Director of Communications & Community Engagement

Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra (Fort Myers, Florida)

Type of Employment:  Salaried (Full-time, exempt, full benefits package)

Manages:  Marketing Associate/Social Media Assistant; Interns & Core Symphony Volunteers


The Orchestra:

The Gulf Coast Symphony (GCS) is one of the most dynamic and innovative community orchestras in the United States. Professionally managed and led, it produces twelve to fourteen concerts each season in the premiere performing arts venue in Lee County, Florida, the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, in addition to nearly eighty educational outreach events, chamber music concerts and other activities each year. The GCS is committed to performing a broad variety of concerts and creating a diverse, innovative and balanced program of performances, events, community and education projects which reaches the widest possible public. The organization currently has a budget of $1.5 million dollars and has just launched an Endowment Campaign and in in the middle of a ten-year music commissioning project. The Gulf Coast Symphony is recognized for its high-quality symphonic performances and its history of active community engagement and commitment to arts education. The primary goals of the Gulf Coast Symphony are: to help build general arts awareness in Lee County; to develop new audiences for the arts in our community; and to assist in the development of potential future performers.


Southwest Florida (Fort Myers, Lee County):

Incorporated in 1886, Fort Myers is the center of a popular tourist area in Southwest Florida and the seat of Lee County. Lee County sits along the southwest coast of Florida with more than 50 miles of beaches between Boca Grande and Bonita Springs. In this span of more than 803 miles exists a wide range of activities including walking trails, kayaking, swimming, and shopping. With a population of 645,000, millions of visitors come for the warm weather, spring training baseball (home to Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins spring training facilities), and its world famous beaches. Fort Myers was the frequent winter home of Thomas Edison, as well as Henry Ford.

Important Relationships:
Music & Executive Director; Managing Director, Board President; Chair of the Community Engagement & Outreach Committee; Chair of the Resource Committee, and Chair of the Community Image Committee

Central Role:
To work with the central team of the Music & Executive Director and Managing Director to develop a strategic advertising, direct marketing, and online marketing campaign, as well as lead the grassroots sales efforts of the Gulf Coast Symphony in the areas of subscriptions, single tickets and group sales  Use all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage the reputation of the Gulf Coast Symphony.  Position includes assisting with special events.

Primary Responsibilities:

Advertising, Marketing & Promotions

  • Create a comprehensive Strategic Marketing Plan that includes direct mail, social media, online marketing, and paid advertising.
  • With the GCS Music & Executive Director, develop and oversee the yearly Marketing Budget
  • Coordinate media buys and project management for radio, television, online, and print advertising
  • Compose copy for radio advertising and provide bed music as necessary
  • Create engaging video commercials for television and online platforms
  • Maintain all GCS list databases and mail house lists, and database clean-up, as necessary
  • Work with list database to create a plan for lead generation, to carry out the direct mail campaigns.
  • Act as project manager for direct mail pieces, creative design and print firms, and direct mail house
  • Work with GCS Graphic Design Firm to complete season graphic designs: Postcards, Season Brochure, Print Ads, other print materials, Gala Invitation, Website graphics, Marquee Sign graphics, BBMPAH Eblasts
  • Creative development of promotions with community partners to drive sales.
  • Oversee sale and placement of print ads in season program book
  • Complete in-house graphic design projects including Program Books, Gala Materials, etc
  • Oversee Social Media Manager and guide content creation schedule and release
  • Develop and send marketing emails via MailChimp or similar service
  • Develop weekly e-newsletter strategy
  • Create schedule for social media posts, based on concerts, partnerships, and subjects related to GCS and our audience
  • Manage WordPress website including content creation and maintenance.
  • Assist in the creation of Web content, including blog & podcasts with Social Media Manager
  • Develop engaging video ads for use on social media platforms
  • Track and analyze results of online marketing efforts
  • Coordinate archiving of all marketing materials and video archives

Group and Specialty Sales

  • Supervise prospecting of potential groups for subscription and single ticket sales.
  • Work with Board to maximize specialty/niche campaigns.
  • Conduct onsite visits/meetings with Group Sales prospects when deemed appropriate.

