Director of Marketing and Communications

Marketing Seattle, Washington


Another Source’s client, Seattle Aquarium, is recruiting a Director of Marketing and Communications to join their team.


Here's a little about Seattle Aquarium and the position they are seeking to fill:


About the Seattle Aquarium:

Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we’re the eighth-largest aquarium in the U.S. by attendance and we welcome over 850,000 people through our front doors each year. Guided by our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, we’ve developed a master plan to substantially increase in size and impact by opening a new exhibit building, the Ocean Pavilion. Our current annual budget is $18 million.


We’re noted for our collaborative, communicative and team-oriented working environment. Our values, developed in conjunction with our staff, include commitments to adopting and promoting sustainable practices; creating awe-inspiring experiences; constantly learning and improving; fostering an inclusive community; maintaining scientific credibility through evidence-based practices; and honoring our unique place by using our location and history as a lens for larger understanding.


The Seattle Aquarium is a respected authority on Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the world’s one ocean. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to preserve and protect our marine environment through a variety of channels including: a compelling exhibit experience and engaging daytime and evening events; conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds; community outreach to underserved populations; research that advances understanding of animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild; advocacy and policy work; an award-winning volunteer program; strong and consistent marketing efforts; and more.



See the Seattle Aquarium in action:

Octopus release:


Ocean Pavilion:


Live sea otter cam:




The role:

The director of marketing and communications reports to the president/CEO and is a member of the Aquarium’s executive team. The role oversees all institution-wide integrated marketing and communications strategies and plans, brand presentations, applications and communications. Supervises marketing and communications staff functions including graphic design, print, copy, production and digital media (including web, social and email distribution). This position also co-staffs the board advancement committee to engage the board in marketing and fundraising efforts in support of our mission.


The director of marketing and communications has a strong customer focus, developing and deploying a variety of strategies/materials/communications to integrate all Aquarium audiences and drive visitor-ship to the Aquarium itself, as well as its website, blog and social media presences. The role is responsible for developing, communicating, budgeting, executing and evaluating strategic marketing and communications programs and campaigns (integrated marketing/communications planning) to promote visitation and awareness, and to communicate the Aquarium’s key messages to target audiences, while managing resources to produce results consistent with Aquarium plans, goals and mission. 


The director of marketing and communications collaborates across the organization to ensure consistent messaging and branding for all areas of the institution.


Essential functions:

  • Protect the integrity, continuity, value and presence of the Aquarium brand across all outward-facing initiatives (including marketing, public relations, philanthropy and community engagement).
  • Creative thinking in concepts, visuals and messages.
  • Plan, direct and supervise marketing department operations.
  • Direct the creation of materials to support a full calendar of annual daytime events.
  • Oversee the Seattle Aquarium integrated marketing and communications strategy and plan.
  • Prepare the annual marketing plan and brand strategy for the Aquarium.
  • Oversee all social and digital media efforts.
  • Supervise and direct the production of a broad array of collateral materials to brand standards.
  • Collaborate cross-departmentally to ensure all communications fall within brand standards.
  • Manage advertising agency relationship for annual media campaigns.
  • Continually evaluate the competitive environment and consumer trends.
  • Prepare and administer the annual budget for marketing efforts.
  • Maintain existing relationships with other organizations for cross-promotion and awareness, and develop new, innovative partnerships to augment outreach efforts.
  • Oversee the creation and delivery of publications, advertisements and other marketing materials.



Knowledge you will bring to the team:

  • Strong executive presence; proven ability to interact with CEO, executive team members and board; proven ability to contribute as part of a strong and collaborative executive leadership team.
  • Print and digital creative direction.
  • Strong supervisory experience: coaching, mentoring, counseling and discipline.
  • Extensive retail marketing experience to promote visitation/ticket sales (this revenue currently represents 90% of the annual budget).
  • Manage marketing research programs.
  • Sales analytics, all media.
  • Agency, contractor and freelance relationship management.
  • Strong ability to build and maintain positive, respectful relationships and actively contribute to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced nonprofit environment, use independent judgment and produce a great volume of high-quality work product with limited staff/financial resources and within tight time constraints.
  • Strong presentation skills including the ability to interpret and present information effectively.
  • Ability to anticipate challenges, take initiative and provide solutions.
  • Excellent verbal, writing and editing skills.
  • Passion for the Aquarium’s mission.


Experience you will bring to the team:

  • S./B.A. degree in marketing, communications, business or related field (master’s preferred). Note: Will consider type and length of experience in lieu of a degree.
  • Minimum of 10 years successfully managing multi-faceted marketing programs, brand presentation and creative agencies/contractors.
  • Senior leadership/executive team experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a diverse team in own department and across an organization to achieve expected outcomes.
  • Retail marketing experience/creative direction and brand presentation for retail-type organization.
  • Experience directing writers, designers, production and print.
  • Previous responsibility for driving sales/business.
  • Experience with nonprofit and/or fundraising campaigns (preferred).


Salary and benefits:

Salary dependent on experience. Please include salary requirements in cover letter. This role is eligible for the Seattle Aquarium’s comprehensive benefits package which includes medical, vision, dental (subsidized dependent coverage also available), HRA, FSA, life insurance, short- and long-term disability, subsidized transit (ORCA) pass, Aquarium Family Plus membership and generous paid time off. As a member of the leadership team, this role will participate in the leadership variable pay program.


How to apply:

The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce.. Application review will begin immediately. All candidates are encouraged to apply. 


Note: Must pass a background check, upon job offer, to be eligible for this position.


The Seattle Aquarium has partnered with Another Source, an external recruiting firm, to assist in the hiring process for this position. Another Source works with their clients, on a retained project basis, to maximize the recruiting process.