Design Business Association logo

Marketing and PR Manager

The Design Business Association (DBA) is the trade association for the design industry. We represent a vibrant community of design agencies and in-house design teams. Founded in 1986, the DBA was set up by the industry for the industry to promote professional excellence, champion effective design and foster a creative community of many of the brightest and most respected names in the design industry.

One way we achieve this is through our wide-ranging programme of member services that connect, inspire, and empower our design community. We run an extensive and varied programme of activity, from monthly online forums, webinars, and interactive training, through to regional in-person events. Our DBA Annual Survey report is the most comprehensive financial performance analysis and benchmarking tool in the UK design sector. Every year we deliver two celebrated flagship programmes, Twenty/Twenty business mentoring, and the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards, bringing the industry together around two of our core strategic pillars of advancing the leaders of effective design and ambitious talent. The DBA’s third strategic pillar, advancing the creators of sustainable change, is an exciting area that we are actively developing our offer around.

The DBA serves the industry, and the staff team are here to listen, nurture, inspire and connect. We are a committed team of individuals who care passionately about championing design, who have the experience to leverage our collective power to make positive change, and who work tirelessly to see our members flourish. A key tenet of our culture is giving each member of staff the opportunity to bring their own expertise and skills to the team to make their individual impact on our work as we develop new aspects of our offer to the industry.

If you’re an enthusiastic, tenacious, and confident professional, with demonstrable marketing and PR experience, we want you to join our team as Marketing and PR Manager.

The job

As our Marketing and PR Manager, it will be your job to independently manage the planning and delivery of the DBA’s communications and marketing activities. Supported by your line manager, the Head of Programmes and Marketing, you will continuously develop the DBA’s profile in line with the DBA’s strategic objectives. Once you are established in the role, you be responsible for recruiting a Marketing and PR Coordinator to support the work you are developing.

About you

We want to hear from you if you’re proactive, very organised and detail-orientated, and you’re able to demonstrate a track record of managing a complex portfolio of work continuously, to a high standard.

You will need to get under the skin of our members, understand the way they work and the challenges they face so that you can deliver valuable, engaging and memorable campaigns and communications.

You’ll be able to think critically, anticipate challenges, and drive continuous improvement. This is a fast-paced role, with high levels of responsibility, and no two days are the same.

There will be lots of support from the existing DBA team but high levels of self-motivation are essential. Whilst we work remotely, we are a close-knit team and we operate open lines of communication every day via Microsoft Teams with weekly optional co-working in central London.

What does the day-to-day look like?

Join the DBA as our Marketing and PR Manager and you’ll:

  • Work alongside the Head of Programmes and Marketing to develop and deliver strategic plans across all DBA marketing, communications and PR activity.
  • Develop and implement strategies that support the retention of existing members and attract new audiences to the DBA.
  • Conduct market, customer and competitor research, analysing findings and feeding insights into the development of strategic and tactical plans, reporting findings into the Senior Management Team (SMT).
  • Develop and execute creative and engaging tactical plans which deliver against the strategies you have built, generating unique and tailored content for each platform (social, email, media, etc.), ensuring the DBA’s tone of voice is maintained throughout.
  • Liaise with designers on the creation and production of print and digital assets.
  • Maintain and manage the DBA’s social media channels and websites, ensuring all content is up-to-date, relevant and high quality.
  • Ensure adherence to SEO best practices.
  • Write engaging and attention-grabbing marketing copy to support sales and promotion of DBA activity.
  • Write informative content where required, including attending DBA events to photograph, video and report on them to produce engaging and creative news pieces for our website and social media channels, engaging key external stakeholders to do the same on occasion.
  • Work with the Content Editor to continuously monitor, review and develop the DBA’s communications content, including our fortnightly e-newsletter DBA Roundup.
  • Devise and manage press and media campaigns for the DBA, increasing the profile of the DBA within the wider design industry.
  • Develop PR materials including press releases, pitch angles, interview briefs and media lists, engaging colleagues, key stakeholders and high-profile individuals in DBA communications content.
  • Build and maintain a network of press and media relationships through which the DBA’s profile can be amplified.
  • Proactively monitor the press and media landscape to identify and develop opportunities to raise the profile of the DBA and the UK design industry.
  • Ensure that the quality of activity is continuously maintained and developed, scrutinising each aspect in order to ensure the expected level of creativity and engagement, capturing the lessons learned and implementing improvements.
  • Anticipate problems, trouble-shoot and smooth issues relating to the successful execution of all plans.
  • Monitor, track and evaluate the impact and success of all activities, reporting into SMT.
  • Manage project budgets, delivering activity within budget (and occasionally to revenue targets), implementing change where appropriate to drive success.
  • Recruit, line manage, actively develop and work closely with a new Marketing and PR Coordinator across delivery of all activity, maintaining exceptionally high standards.
  • Report into the Head of Programmes and Marketing, producing timely and accurate narrative and financial reporting as required.

