Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Harrisonburg, is seeking an experienced marketing professional to lead our organizational storytelling and marketing of downtown Harrisonburg to the local and regional area. The Director of Marketing sets the organization’s marketing, promotions, and communications direction; has creative control over strategy and implementation; designs and implements marketing plans and campaigns for the downtown district overall as well as for individual HDR programs and projects. Success in this position looks like regional awareness for downtown’s businesses and attractions as well as local awareness for HDR and what the organization does. This individual must be on top of current technologies and trends in destination marketing and have a portfolio of projects to demonstrate creativity, savvy, and breadth of abilities.
The Director of Marketing has an opportunity to make a difference in Harrisonburg by helping to improve quality of life, create lasting memories, and boost community pride for residents. S/he also works to foster collaboration among downtown businesses and to create promotions (events and activities) and marketing campaigns that attract customers and grow the visibility, and ultimately the prosperity, of local entrepreneurs.
We annually achieve an ambitious plan of projects by working with community partners and volunteers who support the organization through board of director leadership; project or committee members; and interns who largely focus on content development, social media, and event and promotions support. HDR has a small, close-knit staff of four who enjoy working collaboratively and shaping the organization together. We are all incredibly passionate about the mission of this organization and seek a colleague who will be equally dedicated to the betterment of the community and the strength of our team. If you love independent businesses more than big-box stores and historic buildings over cookie-cutter places, this might be the place for you.
This position is considered a Regular Full-Time Exempt Employee, working at the will of the Executive Director. While much of this job will be completed during normal business hours (9 am – 5 pm), some evenings, weekends, and holidays will be required – all of which are scheduled annually.
The Director of Marketing is responsible for setting the strategic direction and maintaining a consistent organizational and downtown brand based on the character of the district and HDR’s mission. S/he supports downtown businesses, oversees the development of special promotions, and strengthens key partnerships with local businesses and organizations in the downtown district. S/he is a dynamic storyteller who can weave content into engaging digital and print campaigns that attract customers to come downtown and locals to support our work.
Specific duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
Marketing and Communications Strategy
- Develop an integrated marketing and communications plan and budget to increase brand awareness of HDR and promote Downtown Harrisonburg as a destination for dining, shopping, and memorable experiences. Work within the newly adopted HDR and downtown Harrisonburg brand.
- Collaborate with staff to develop and implement marketing plans for HDR events, projects, and programs throughout the year.
- Coordinate print, TV, radio, and electronic advertising for events and programs.
- Oversee website development and maintenance and SEO strategy, including working with our web firm and tracking and analyzing web traffic.
- Create an engaging social media presence and develop the organization’s new video content strategy.
- Tell downtown’s story, HDR’s story, and leverage support for the organization, including tracking and analyzing engagement.
- Manage HDR’s blog by scheduling contributors, assigning topics, editing content, integrating new media, and reviewing analytics to drive future direction of blog and web content.
- Develop and distribute HDR’s e-newsletter and external communication pieces.
- Manage the development of annual publications, like the downtown magazine and holiday gift guide.
- Develop HDR-branded merchandise and merchandise strategy.
- Implement earned media strategy and maintain media lists.
- Coordinate graphic design projects and printing of HDR collateral material (rack cards, event posters, logo development, etc.).
- Hire and manage interns and volunteers for promotional initiatives.
Business Support & Promotions
- Coordinate with businesses to plan targeted promotions for niche audiences.
- Coordinate with businesses to develop and strengthen promotional events (e.g., Taste of Downtown, Winter WonderFest, and Small Business Saturday).
- Produce educational business assistance workshops.
- Provide event planning support for business promotions (e.g. Cookie Tour).
- Provide support in researching opportunities for engaging new and expanding existing customer bases and target audiences in addition to aligning HDR programs and projects with downtown brand (culinary district, welcoming/friendly nature, outdoor recreation).
- Research best practices and glean ideas from other communities similar to ours.
- Possess a bachelor’s or Master’s degree and have 3-5 years of relevant professional experience in marketing, communications, or other related field.
- Track record of successfully coordinating multiple programs and projects.
- Current with communications, marketing, and advertising technologies, trends, and strategies.
- Must be creative, flexible, and motivated.
- Exhibit excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills, which includes a diplomatic and customer service-oriented approach to engagement with stakeholders.
- Comfortable interviewing with members of the media.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office.
- Ability to work in a self-directed manner in a fast-paced office while maintaining poise under pressure.
- Experience working with or managing committees, volunteers, or interns.
- Due to COVID-19, HDR staff are working remotely. Thus, the incumbent will need to be prepared to train remotely and work independently until we can all return to the office and work together.
- Experience developing video content.
- Knowledge of small business assistance, promotions, and/or marketing best practices and tools.
- Experience with managing budgets in a nonprofit environment.
- Familiarity with downtown Harrisonburg and its businesses and the surrounding market area.
- Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite.
- Understanding of local media and regional markets.
- Experience in promotions planning, managing the public image of an organization, and collaborating with businesses, organizations, and individuals.
- Feels comfortable with public speaking.
- Photography and photo editing skills.
- Health, dental & vision coverage (with 70% of the premium paid by the employer) and 3% match for employer-sponsored IRA retirement savings plan.
- Salary range: $37,000-$45,000
- HDR’s work culture offers employees flexible work hours, 12 paid holidays, 10 paid days of vacation, additional sick leave, option for teleworking, professional development opportunities, and plenty of room for creativity in how staff approaches their work and full ownership of their projects.
- Free parking space.
- A cool office in the renovated Ice House above Pale Fire – staff have private offices.
HDR is a private nonprofit organization that has been focused on economic development and community building in Historic Downtown Harrisonburg for 15 years. HDR is an award-winning Great American Main Street community and has been voted by the public as “The Best Use of Taxpayer’s Dollars” in the Daily News Record’s annual survey for several years. Harrisonburg has received much national and state recognition – we were designated as Virginia’s first arts and cultural district; one of the 10 most exciting places in Virginia; the best place to be a millennial by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine; and Virginia’s first culinary district to name a few. Please visit https://downtownharrisonburg.org/ for more information and view our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Prepare a cover letter, resume, and either a link to a portfolio or PDF that showcases past projects, marketing campaigns, and writing samples (include blogs, web content, 5-10 screen shots of social media, and organizational pieces, and marketing collateral) and send to Andrea Dono, Executive Director, at email@example.com. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.