Communications Manager San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, Washington State


The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau is seeking to hire a full-time Communications Manager, with emphasis on Media Relations, to join our small team of dedicated professionals, who represent a Board of Directors and 360+ members on Lopez, Orcas, Shaw and San Juan Islands. The position is responsible for all communications of the bureau, including media, film, community and government relations, social media, and in-house marketing and communications projects. The ideal candidate will be a polished professional who is able to demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication, as well as relationship-building, skills. She/he will be passionate and knowledgeable about the San Juan Islands, stewardship principles, and sustainable tourism.

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau Mission

To enhance the economic prosperity of San Juan County by promoting the San Juan Islands as a preferred, year-round travel destination, while respecting and sustaining the Islands’ unique and diverse ecosystems, environments, lifestyles and cultures.

Job Responsibilities

To create and implement communications strategies to increase and enhance brand awareness of the San Juan Islands, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Media Relations – Nurture and expand media contact list; pro-actively identify, conceptualize and pitch story ideas; respond to all media inquiries and disseminate appropriate media leads to members; coordinate press trips/fam tours; perform fact checks; provide photos and B-roll; represent SJIVB at various media marketplaces and on state and regional press trips; track, compile and report media contacts and coverage metrics; post articles on website; disseminate coverage to members; update print and online media kits; and other related duties as required
  • Social Media – Implement social media strategies via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., on a regular basis, and track emerging social media trends
  • Film Liaison – Work with the film industry and Washington FilmWorks, the state film office, to bring commercials, films, catalog shoots, etc. to the county, and assist with location scouting, film permits, etc.
  • Stewardship Liaison – Serve as liaison to community stewardship organizations in order to accurately portray this information to the media. Take annual Marine Naturalist Training.
  • Visitor Education – Continue to develop “Leave Only Footprints” program, and create other programs to educate visitors regarding the Islands’ stewardship ethics
  • Community Relations – Submit regular news releases to local media and/or develop regular column to develop community awareness of SJIVB programs and economic impact of tourism, including National Tourism Week each May. Lend communications expertise to community tourism niches such as history, arts, culture, agri-tourism, culinary tourism, outdoor recreation, etc.
  • Government Relations – Work with Executive Director on local and state government relations to educate officials regarding economic impact of tourism, including annual Tourism Day in Olympia
  • Image Library – Manage and expand photo and video library, as well as photo gallery on website
  • In-House Communications Projects – Write and/or edit copy for seasonal E-Newsletters targeted at consumers and media, website pages, annual travel brochure, annual wedding guide, and other marketing projects that may arise
  • Crisis Communications – Formulate and implement a crisis communications plan when necessary, and in conjunction with county and town officials
  • Tourism Industry Meetings & Conferences – Attend various meetings and conferences for professional development and to track tourism trends on a state and/or regional level
  • Budget - Develop and manage annual budget
  • Perform other related duties as required

Qualifications, Skills & Knowledge

  • Polished communications professional able to represent the San Juan Islands brand
  • Bachelor’s degree and 3-5+ years experience in media relations, communications, journalism, public relations, marketing, advertising, hospitality, or related field
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills; ability to write, speak, present and serve as spokesperson in a clear, concise, impactful, persuasive, professional manner; excellent command of English grammar, punctuation, AP style and editing; excellent research and editing skills
  • Strong organizational skills, ability to handle multiple projects, priorities and deadlines with minimal supervision; attention to detail
  • Highly skilled in client relationship building and management
  • Consistently positive attitude and professional demeanor; tact and judgment in dealing with many different internal and external customers from many cultures
  • Lends communications and public relations expertise -- the “go to” person for bureau staff, Board and members
  • Energetic, highly motivated, self starter, takes initiative, curious, conscientious, results driven, solution oriented, innovative, creative, proactive, and a confident thinker
  • High degree of computer literacy with Microsoft Office, desktop publishing, and a basic working knowledge of Web 2.0
  • Ideal candidate will have existing media relationships and/or experience in tourism industry

Working Environment/Physical Conditions

  • Must be able to work occasional nights and weekends
  • Must be able to travel occasionally, within the U.S. and Canada
  • Must possess a valid Washington State driver’s license and working vehicle appropriate for business
  • Primary functions require maintaining physical condition necessary for walking, standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time; speaking in public; occasional travel; and ability to lift/manage 50 pounds (exhibit booth, boxes of brochures, etc.)
  • Regular office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Compensation and Benefits

Salary range: $45,000-$55,000 and medical/dental/vision group insurance plan for employee

Application Process

Please e-mail cover letter, resume, 3 professional references, and 5 writing samples (published or not) to [email protected]. Position open until filled; interviews begin in mid March. Only those candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted. No phone calls please. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau is located in Friday Harbor, Washington State. Getting Here

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