Denver Zoo
  • External Relations
  • Denver, CO, USA
  • Salary
  • Full Time

This is a regular full-time position with excellent benefits, including complete medical/dental/vision coverage, 403(b) retirement plan, and a generous vacation package.

Denver Zoo is a leader in animal care, wildlife conservation, education, and guest experience. We are passionate about our commitment to excellence in support of our mission to secure a better world for animals through human understanding. We provide extraordinary experiences every day for our animals and visitors and our core values of Protect, Honor, Innovate, Serve, Engage, and Empower are evident in everything we do.  We value the different strengths our staff bring to Denver Zoo. We expect our staff to embrace and to commit to our core behaviors for engagement: Passion, Respect, Innovation, Diversity, and Excellence.

Denver Zoo's External Relations Department has an opportunity for a full time Communications Manager to lead the communications team in developing external communications content for Denver Zoo for various B2C and B2B audiences. Ideal candidate will have the expertise to effectively tell our stories in a compelling, exciting and educational way. Specific communications responsibilities include: strategic promotional planning and development, social media content planning and development, media events, media relations content development, primary media spokesperson, website content development, promotional video production, research, crisis communications management, writing assignments and day-to-day office tasks.  This position has two direct reports: Social Media and Marketing Coordinator and Public Relations Coordinator.

Essential Functions:

  • Adheres to and promotes Denver Zoo's mission, core values, and strategic initiatives.
  • Serves as primary spokesperson with on-call duties shared with the VP of Marketing and Communications.
  • Leads all aspects of the communications program including planning comprehensive communications plans with components such as Social Media, media relations, online content and external publicity events.
  • Manages media relations activities including: creating and developing press events, writing, editing and distribution of news releases and press conference, interviews and coverage reports. Manages Zoo media archives and records. Other media relations activities include:
    • Develops and manages press kits and specialty publication projects in tandem with major exhibit openings.
    • Ideates, develops and facilitates news media, freelance, magazine and trade publication editorial opportunities for the zoo.
    • Monitors and measures news coverage and related wildlife issues received by the zoo and related organizations. Including monitoring, measuring broadcast media impressions from national video monitoring service and news clippings, calculating media value to the zoo.
    • Manages the PR Coordinator and production of PR material including press events, videos and promotions.
  • Communications activities including:
    • Developing comprehensive plans that incorporate strategies and tactics for online content generation (website, video, etc.), Social Media and media relations.
    • Planning and producing the elements for the plans, contracting and directing freelance writers, videographers, photographers, editors, etc.
    • Directing the activities of Social Media Coordinator, aligning efforts with plan.
    • Being the Zoo lead on communications, planning and leading internal meetings to promote the department's idea and generate feedback and align cross-functional team efforts.
  • Manages and interprets restricted information. Answers inquiries, complaints and extremely sensitive questions from the public and media.  Uses discretion, weighs and analyzes the merits of inquiries from public and private sectors for use of images for the zoo.
  • Prepares and manages annual budget relating to areas of responsibility.
  • Writes and generates articles for Denver Zoo publications.
  • Concepts and produces promotional videos to support the mission and Zoo brand
  • With VP of Marketing & Communications, helps develop the comprehensive overall Marketing/Communications Plan to achieve department goals and objectives.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to Denver Zoo's Safety & Sustainability Policies by adhering to all environmental, safety, & health regulations, procedures, and goals.
  • Value and consistently apply Denver Zoo's ROADMAP (Reaching Our Audiences by Developing Mission Aligned Programs) process and resources in engaging and educating guests at Denver Zoo.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Maintain a flexible schedule including holidays, weekends and evenings to assure coverage.
  • Performs various duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor's degree in public relations, journalism, communications, or related field preferred or equivalent experience.
  • 8-10 years relevant experience.
  • 3-5 years people/team leadership experience.
  • Video production experience for creating video news releases and promotional videos.
  • Experience with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Excel and the Internet.
  • Excellent customer services skills.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to handle multiple projects at one time.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Creativity and innovative thinking skills.
  • Respect for confidentiality.
  • Energetic person willing to work in teams and individually.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands for this position are low. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. The employee is regularly required to stand, walk, talk and listen.  The employee frequently is required to use hands to maneuver handle or feel objects, tools or controls.  The employee is occasionally required to sit, climb or balance; also, reach, stoop and kneel.  Specific vision abilities required include close, distance, color, peripheral, depth perception vision and ability to adjust focus. The position requires both mental and visual concentration.

Work Environment:

This position requires a substantial amount of contact with staff, volunteers, and other departments. The employee occasionally works near moving mechanical parts and in outside weather conditions and may be occasionally exposed to fumes or airborne particles and chemicals.  The noise level in the work environment is usually low to medium.

Compensation and Benefits:

 This is a regular full-time position with excellent benefits, including complete medical/dental/vision coverage, 403(b) retirement plan, and a generous vacation package.

Completed applications must be submitted by December 13, 2017

Denver Zoo reserves the right to close the position prior to the above date.

Denver Zoo is an Equal Opportunity Employer



Denver Zoo
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