Kentucky Derby Festival



The Kentucky Derby Festival is looking for a Communications Manager to join our team! If you or someone you know are an expert communicator, as well as creative, collaborative, passionate, results-oriented, flexible, and fun, then apply or send them our way.



The Communications Manager is a key contributor of our Communications Team serving as both a spokesperson and primary copywriter for the Kentucky Derby Festival and assist in the day-to-day media relations functions of the Team. A candidate with experience in public and media relations is highly preferred. Under minimal supervision, this full-time position reports to the VP of Communications.


  • Supports the Communications Team in all public and media relations for the Kentucky Derby Festival and its events, programs and promotions.
  • Serves as secondary spokesperson for the Kentucky Derby Festival.
  • Develops a variety of written materials including key messages, questions and answers, fact sheets, press releases, articles, scripts, speaking points and e-communications.
  • Responds to information requests from local media, as primary back-up to VP of Communications.
  • Serves as primary contact for regional and national print media and travel writers.
  • Assists with planning and development of press conferences and media events.
  • Books publicity segments for the Festival’s events, programs and promotions, serving as primary pitch person for positive story angles for local and regional media.
  • Organizes production of Derby Festival media event for radio stations from around the state and region.
  • Collaborates with VP of Communications on organization-wide strategic media relations plan including tracking and reporting of metrics.
  • Builds and maintains relationships with local, regional and national media including broadcast, print and digital outlets
  • Manages media lists and distribution of appropriate press credentials for the Festival and specific events.
  • Oversees the Festival’s e-communications in Constant Contact including: oversight and updates of email databases; guiding editorial content and creation, and monthly distribution of KDF’s e-newsletters.
  • Oversees editorial of the Festival’s four websites including content, images, and implementation of contest and promotions.
  • Manages the Festival’s App including content, images, and push notifications.
  • Facilitates creation and distribution of Kentucky Derby Festival’s Official Schedule of Events including updates, circulation and media placement, in coordination with Advertising Manager.
  • Provides editing/proofreading support for all Kentucky Derby Festival Communications.
  • Collaborates with the Communications, Marketing, Sponsorship, Merchandise and Event Teams to explore new promotions, new methods of outreach and ideas for upcoming campaigns.
  • Supports Communications Team with other duties as needed.


  • Self-motivated, passionate and driven to succeed
  • Active Listener, offers assistance and support to co-workers and works cooperatively in group situations
  • Works well independently but also thrives in a team environment, sharing ideas and working collaboratively
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Can juggle multiple tasks, identify appropriate priorities, meet deadlines, etc.
  • Able to adapt to change and willingness to learn new skills


  • Bachelor’s Degree in communications, public relations, media or marketing. 3+ years of experience in communications field.
  • A combination of education and experience may be substituted when proficiency is demonstrated.
  • Superior oral communications skills
  • Excellent written communications and editing skills
  • Demonstrated experience securing local, regional and national earned media
  • Strong computer skills
  • Demonstrated experience in email communications (Constant Contact, Mailchimp, etc.).
  • Ability to multi-task in fast-paced environment with tight timelines
  • Knowledge of the Kentucky Derby Festival and its role in the Louisville community.
  • Excellent organizational and administrative skills are essential to manage multiple projects, as well as excellent communications skills.
  • Ability to build relationships with staff at all levels of the organization
  • A strong team player with excellent judgment, resourcefulness, and creativity
  • Must be able to work with deadlines. Must maintain a valid driver's license.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to those who are able to perform the essential duties of the job.


The incumbent must have computer skills. Experience with the following types of software and/or Windows based applications is preferred: word processing, Internet, e-mail, Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite, social media platforms and content management systems. Public speaking experience a plus.


  • Hybrid – remote and office setting
  • Occasional lifting
  • Occasional weekends during the Festival season


  • Health Insurance
  • 401(k)
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Paid Holidays


At Kentucky Derby Festival, we believe that a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace makes us a better place to work. We encourage people from all backgrounds, ages, abilities, and experiences to apply. KDF is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital or family status, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy or caregiver status, veteran status, or any other legally protected status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations to participate in the job application and interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment.

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