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Public Relations Manager

Marketing | Santa Rosa, CA | Full Time

Job Description

Sonoma County Tourism (SCT) is the official destination stewardship organization for California's Sonoma County. SCT is a private, non-profit marketing and sales organization dedicated to promoting overnight stays and creating a sustainable hospitality economy in Sonoma County, California.


The Public Relations Manager is a critical role in the important earned media function for SCT. This PR professional represents SCT with the media in the key domestic markets and works to enhance Sonoma County’s public perception within consumer arenas. This role also acts as a key contact for the Group Business Development division as it relates to generating earned media coverage for that key organizational function.

Leveraging our brand as the guiding principle, the Public Relations Manager works in tandem with SCT partners to generate domestic (including meeting sales-related) earned media coverage for Sonoma County, identifies breakthrough publicity opportunities and tracks travel trends for which Sonoma County can maximize in its media outreach and programming. The PR Manager also serves as the day-to-day contact with our domestic PR agency to generate interest in, and coverage for, Sonoma County.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

Duties may include but are not limited to the following:


  • In conjunction with the Global Media Relations Director, and the VP, Marketing and Communications, develop an annual domestic media relations strategy that aligns with SCT’s strategic plan.  
  • In tandem with the strategic plan, develop an editorial calendar from which content, publicity activities and press outreach can be timed and planned.
  • Work with the Community Engagement Specialist to identify speaking opportunities that help position SCT as a tourism industry thought leader on the local and national level.

Media Relations/Publicity

  • Craft content pieces, press releases, advertorials and other written materials that help convey the Sonoma County messages.
  • Develop pro-active pitches for media that align with editorial calendars and create synergy with organization-wide initiatives.
  • Maintain regular contact with public relations agency of record, providing guidance on SCT initiatives, campaigns and goals.
  • Initiate and develop ongoing relationships acting as the key contact with media, both those affiliated with an outlet and freelancers, in key drive markets throughout northern California, including Sonoma County.
  • Respond to domestic media inquiries in a timely and professional manner as a representative of SCT and our destination.
  • Coordinate and host domestic press trips to Sonoma County, identifying key media based on key messaging strategy and organizational objectives. Complete post trip reporting, including database management and journalist follow ups.
  • Assist media in developing and researching story ideas with knowledge of current news and timely destination events, and partner activities.
  • In collaboration with the agency and media tracking vendor, identify the value of domestic destination stories produced. Convey the value to the leadership team.
  • Represent SCT at key local, regional, and national events that offer a media relations component.
  • Work with Group Business Development team to garner earned media interest in Sonoma County within meeting planner audiences.

Website/ Digital Press Room

  • Continually develop and maintain content and press releases for SCT’s online pressroom and media kits.
  • Audit destination digital press rooms for best practices, conveying insights to the marketing team.
  • Provide market briefs and other media relations insights to Sonoma County partners through electronic communications and the partner portal.

Content Development 

  • Build positive working relationships with content creators including influential travel writers, publications, editors, and media outlets to garner positive coverage for Sonoma County.

Team Participation

  • Participate with Marketing team on continual development of annual content calendar.
  • Draft award submissions for key travel industry, public relations and local awards.

Additional Duties & Responsibilities

  • Manage the budget assigned to domestic media relations-related line items.
  • Represent SCT in media interviews as identified.  Ensure messaging is consistent with overall organizational messaging per topic.
  • Represent SCT with organizations that represent journalists, including the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), Outdoor Writers (OWAA), etc.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, Communications, Marketing, or related field.
  • Minimum five years of PR agency or in-house public/media relations experience.
  • Media relations strategy development.
  • Experience developing and executing public relations programs for tourism, not-for-profit or consumer brand organizations.
  • Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Oversight of vendors relating directly to media relations functions.
  • Budget management.
  • Willing to work outside typical business hours.
  • Dependable, highly motivated team player with a great attitude.
  • Possess strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Must be proficient in MS Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint).
  • Ability to multi-task, meet multiple deadlines and work independently.
  • Ability to communicate effectively across various departments.
  • Ability to work in a changing environment.

Physical Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

Ability to lift up to 40 lbs. Frequently sits, stands, and walks. Occasionally twists/turns, bends, kneels, and reaches overhead. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

Work Environment 

This job primarily operates in a professional office environment but does include required periodic domestic travel. Must have valid driver’s license and provide own transportation.

Benefits & Perks

We offer a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, flexible spending account, EAP, and life insurance. Other perks include paid time off, holiday pay, and a wellness allowance.

To Apply

Each qualified candidate is invited to submit a resume and a cover letter explaining why they would be an excellent fit for the Public Relations Manager position.