Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Community Engagement

Title: Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Community Engagement

Reports to: Chief Advancement & Marketing Officer

Location: Sarasota, FL

Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation (formerly Van Wezel Foundation) Overview

Join our growing Foundation team of dynamic professionals to create a legacy project for Southwest Florida – a world-class performing arts center that you will be a part of. Roll up your sleeves and step into our fast-paced entrepreneurial organization to help us achieve something truly iconic. The mission of the Foundation is to create a world-class performing arts center that enriches the community, supports arts education, and inspires young minds.

The Foundation is partnering with the city of Sarasota, other regional municipalities, private philanthropists and foundations to build and operate what will be the performing arts centerpiece of Sarasota and the entire gulf coast region. The new performing arts center will be a public-private partnership in which the City of Sarasota and the Foundation will be the principal participants. Completing the project – construction, operations and programming – will require funding of more than $300 million, of which 50% is anticipated to be raised from philanthropic sources.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a growing leadership team during the start-up phase of an enormous project that will become an important cultural resource and legacy for Southwest Florida.


The Director of Marketing, PR and Community Engagement (DMPRCE) will lead the development and execution of an integrated plan to communicate the Foundation’s vision, mission and impact, raise the Foundation’s profile, and increase contributed revenue. The DMPRCE is responsible for defining and developing the Foundation’s multi-platform digital, social media and community engagement strategy, driving execution, and using data-driven insights to improve all aspects of our media, online and community presence.

The DMPRCE will be responsible for developing and executing community engagement projects and establishing meaningful partnerships with but not limited to community leaders, elected officials, and advocates to advance the Foundation’s mission. The DMPRCE will also work closely with the Directors of Advancement, Campaign Leadership and Leadership Giving on fundraising as the Foundation enters a new chapter to plan, fundraise, and build the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center. The right candidate will have talent in content development and the ability to strategically and effectively deploy persuasive communications across multiple channels. The DMPRCE will lead an integrated communications plan that includes a website, brand awareness, digital and printed assets, and public relations. The DMPRCE will also act as the Foundation’s primary storyteller, developing content to support Foundation goals. The position will supervise the Manager of Communications and Community Engagement.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Working with the CEO, Chief Advancement and Marketing Officer and senior management team, develops and leads the execution of institutional communication strategy and messaging.
  • Oversees the development of a comprehensive social media strategy and communications plan to increase visibility, fans, traffic and engagement to grow the Foundation community across digital channels, including leading the brand’s presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other relevant social media.
  • Manages 3rd party vendors, contractors, agencies and brand consultants as needed.
  • Supports the CEO’s public presentations and appearances.
    Serves as principal liaison to Van Wezel Hall marketing and communications department.
  • Shares regular multi-platform analytics updates with Foundation executive leadership and senior staff.
  • Prepares and implements a comprehensive media relations and marketing plan for the Foundation.
  • Oversees implementation of publications and printed materials for the Foundation
  • Creates and maintains standards, policies and procedures for Foundation websites.
  • Identifies opportunities to improve web solutions and improve website visitor satisfaction through process improvements and usage of new technologies.
  • Prepares and manages the Foundation’s marketing budget.
  • Maintains a strong ongoing relationship with the media. Serve as the first point-of-contact in story development and photo opportunities.
  • Crafts official statements and press releases on behalf of the Foundation; trains and coaches staff/volunteer leadership on media and communication protocol.
  • Develops and maintains crisis communication plans for both internal and external audiences.
  • Grows the Foundation’s reach throughout the Gulf Coast, increasing its database through community engagement, corporate relationships, and new community partnership opportunities.
  • Builds and nurtures strategic relationships to enhance support for the Foundation and serves as a community leader building collaborations based on trust and credibility to advance the Foundation’s mission and goals.
  • Represents the Foundation at community forums, industry events, and in local and state government opportunities.
    Performs other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Strong analytical skills: ability to understand and report metrics, help establish engagement measurement methodology, and analyze results. Demonstrated ability to use metrics to shape strategy, tactics and editorial decisions.
  • Ability to synthesize ideas and information into clear, persuasive prose; possess strong writing and editing capabilities.
  • Must be able to create and effectively implement the strategy in a hands-on manner with a commitment to best practices including KPI’s to measure outcomes.
  • Experience in developing, presenting and implementing innovative strategic marketing plans with structured analytical processes in terms of segmentation and targeting across multiple marketing communications channels.
  • Keen eye for well-designed, simple and human digital experience.
  • Demonstrated skills in proactively building relationships and partnerships with the community stakeholders and team members.
  • Supervisory experience and leadership skills in working effectively with staff, consultants and vendors.
  • Ability to manage competing demands and priorities.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Positive attitude, outstanding work ethic, and strong sense of urgency and commitment to results.
  • Self-starter with the ability to handle ambiguity and willingness to accept additional responsibility.
  • Ability to work weekends and evenings.
  • Proficient on all social media platforms and services.
  • Knowledge of MailChimp, Constant Contact, Wordfly, Luminate Online, PowerPoint, Canva.
  • Strong knowledge of SEO, SEM, re-targeted and programmatic advertising and other key digital trends and tools, including Google Analytics, Adwords and experience managing conversion and lead scoring using these platforms.
  • Knowledge of HTML/CSS/JavaScript and web analytic platforms.
  • Experience driving acquisition and contributing to the growth of existing constituents.

Minimum Requirements:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.

  • Master’s degree in marketing, communications, computer science or related field of study and four (4) years of experience in content and digital marketing; or Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, computer science or related field of study and eight (8) years of experience in content and digital marketing
  • InDesign, and WordPress are a plus. Graphic design experience helpful

Position Status:

This is an exempt full-time position. Generally, the hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, for a 40-hour work week. The hours may be adjusted as required to ensure that the job is accomplished. Some weekends/nights work is to be expected. This position generally has some local and regional travel, but typically no more than five percent of the time.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.
While performing the duties of this job, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet to moderate.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job successfully. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand and reach with hands and arms. The employee is regularly required to use their hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to walk and sit. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.


The Foundation has reviewed this job description to ensure that essential functions and basic duties have been included. The Foundation reserves the right to change it at its sole discretion at any time and without any advance notice. This job description and list of functions are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all functions, responsibilities, skills and abilities. Additional functions and requirements may be assigned by supervisors as deemed appropriate.

The Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation (formerly Van Wezel Foundation) is an equal-opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.