Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$20 adults, $15 children

View All Rates ›

Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$20 adults, $15 children

View All Rates ›

Marketing and Communications Manager

Date Posted
May 13, 2024
Full Time

Job Details

FSLA Classification: Exempt
Salary Grade: To Be Determined
Reports to: President & CEO
Department: Marketing

The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa is a non-profit organization and home to more than 2,800 animals representing nearly 240 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, and is fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The mission of the Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research and recreation.

Position Purpose

To increase visitation and the positive perception of the Blank Park Zoo and the Zoo’s mission and vision through advertising, public relations and other means.

Essential Functions

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Lead the Marketing team at Blank Park Zoo. Establish and enforce policies for the department, communicate with staff and develop and monitor budgets.
  • Support, manage, and develop marketing team members, ensuring adequate training and support is in place to maximize their effectiveness within the team and achievement of collective departmental goals.
  • Manage the creation and purchase of advertising.
  • Create and maintain partnerships with media companies.
  • Ensure brand consistency in all areas of Blank Park Zoo.
  • Develop media to effectively communicate the story of Blank Park Zoo.
  • Lead Public Relations efforts. Work with the media to help establish a positive reputation of the Blank Park Zoo with the public at large by using traditional means (press releases and press availabilities), social media and other tools.
  • Oversee the development and publication of compelling content, including articles, press releases, e-newsletters, Membership magazine, etc., and work closely with the marketing team on social media content and strategy, ensuring alignment with organizational messaging and branding.
  • Create promotions to help broaden the reach of the Blank Park Zoo.
  • Create, oversee and manage content of the zoo’s website.
  • Work with teams within the Zoo to market the Zoo’s events, programs, etc.
  • Using marketing methods, plans and strategies, increase sales of products onsite through POS promotions and other marketing platforms.
  • Develop and deploy successful marketing campaigns and own their implementation from ideation to execution.
  • Track and analyze the performance of marketing / PR campaigns, conduct market research and identify potential markets.
  • Leads by example to create a positive, problem solving and open-minded culture in accordance with the Blank Park Zoo SWEET Values.


  • Resourceful – Understanding of or can research all applicable topics as they relate to modern zoological management, operations of an attraction and customer service.
  • Flexible – Ability to handle a flexible workload with a variety of assignments while also maintain composure in an environment that can be stressful.
  • Independent – Must be able to operate independently, exercise initiative and demonstrate capacity for detail and follow-up.
  • Positive – Must be a positive, effective team member and be able to establish professional working relationships.
  • Communicator – Communicates clearly, both verbal and written. Effective listening skills.
  • Critical Thinker – Ability to make decisions while under pressure or solve complex problems that arise daily.
  • Innovative – Ability to propose solutions to areas of concern as related to marketing and communications.
  • Efficient – Ability to complete task in a thorough but quick manner.
  • Customer-oriented – Always exercises professional customer service skills. Interacts with m many different types of people and situations.
  • Adaptable – Ability to adapt to changing conditions
  • Team Player – Collaborates with coworkers and team to achieve common goals.

Supervisory/Management Responsibilities

Supervises marketing staff, interns and volunteers.

Work Environment

While performing the duties of the job, the incumbent is regularly required to sit and work at a desk for extended periods of time, stand, walk, and utilize manual dexterity to use computer mouse and keyboard and other office equipment.


Physical Requirements

The physical requirements described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to successfully perform the essential functions. 

Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles and the like.

☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly   

Moving self in different positions to accomplish tasks in various environments including tight and confined spaces.
☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly

Remaining in a stationary position, often standing or sitting for prolonged periods.
☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly

Moving about to accomplish tasks or moving from one worksite to another.
☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly

Adjusting or moving objects up to 75 pounds in all directions.
☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Communicating with others to exchange information.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally         ☒ Constantly

Repeating motions that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally          ☒ Constantly

Operating machinery and/or power tools.
☐ Never         ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Operating motor vehicles or heavy equipment.
☐ Never         ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Assessing the accuracy, neatness and thoroughness of the work assigned.
☐ Never        ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

☐ Never        ☒ Occasionally           ☐ Constantly

Stooping, kneeling, crouching, or crawling –
☐ Never         ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Reaching with hands and arms.

☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly

Tasting or smelling.

 ☒ Never         ☐ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly


☒ Close vision;  ☒Distant vision;  ☒ Color vision;  ☒ Peripheral vision;  ☒Depth perception;  ☒ Ability to adjust focus

Lifting Requirement.
☐ > than 50 pounds        ☒ Up to 50 pounds         ☐ Up to 40 pounds         ☐ Up to 25 pounds               ☐ Up to 10 pounds

Required education and experience

  • Four-year college degree, or equal time of paid experience.
  • Sophisticated marketing, branding, and public relations experience, with a track record of conceiving and implementing successful strategies, plans, and programs that drive attendance, membership and ticket sales.
  • Broad-based knowledge of marketing techniques and tools, technologies including branding, advertising, direct marketing, market research, and interactive technologies.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, organize, and manage key communications and public relations functions.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and persuasion skills, with an ability to effectively present to a variety of internal and external constituencies
  • Knowledge, understanding and ability to implement to write and produce advertisements for television, social media, digital avenues and websites.
  • Knowledge, understanding and the ability to create successful social media campaigns (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.)
  • Working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite preferred.
  • Tech savvy.
  • Understanding of website CMS systems, html, and the ability to update as necessary.
  • Understand the process in order to oversee the creation of video content.
  • Intermediate word processing skills and Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint).

 Additional eligibility requirements

  • Must be insurable to drive a zoo vehicle.
  • Must be able to maintain work hours that will serve the needs of the Blank Park Zoo including some evenings and weekends.
  • Must be able to maintain calm and act professionally in all situations such as emergencies and guest interactions.
  • Must be insurable to drive a zoo vehicle.
  • Must be able to maintain work hours that will serve the needs of the Blank Park Zoo including some evenings and weekends.
  • Must be able to maintain calm and act professionally in all situations such as emergencies and guest interactions.


  • When applying, please consider submitting a portfolio of work, explaining the roles you played in each piece.


  • Valid Iowa motor vehicle license or ability to obtain.
  • First Aid/CPR Training or ability to obtain.

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice. 

Affirmative Action/EEO statement

Blank Park Zoo is an equal opportunity employer and give employment and promotional consideration without regard to race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, and any other protected class as required by local, state, or federal law. We seek applicants for employment who are dedicated, hardworking and seek fulfilling employment. In return Blank Park Zoo offers competitive income, benefits, and an excellent working environment.

Contact Information

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