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Communications Director - Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association

Communications Director - Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association

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Communications Director - HPBA



More than 50 percent of U.S. households have at least one fireplace or freestanding stove (hearth products) and more than 80 percent own an outdoor barbecue, grill, or smoker. Year-round grilling is quite popular and very much a part of how the U.S. celebrates holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, and even Thanksgiving. The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) is a North American $5.5 million association comprised of these 2 prevalent industries with a national office in Arlington, VA and 13 affiliates across North America. While manufacturers are members of the national office, non-manufacturer members like retailers, distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, and service companies join affiliate organizations in their regional area.



As our Communications Director, your role is strategically significant and essential to the continued growth and promotion of our industries. You will report directly to the president and CEO, manage a communications assistant, and work with a total staff of 21 and 3 outside agencies. Working in collaboration with other departments, you will support all of HPBA’s communications, including website content, promotional campaigns, social media, publications, public relations, and communications projects. You will also collaborate with the vice president of expositions & events on the HPBExpo marketing campaign. In this role, we will rely on your ability to develop strong relationships and partnerships as you work across the organization and with various stakeholders, to be both hands-on and strategic, and to raise the overall visibility of HPBA. 

Over the next year, we anticipate you will:

  • Develop greater depth and breadth in our communications, including an overarching communications strategy and plan that promotes all of HPBA’s programs and services, leverages multiple communications vehicles, and supports legislative advocacy. By improving our communications vehicles, integrating social media tools, and creating a unified message (talking points, value proposition) for staff to use when talking with stakeholders, you will enable us to build our brand so that members and potential members can truly understand our value.
  • Create greater visibility for the barbecue and hearth products industries by leveraging multiple communications channels to further advance HPBA’s mission. Find and promote great stories that showcase our industries and presence.
  • Develop marketing strategies that will assist our members in driving growth in the hearth, patio, and outdoor living categories.

Responsibilities of the Communications Director

  • Work with the president and CEO and appropriate committees and staff to create and implement association communications projects and programs, including public relations, advertising, and publications.
  • Oversee and support the Communications Committee and its subcommittees.
  • Supervise and direct the work of vendors for communications and public relations projects and activities.
  • Handle media inquiries and prepare appropriate press materials and information. Work with senior leadership and members on media strategy.
  • Oversee the research, development, writing, and design of public relations materials, including press releases, fact sheets, brochures, and other materials to enhance contact between HPBA members and the media.
  • Oversee the development and execution of all barbecue and hearth industry campaigns, programs, and publicity, including May Is National Barbecue Month, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and HPBA social media outreach, including the Barbecue Facebook page.
  • Coordinate participation of HPBA members in placing products in The New American Home, the model home program of the National Association of Home Builders, at their annual trade show.
  • Coordinate creation of promotional campaigns and advertising insertion strategies for HPBA membership and HPBExpo promotion.
  • Coordinate and oversee communications projects approved by Sections (we have groups, called Product Sections, to better serve our members who make related products, in order to be more responsive to their needs).
  • Work closely with the Meetings and Exhibitions Department, ensuring HPBA’s goals and objectives drive the strategic marketing and related communications materials for HPBExpo.
  • Coordinate and collaborate with the Government Affairs Department to respond to federal and state legislative and regulatory developments, and to develop related articles, op-eds, and posts.
  • Direct publication of association newsletters and journals with the president and CEO’s help and guidance.
  • Oversee HPBA’s strategic electronic communications, including its website, and integration of data analytics. 
  • Curate content and increase audience engagement on HPBA's social media channels.


Qualifications of the Communications Director

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in communications, public relations, marketing, or related field.
  • Minimum of 7 to 10 years of experience developing, implementing, supporting and managing communications programs.
  • Budgeting experience as well as proven vendor management skills.
  • Impeccable writing, editing, and proofing skills, including experience writing for the web.
  • Ability to travel several times a year.


Attributes of the Communications Director

  • Strategic. Success in this role goes far beyond writing articles, using social media, and running communications campaigns. It requires taking full strategic advantage of opportunities and leveraging resources.
  • Results driven. You see the big picture, monitor your key performance metrics, and take the action necessary to produce results.
  • Effective communicator. Your communication is clear and direct, both written and oral. You communicate just as clearly in copy as you do in person. You have excellent oral, written, and editing skills.
  • Project manager. You have proven project management and organizational skills. You effectively manage multiple projects and tasks and understand that important campaign deadlines need to be made and met.


What’s Attractive to the Right Communications Director Candidate?

  • HPBA is financially healthy, with ample reserves.
  • Our members range from large corporations to small family businesses. You will find our members are down to earth and a pleasure to work with. They have been in the industry for many years and are passionate about what they do and about HPBA.
  • The president and CEO is open to new ideas that support the mission and your experience, opinions, and expertise are valued – what you bring to the table is vital to our success.
  • We offer a generous employee benefits program that includes health and dental insurance, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, 401(k), and more.


To Apply for the Communications Director position with HPBA:

Use the “Apply” button on this page, or email your resume to Aileen Hedden at with “HPBA – Communications Director/ 2017-2281 SA” as the subject of the email. 

Alternative Titles:  Director of Communications, Senior Manager of Communications, Communications Officer.


Staffing Advisors is committed to helping our clients create a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. Some positions may require pre-employment screening potentially including a criminal background check, verification of academic credentials, licenses, certifications, and/or verification of work history.