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Vice President of Marketing & Communications

Marketing | Santa Rosa, CA | Full Time

Job Description

Now is the time.


Sonoma County Tourism is seeking a Vice President, Marketing & Communications to join an innovative and dedicated team that promotes visitation to Sonoma County while showing the value of the hospitality industry to local stakeholders. Come be a part of our continued success.


The Vice President of Marketing and Communications (VPMC) is responsible for developing and executing marketing and communications strategy for Sonoma County Tourism (SCT).

The VPMC oversees the Marketing & Communications team as part of the overall goals of growing the County’s robust hospitality economy, increasing visitation, enhancing the organization’s research and data mining efforts, expanding opportunities for partner businesses, and raising the profile of the organization among the Sonoma County community.

This is an exciting and pivotal time for Sonoma County and an extraordinary chance for a Marketing and Communications pro who relishes challenge and embraces opportunity.

In 2018, Sonoma County Tourism is embarking on a brand development process.  Anticipated roll-out will be August 2018. During the next couple of years, an emphasis on building Sonoma County Tourism’s new brand, working with the external marketing and media relations agencies to create an effective and results-driven media campaign and media outreach, and engaging partners in integrating the brand will be a key undertaking.  The VPMC will take the reins on the project and usher in the new brand.

Sonoma County also is facing a significant challenge in rebuilding following wildfires that occurred in October 2017.  While we are confident travelers will return to Sonoma County, continuing to track perception and traveler preferences will be important for the organization, its board and key stakeholders including the Board of Supervisors and statewide elected officials. 

This will be accomplished with an emphasis on research and incremental improvements to marcomm projects, using key performance indicators and dashboards to track progress.

The VP of Marketing and Communications reviews, measures and assesses existing marketing initiatives and activities and develops a program that leverages existing strengths while integrating new approaches. Responsible for the development and oversight of cohesive programs and campaigns to increase overnight stays.


Essential job functions include, but are not limited to the following: 

Strategy & Planning

  • Develop strategic, integrated marketing and communications plans and programs that align with the organization’s strategic planning goals, and drive increased visitation, length of stay and repeat visits during off-peak season.
  • Analyze and review current tourism trends and statistical data on all market segments. Identify research methodology to ensure key metrics are tracked using industry best practices.
  • Work with the SCT leadership team to help shape direction of the organization and its ongoing strategic initiatives.

Brand Marketing

  • Oversee development and roll-out of global brand that drives visitation to Sonoma County and can serve as a platform for local stakeholder use beyond the hospitality industry.
  • Develop, plan and implement targeted, integrated marketing programs that support DMO mission.
  • Oversee all advertising, brand messaging and collateral development to ensure consistency and adherence to brand mandatories for all departments.

Media Relations

  • Oversee implementation of strategic, targeted public relations programs that support the strategic plan and help the organization achieve its mission and goals.
  • Serve as an effective and appropriate spokesperson and ambassador for Sonoma County Tourism and the organization; coach/support other designated spokespersons.
  • Work with area partners to ensure information is included in press outreach and SCT provides a balanced representation of partners during in-market press trips.
  • Work in collaboration with the Public Relations Managers and external media relations agency to identify ways to generate significant media coverage in priority outlets.
  • Maintain and update the crisis communications plan; coordinate with area emergency services and other identified organizations to ensure plan alignment; serve as communications lead during incidents.

Community Engagement

  • Oversee community outreach program in collaboration with the Director of Community Engagement to help build trust among partners and stakeholders.
  • As part of the leadership team, act as liaison with Sonoma County Tourism partners, key contacts at chambers and visitor centers, and outside strategic partners and stakeholders to enhance partnerships. Maintain positive relationships with same.

Social Media and Digital Marketing

  • Develop and oversee an integrated social media strategy and plan that supports Sonoma County Tourism goals.
  • Maintain and enhance Sonoma County Tourism’s official tourism website and social media sites, including content updates, coordinating cooperative membership sites and links to other pages.
  • Monitor coverage, public sentiment, and reputation.

Resource Management, Results Tracking and Reporting

  • Oversee the hiring, training and supervision of brand marketing, communications, and direct-to-consumer staffs.
  • Manage agencies on retainer to ensure delivery of commitments in a timely fashion.
  • Develop and monitor KPIs to evaluate ROI; track and communicate results on a regular basis to stakeholders.
  • Develop and maintain marketing budgets.

The ideal candidate is:

  • A visionary and strategic marketing leader, possessing an ability to communicate and implement innovative, creative and effective marketing strategies; 
  • A recognized branding innovator who brings a track record of successful brand stewardship and a deep understanding of traditional and digital and social media to engage consumers and improve brand awareness; 
  • An experienced and successful marketer possessing a wealth of marketing knowledge, and creative capabilities accumulated from contributing to the growth of a highly respected brand; 
  • A strategic communications professional with a keen sense of drafting and delivering messages that convey the value of tourism (or another brand) and creating support among key stakeholders.
  • A collaborator who enjoys working with a diverse group of professionals, is successful in consensus building, and is committed to the vision and success of the organization.
  • Knowledgeable of the travel industry, online channels of distribution, and digital tools/strategies to effectively target key markets with measurable results.
  • Creative, organized and detail oriented. A self-starter with the ability to multi task.
  • A strong communicator, possessing the ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing with all publics including a Board of Directors, elected officials and critical stakeholder and partner groups. 
  • A team motivator, capable of setting and exceeding individual and group Key Performance Indicators and other tracking methods.  
  • A team player, able to work collaboratively and constructively with other department heads and industry partners.
  • Flexible; able to adjust to changing conditions and circumstances. Meets deadlines.
  • Tenacious about achieving very high standards of performance and professionalism; positive and cooperative.
  • Capable of providing strategic marketing counsel to partners and visitor-serving colleagues.
  • Politically astute; able to guide and support local community relations efforts.
  • Competent with vendor engagements, departmental budgets and goal forecasting. 


  • Four-year degree from an academic institution or equivalent related work experience, with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in senior marketing roles in the tourism and other relevant industries.