Beam Global Spirits & Wine, the drinks division of Fortune Brands, has appointed communications veterans Paula Erickson and Dan Cohen to its team.

Erickson will have overall responsibility for corporate and brand communications strategies in her new role as vice president of global external communications and brand public relations, Beam said yesterday (2 December).

Cohen is to become brand PR manager, representing Courvoisier Cognac, The Small Batch Bourbon Collection and El Tesoro de Don Felipe Tequila, among others, the firm said.

The moves show that Beam, which recently lost its CEO, Tom Flocco, is attempting to sharpen its marketing tactics as western economies head towards recession.

Erickson, who began on 1 December and was previously director of advertising and brand development at Ace Hardware, will report to Chris Swonger, senior vice president of corporate affairs.

Cohen, who has been on the board since October and comes from Edelman Public Relations, will report to Kate Laufer, senior public relations manager.