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Manager, Public Relations (PR) & Brand Activations

CITY:  Columbus
REQ #:  103831
LOCATION NAME:  Home Office, Columbus
DEPARTMENT:  Marketing

The Manager, Public Relations (PR) and Brand Activations role is responsible for developing best-in-class public relations strategies and plans that align with the DSW brand strategy and business objectives as well as key trend and product stories, and then leading through execution to drive positive brand exposure & reach and deliver business outcomes.  In addition, this position is responsible for the development and execution of brand activations that support key business initiatives to drive buzz, awareness, customer engagement, and ultimately sales.


Reports To:  Director, Marketing Strategy


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Public Relations:

  • Develop, manage, and guide PR strategies focused on achieving DSW KPIs specific to brand awareness, press impressions, and earned media placements
  • Partner with the Product & Brand Marketing team to review key brand messages, trends, and product stories to support via media exposure
  • Partner with Brand Marketing team to identify key initiatives and campaigns that could be maximized through PR opportunities
  • Manage PR media agency team, responsible for optimization of always-on PR pitching along with campaign-specific PR opportunities
  • Create and deliver press releases, media relations content, and generate quotes for top company executives
  • Partner with internal HR & Investor Relations teams to maximize brand exposure  
  • Manage press days and events, inclusive of concept, coordination, execution, and subsequent reports
  • Research new media and brand-building opportunities: broadcast television, radio, digital, film, music, calendar activities, festivals, events, trends, collaborations, and competitor activations
  • Work with cross functional partners to strategize, plan and execute public relations initiatives including but not limited to editorial coverage, entertainment industry exposure, and events
  • Manage expenses within the public relations budget
  • Ensures proper response to requests for information from the media and fulfill product requests
  • Prepares analysis reports regularly for communications team members to review and adjust activity for strategic planning


Brand Activations:

  • Develop & Implement activations that ladder back to brand campaigns, ultimately driving awareness, purchase intention, and trial
  • Partner with Brand Strategy team to identify key initiatives and seasonal objectives, then recommending activations to bring these to life 
  • Link existing strategies & tactics with brand activations that drive customer engagement & loyalty
  • Bring new, innovative, differentiated, & ownable ideas to strategic planning to inspire brand campaigns & activations
  • See activations through from strategy to execution, influencing integration into marketing channels and messaging and collaborating with external partners as needed to maximize impact


Required Skills and Competencies:

Required Skills:

  • Strategic mindset with the ability to step back and see the bigger picture of a business challenge while not getting inundated with day-to-day tactics
  • Visual thinker with ability to synthesize learnings into clearly digestible visual formats
  • Highly organized and detailed-oriented; must possess ability to work independently and self-start with minimal direction at times
  • High level of critical thinking ability and curiosity, particularly in balancing multiple projects and priorities
  • Strong collaboration & communication skills as this role works with many cross-functional partners; must have the ability to build and cultivate relationships across all levels of the organization
  • Strong oral, written, and visual communication skills with deep experience in presentation development
  • Must have customer-first approach with ability to leverage customer insights to make decisions and guide strategy



STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP – Deliberately communicates overall business strategy and connects it to the work of the functional team. Anticipates future trends and implications accurately. Leverages market knowledge to anticipate, capitalize on and drive change. Articulate credible pictures and visions of possibilities that will create sustainable value. Creates competitive and breakthrough strategies that show a clear connection between vision and action. Is willing to champion an idea or position despite dissent or political risk. Tackles tough issues, sharing sensitive messages or unpopular points of view effectively. Influences inside and outside of functional area for positive impact on business performance. Owns the development of successors and individuals who have potential for further development.


LEADING & MOTIVATING – Serves as a champion and driver of DSW Values and culture. Attracts and selects the best talent to meet current and future business needs. Motivates and inspires others through rewards, authentic connections, and meaningful recognition. Fosters diversity and an inclusive workplace where individual differences are valued and leveraged. Seeks new ways to evolve and challenge self. Develops team through delegation, challenges outside of the comfort zone and effective coaching and feedback. Shares ideas in a compelling manor that gains commitment. Champions change for positive impact on business results.


MANAGING FOR RESULTS – Establishes models and enforces accountability. Gets the most out of available resources and secures rare resources others cannot get. Anticipates and balances the needs of multiple stakeholders. Persists in accomplishing objectives. Pushes the team to elevate goals as results are achieved. Transforms functional area to achieve maximum results. Seizes opportunities and connects business insights to increase profit and revenue.




  • 5+ years public relations experience in a corporate environment with 2+ years of experience leading, managing agencies or internal talent



  • Bachelor's Degree in Public Relations, Communications, or Marketing


You must apply through our internal portal: 
click here

Why Choose A Career with Designer Brands?

Empowering associates and building strong teams poised to disrupt the retail and footwear landscape through positive change is at the core of who we are at Designer Brands.

  • Invested in helping our associates learn, develop, achieve and grow into strong leaders
  • Shared commitment to creating a culture fueled by engagement, excitement, optimism and fun
  • Dedicated to giving back and community involvement 

About Designer Brands:

Designer Brands Inc. is one of North America’s largest designers, producers and retailers of footwear and accessories. 

  • Designer Brands Inc. operates a portfolio of retail concepts in nearly 1,000 locations under the DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, The Shoe Company, and Shoe Warehouse brands and operates leased locations in the U.S through its Affiliated Business Group. 
  • Designer Brands designs and produces footwear and accessories through Camuto Group, a leading manufacturer selling in more than 5,400 doors worldwide. 















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