Director, Communications

Visit Detroit
January 11, 2022
Detroit, MI
Job Type


This position is charged with formulating the strategic direction of Visit Detroit communications and public relations to increase awareness of metro Detroit's assets that will lead to increased visitation and economic spending in the region. This position works closely with the President and CEO and interacts frequently with other senior Visit Detroit staff, board, and members regarding communications programs and public affairs strategies. This position develops working relationships with local and out-of-area media representatives to ensure positive coverage of the areas' tourism assets as well as manage the day-to-day relationships and work with contracted public relations firms. This position is charged with the development and execution of a media crisis communications plan for the organization. This role develops the messaging and creation of public presentations for the President and CEO.

Major Job Dimensions

  • Supervise development and execution of annual public relations and public affairs plans to assist in achieving annual goals established for the organization. This includes media pitch strategies and messages, designating target media contacts, planning media tours, conference and tradeshow participation, and developing effective media information materials for consumer and trade leisure travel media, local news media, and meetings & conventions industry media.
  • Lead the development of media tours for travel writers and lead the execution plans. Participates in hosting both domestic and international writers, individually and in groups.
  • Develop the messages and prepare all public presentations for the president and CEO including speechwriting and audio-visual support. Audiences include but are not limited to corporate leaders, non-profit leaders, sales customers, developers and media.
  • Develop media messaging on significant issues such as new development in the region, crime and safety, and pandemic response and communicate these messages to staff to ensure unified voices with customers and to media.
  • Lead the effort to create awareness of the DMCVB in the local market through the creation of PR programs such as Hometown Tourist Day, in collaboration with the Partnership and Services department.
  • Supervise public relations agencies, freelance writers and other contracted services needed to assist in achieving public relations goals.
  • Establish and manages budget for annual marketing communications and public relations in order to achieve program goals within established budget parameters and on schedule.
  • Serve as a liaison with local, regional and national stakeholders to collaborate on tourism messaging and programming for Detroit and/or for the industry. Stakeholders to include but are not limited to Michigan Association of Convention & Visitors Bureau, Travel Michigan, Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan, Brand USA and US Travel.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Approve content of all public relations and public affairs materials for Visit Detroit including press releases, tip sheets and speeches.
  • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with key local and travel media representatives.
  • Represent Visit Detroit at travel writer conferences to build relationships and pitch Detroit as a travel destination.
  • Work with Convention Sales and Group Tour to determine and execute public relations support needed for incoming conventions and meetings.
  • Represent Visit Detroit at industry, association, community meetings and events.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and other Characteristics required of the Position:

  • Ability to think strategically, analytically and creatively.
  • Ability to establish and follow detailed action plans, including timelines and budgets.
  • Ability to make effective and persuasive public and written presentations to internal and external audiences of all levels.
  • Ability to respond effectively to quickly changing priorities and responsibilities.
  • Ability to absorb and manage workload requiring reasonable irregular evening and weekend hours.
  • Ability to work effectively in teams and to establish positive relationships with peers, media and professional colleagues.
  • Solid understanding of all aspects of public relations programming and principles.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Extensive speechwriting experience.
  • Neat and professional appearance.
  • Understanding of political issues and practices within the national and international tourism industry, Michigan and metropolitan Detroit.
  • Ability to travel by air and ground transportation unrestricted.
  • Valid Michigan driver license.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in Journalism, Communications or Public Relations
  • 8 years professional, paid experience in communications or public relations
  • 3 years speechwriting experience
  • 3 years of experience managing professional level staff.
  • Record of developing strategic business plans or public relations programs.
  • Intermediate skill in personal computer software applications.
  • Knowledge of area tourism products.
  • Ability to make effective and persuasive public and written presentations.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's degree in communications or related field.
  • Ten year's professional, paid experience in journalism, communications or public relations.
  • Tourism industry marketing and/or public relations experience.
  • Extensive local media and national travel media contacts.


Drop files here browse files ...