Public Relations:

  • Develop a strategic public relations plan.
  • Research and evaluate target audience’s perceptions of organization and proposed PR campaign.
  • Co-coordinate focus groups and surveys.
  • Maintain a clipping file of all relevant PR and articles.
  • Write and edit press releases, newsletters, and articles;
  • Prepare and supervise the production of publicity brochures, handouts, direct mail leaflets, promotional videos, photographs and annual reports.
  • Coordinate with concert venue(s) prior to show to ensure marketing table setup, merch sales, etc
  • Answer enquiries from individuals, journalists and other organizations.
  • Speak at presentations, press conferences, radio and TV interviews or meetings, in collaboration with the Music & Executive Director and Managing Director.
  • Develop and maintain good working relations with the media, including local and national newspapers, magazines, radio and television.
  • Attend trade shows and network with local organizations and marketing directors
  • Organize special events, such as press conferences, exhibitions, open house days, and hall tours.

Community Engagement Activities

  • Oversight of all GCS Community Engagement Programs and Educational Initiatives
  • Develop relationships with potential community partners to host events
  • Coordinate Guest Artist visits for community engagement and educational outreach events
  • Organize special events, such as press conferences, exhibitions, open house days, and hall tours.
  • Assist with all special events such as recitals, backstage tours, lectures and special events- Gala, Taste of the Cape, etc.
  • Attend GCS Community Engagement Committee meetings
  • Oversight of the Orchestra Explorer Series
    • Develop brand marketing materials for Orchestra Explorer Series with GCS graphic designer
    • With Board Committee and GCS Music Director, develop curricular materials, both print and online, for children, parents, and musicians
  • Coordinate with GCS Office Manager to assign volunteers for events, as needed
  • Oversight of our Gateways to the Arts
    • Develop relationships with area public school teachers
    • Create new curriculum with Music and Executive Director and GCS Board Committee
    • Develop brand marketing materials for Gateways to the Arts with GCS graphic designer
    • Re-launch Gateways to the Arts in 2018-2019 school year
  • Regularly evaluate current community engagement and education programs

Donor Relations Support:

  • Works with the General Director and Marketing Director to ensure consistency in communications and branding
  • Support solicitation and stewardship activities as needed.
  • Create and manage direct mail and web-based campaigns, including renewal and acquisition programs, in collaboration with other GCS staff, board, and volunteers. as needed
  • Assist with all special events such as recitals, backstage tours, lectures and special events
  • Manage all mailings, including appeals, event invitations, sponsorship solicitations, etc.
  • Assist with staffing of events as needed


  • The ideal candidate will be strongly motivated; a self-starter; energetic and flexible; able to work in a fast-paced environment and maximize resources; a team player and leader; extremely creative; and highly analytical.
  • Bachelors or advanced degree and at least five years’ experience in a marketing or communications capacity with a performing arts organization strongly preferred.
  • Strong communication skills (oral and written) with great attention to detail.
  • Complete capability in Microsoft Office.
  • Evening/weekend performance and special event duty is required.
  • Database management background helpful. (GCS uses Salesforce as its CRM; TRGArts provides our list management.)
  • Comfort and capability with basic website management and social media suites. (WordPress; Twitter; Facebook, Instagram etc.)
  • Knowledge of video production and creative design (Adobe CS6 suite).
  • Knowledge of the arts, theater and/or symphonic music.

Disclaimer: This description should not be construed to contain every function or responsibility that may be required to be performed by an incumbent in this job. This job description is intended to be general and will evolve over time. The description is subject to periodic updating. At management’s discretion, the employee may be assigned different or additional duties from time to time.

Salary:  Competitive & commensurate with experience. Application Instructions

APPLICATION PROCESS: Applicants should email: (1.) a resume, (2.) a list of references,  (3.) cover letter describing your interest and qualifications for the position, and (4.) a salary history to: with the subject line Director of Communications & Community Engagement.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  September 8, 2017.   We will evaluate applications on a rolling basis. Please note that due to the volume anticipated, we will not be able to respond individually to each applicant. We kindly ask that you do not send duplicate applications via mail or email, and no phone calls please. Thank you.

The Gulf Coast Symphony is an equal opportunity employer.

Communications Director Description 7.19.2017

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