The New York Times, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” The Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post on a regular basis.

Blakeman also took the reins of all media activities surrounding the 2014 Walmart Shareholder’s Meeting — an event that draws A-list celebrities and puts a national spotlight on the company and Northwest Arkansas, and she has played a major role during the last few years in integral initiatives, including back-to-school promotions and Getting to the Heart of Christmas, a philanthropic effort done in partnership with NBC’s “Today” show. 

Blakeman said she is motivated by her coworkers, from whom she is always learning.

“That team has helped me grow up in Walmart,” she said.

She was exposed to the media world early, as her mother is a marketing professor at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. Blakeman earned a degree in public relations in 2010 from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, and was offered a position as assistant to the vice president of corporate communications at Walmart.

Blakeman took the job, but with decided intention to eventually return to her first passion, politics. She had previously worked for Sen. Mark Pryor and on several political campaigns, and her father works in politics in Northwest Arkansas. However, she soon fell in love with the Walmart job.

During that role, she was taught the importance of a great attitude and to be willing to learn, and that hard work pays off, she said.

She worked her way up from that assistant position, while also absorbing the insider knowledge that proximity to a communications executive afforded her.

In the community, Blakeman is involved with the Artinfusion at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, helping with the effort’s public relations needs. 

In her free time, she watches a lot of news and has taken up bike riding, recently competing in the Tour de Toad race in Conway. 

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