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Director of Public Relations

Title: Director of Public Relations
Reports to: VP of Marketing and Communications
How to Apply: Please apply through Searchwide Global in this link only. No calls, please.

Position Summary

Visit Savannah is seeking an experienced Public Relations leader to oversee tourism-focused strategic public relations plans, generating positive exposure for our destination developing and maintaining strong relationships with industry writers and editors, partners, and stakeholders. This role has a major focus on supporting Savannah and Visit Tybee Island but also will support the Savannah Sports Council and the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

Strategic Communication Planning 

  • Author and execute annual strategic communication plans for Visit Savannah and Visit Tybee Island ensuring alignment with organizational goals. 
  • Serve as a critical leader in the development of our growing sustainability messaging for both the Chamber and Visit Savannah, and conduct strategic pitches that garner positive coverage. 
  • Collaborate with other marketing team members to ensure alignment of earned media plans with advertising, marketing, and promotional strategies, creating a cohesive, integrated marketing approach. 

Media Relations 

  • Maintain a strong non-local media relations contact list, growing those national and international relationships through compelling pitches that land positive stories.  
  • Develop a strong in-person visit plan (e.g., desksides) as well as other creative ways to connect with media contacts to build stronger relationships for our organization. 
  • Lead the meetings and conventions media relations strategy, developing contacts in that industry and partnering with the Savannah Convention Center on coverage opportunities. 
  • Support the Director of Communications and DEI Strategy in key Chamber of Commerce PR initiatives, including finding creative ways to support through non-local media contacts. 
  • Author and lead distribution of any Visit Savannah and Visit Tybee Island press releases. 
  • Lead tourism-focused media hosting, including FAMs and in-market visits. 
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the organization in interviews and press conferences as needed. 

Media Monitoring and Reporting 

  • Evaluate ongoing media coverage, evaluate campaign success, and communicate key wins to internal stakeholders and partners. 
  • Present plans and results to stakeholders at board meetings as needed. 

Community Engagement 

  • Participate in community events and establish strong relationships with partners and community groups to maintain a positive reputation for Visit Savannah, Visit Tybee Island, the Savannah Sports Council, and the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Management 

  • Manage the public relations budgets for Visit Savannah and Visit Tybee Island effectively, ensuring resources are allocated efficiently. 
  • Supervise and mentor a Public Relations Manager to ensure their work is effective and that they have opportunities to grow in their role. 

Supervisory Responsibility 

  • One Public Relations Manager. 

Other responsibilities as assigned by the organization to support its evolving needs and goals.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, Communications, Marketing, or a related field. 
  • Extensive experience (7+ years) in public relations, media relations, and corporate communications, preferably in the travel and tourism industry. 
  • A strong network of media contacts and relationships with key industry influencers. 
  • Demonstrates commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles and a track record of fostering an inclusive work environment, promoting diversity, and implementing initiatives that support DEI goals. 
  • Proven ability to craft clear, concise, and compelling press releases, articles, and other communication materials that adhere to AP style guidelines. 
  • Crisis communication experience and the ability to handle sensitive situations. 
  • Leadership skills to manage budgets, supervise teams, and drive results. 
  • Crisis communications experience. 
  • Budget management experience. 
  • Flexible working hours to include some nights and weekends. 
  • Passion for promoting travel and tourism. 
  • Proficiency in multiple languages a plus, especially Spanish, German, and/or Korean, is a highly desirable qualification. 

Key Characteristics

  • Excellent relationship-building skills. 
  • Proven ability to activate a proactive, outbound pitch strategy to engage audiences and drive results to the destination. 
  • AP style writing skills and ability to craft and execute press releases, articles, and other communications.
  • Proactive, proven ability to advance projects forward, meeting deadlines, and achieving results. 
  • Take ownership and pride in work. 
  • The ability to work autonomously. 
  • Supportive/collaborative/team-oriented. 
  • Engaged with innovation and creativity; bold at trying new things. 
  • Highly accountable. 
  • Excellent presentation skills. 
  • Comfortable and confident in public speaking. 
  • Committed to DEI and fostering an inclusive environment. 

Top Priorities

  • Understand organization and market. 
  • Dive in and get to know the destination. 
  • Media monitoring and reporting. Get familiar with tools such as Cision. Analyze and measure results. 
  • Activate a proactive, outbound pitch strategy. 

How to Apply: Please apply through Searchwide Global in this link only. No calls, please.