Sundance Institute
  • Festival Press/Media Relations
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Salary
  • Year Round

Medical, Dental, Vision, 7% employer contributed 401k, Life Insurance, Long Term Disability, Paid Vacation, Paid Sick Leave, Paid Holidays, Festival Benefits e.g. comp film tickets, guest credential

Considerations: Position works full time out of our Los Angeles, CA office. Additionally role will be required to work extended hours, including evenings and weekends, at key points throughout the year. Domestic and international travel, including to festivals, labs and other Institute offices, will be required, estimated 10% travel.  

Position General Summary: Our Director of Publicity and Communications works collaboratively with Sundance leadership, program teams and marketing colleagues to develop, plan, and implement a national and international public/media relations strategy that generates a high level of visibility and awareness for the Institute's mission and programs, including the Sundance Film Festival. We are looking for someone who is a strategic and creative leader, who can bring the big-picture of our mission and work to life on a day-to-day basis and lead the vision for corporate engagement on relevant social, political and cultural efforts.

Essential Job Functions and Duties:

  • Develops and manages an annual PR plan including overarching strategies and targeted campaigns that align with department, leadership and programs.
  • Identifies and directs outreach and engagement opportunities to position Sundance both institutionally and through its artists and alumni as a thought leader and public advocate.
  • Acts as a spokesperson and liaison between the organization and the media and public.
  • Analyzes strategy on an ongoing basis, provides regular reports to leadership and proactively adjusts and refines strategy as necessary.
  • Devises executive visibility opportunities, i.e. panels, keynotes, and other speaking engagements.
  • Manages year-round staff, includes selecting and training highly effective staff, providing direction, feedback, mentorship and support to ensure employees understand responsibilities and are effective in their roles, and delegates appropriate and meaningful work.
  • Oversees and contributes to the writing, editing and targeted distribution of organizational communications including articles of various lengths, blog posts, speeches, quotes, news releases, etc.
  • Counsels leadership and staff on issues related to the media and provides regular media training for the organization, including providing guidance and best practices to staff.
  • With Associate Director manages all media contacts and lists while cultivating relationships with journalists and liaising with contacts to shape, develop and pitch stories.
  • Actively ensures best practices are applied and stays abreast of trends and leading-edge  approaches to storytelling in the media.
  • Proactively collaborates with colleagues in communications and marketing department on integrated marketing and communication strategies, objectives and tactics.
  • Creates and implements innovative methods to publicize Institute programs and activities, with a focus on public programming including the Sundance Film Festival and other regional and international public events.
  • Identifies and engages external vendors on projects as required.
  • Develops, manages and  implements the media relations budgets.
  • Develops and maintains policies, guidelines and best practices documents.
  • Provides support to Development team to create messaging that supports fundraising activities, sponsorship programs, advertising and other revenue-generating efforts as necessary.
  • Oversees the creation, distribution, and approval processes of all media materials such as press releases, media alerts, pitch letters, press kits, etc.
  • Reviews and refines department workflows to ensure efficiency and flawless execution
  • Other duties as assigned.

Position Requirements:

  • Legal authorization to work in the United States.
  • Bachelor's Degree in communications, public relations, marketing or related field.
  • 8-10 years of experience in increasingly responsible positions within communications, public information, public relations and media relations.
  • Strong leadership skills with a background that includes demonstrated excellence in managing employees.   
  • Possesses excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills, and understands the implications their actions will have on the organization.
  • Knowledge of, or experience in, advocacy, policy, coalition work surrounding public policy issues, preferably those that impact independent artists. Digital and social proficiency.  
  • Extensive knowledge of national and international cultural, arts and entertainment media outlets.
  • Demonstrated experience as a strategic and creative leader who can deliver results from the big-picture of our mission and work to life on a day-to-day basis.
  • Highest levels of personal and professional integrity and ethics.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively and affect change by applying best practices.
  • Strong consultation, presentation, meeting design and facilitation skills.
  • Proven ability to establish rapport and credibility with senior leaders and a wide range of constituencies.
  • Ability to build strong relationships while working across the organization in order to drive results.
  • Ability to work nights and weekends around events and key deadlines.

Preferred Education, Experience and Skills:

  • Experience within a comparable arts, culture or film organization.
  • Experience in film festival press office management or related.
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