The Director of Communications is a senior level, highly experienced communications professional responsible for developing a Strategic Communications Plan for public relations and media activities to support the overall mission of Visit South Walton. This position reports to the Executive Director and works closely with the Tourism Development Council (TDC), TDC Committees, internal departments and community stakeholders to secure positive earned media coverage in consumer and travel media. The Director will possess key leadership traits to cultivate and manage talent within the Communications division.
As chief storyteller, the Director will embrace the VSW brand to create experiential stories that resonate with local, regional, and national target audiences. The ideal candidate will have communications leadership experience in the hospitality industry and a demonstrated ability to generate intrinsic value through the use of targeted outreach to the media.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
The following statements describe the principal functions of this job and its scope of responsibility, but should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work requirements. Individuals may perform other duties as assigned, including working in other functional areas to cover absences or relief, to equalize peak work periods or otherwise to balance the work load.
- Create and lead the TDC’s Strategic Communications plan across earned and owned channels, including public relations, influencer partnerships, content development, and other communication channels.
- Responsible for planning and overseeing the annual Communications budget.
- Develop media relations strategies which complement and amplify the overall Marketing and Sales objectives, seeking high-level placements in print, broadcast, and online media.
- Manage the day-to-day activities of national public relations firm, including but not limited to story development sessions, status calls, media relations strategies and implementation of ideas.
- Lead both consumer and trade media outreach to establish awareness and increase media coverage of South Walton as a nationally-renowned destination, including media missions, press trip coordination and collaborating with lead-generating agencies and partners.
- Oversees, develops and implements participation from regional and national media in press familiarization tours; develops tour concept; creates itinerary and manages all tour logistics from inception to completion and post-tour follow up.
- Establish and build strong relationships with key stakeholders, partners and members of the local hospitality community to develop and cultivate pitch opportunities.
- Establish and maintain relationships with community organizations to build support for the TDC’s mission and activities to unite stakeholders, industry partners and community leaders around the brand through coalition building and engagement in civic groups; liaising with the public on impacts of TDC operations on the community and other public concerns, and developing responses and strategies to address public concerns.
- Build connections with local and regional media contacts to support the TDC’s positioning as a regional community leader and reinforce the positive impact of the hospitality industry on the regional economy.
- Develop effective partner communications to keep the community abreast of TDC activities.
- Attend various community events.
- Monitor, analyze and communicate PR results on a monthly basis.
- Oversee online media engagement and social channels.
- Develop and lead a team that will capitalize on opportunities to position the organization as an innovative leader in the tourism industry.
- Promote a work environment that fosters creative thinking, innovative and rational risk taking.
- Clearly set expectations for all direct reports. Evaluate performance based upon expectations providing regular coaching and feedback.
- Ensure staff development, empowerment and training in a relevant and timely manner.
- Conduct timely performance appraisals of all direct reports to encourage, motivate and improve staff production and ensure consistency.
- Develop and maintain a crisis communications plan and manage implementation in response to emerging crisis incidents.
Serve on the Walton County Emergency Operations Committee. Maintain national, regional, state and local profile in travel industry through associations, committees, and cooperatives; travels and participates in industry networking and educational activities.
To apply, go to careers at http://www.co.walton.fl.us/jobs