Skills and experience 

  • Passionate about marketing and PR with strong, demonstrable experience of developing effective marketing and media plans delivering impactful results. Minimum 5+ yrs.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, particularly in crafting engaging marketing copy and the confidence and ability to liaise and negotiate at a senior level.
  • The ability to work across teams in a collaborative manner and to proactively engage colleagues on projects and initiatives.
  • Experience of delivering several projects simultaneously over a sustained period, on time and to budget.
  • Proven ability to respond positively in a pressurised environment and adopt a positive approach to problem solving. Think on your feet.
  • Experience in managing and developing team members.
  • A strong collaborative and professional approach with the ability to quickly build and maintain strong working relationships.
  • Self-starter and able to take initiative to keep projects on track and improve processes.
  • Demonstrable experience of handling sensitive and confidential information.
  • The ability to work independently and stay motivated in a remote role, demonstrating self-discipline, time management, and an approach that is both resourceful and creative.
  • Excellent organisational skills and strong attention to detail.
  • Confident decision maker and people manager.
  • Experience of a membership organisation is desirable but not essential.

If you think you meet these requirements, please visit our website for full details of how to apply and attach your CV and a detailed covering letter which explains why you want this job and outlining how your skills and experience match what we’re looking for.

CVs without an explanatory cover letter will not be reviewed. 

Key details and benefits 

Salary: £40k per annum

Pension: 5% Employer Pension Contribution

Vitality Medical Insurance

Contract type: Full time, permanent, flexible working environment (see below for further information).

While many of our events and activities are online, we run a series of regional events around the UK which you will sometimes be expected to attend, so you would need to be able to get into Central London easily, whilst being willing to occasionally travel throughout the UK.

Reporting to: Head of Programmes and Marketing.


25 days per annum pro rata, plus an extra day off in the week of your birthday. We also have a flexible public holiday policy, so if you want to switch a public holiday entitlement to a later date in order to acknowledge events and festivities that are important to the celebration of your culture, beliefs, and identity, then you can.

Working environment 

We have been working remotely very effectively since March 2020 and we anticipate this to remain the case, but it is not out of the question that that could change in the future. These decisions are made as a team based on what is best for the business. Some of us work from home most of the time, whilst some of us prefer to work together or independently in shared workspaces in central London for some of the week. There is a budget available for you to choose what works best for you, and we encourage people to arrange to co-work together once a week.

We have quarterly cultural days when we down tools and spend time together socially, and we often attend industry events either with colleagues or individually.

How we work

The DBA offers a flexible working environment with a focus on protecting your work life balance. We want to get the best out of our people, and to ensure this happens, we have a strong culture of trust and autonomy, with respect for each other and our individual ways of working.

We are currently a dynamic and growing team of 7 people who get a lot done. Playing to each of our strengths is important to us as a business; we know that’s how we produce our best work. We expect a lot from ourselves and each other but we have a lot of fun too. We’re looking to welcome a hard-working, friendly, and confident person to join our established and experienced team.

To apply 

Please visit our website for the email address to send your CV and a covering letter which explains why you want this job and outlining how your skills and experience match what we’re looking for.

CVs without an explanatory cover letter will not be reviewed. 

Deadline for applications: Thursday 4 January 2024 5pm.

Interviews will take place in person in central London on Monday 15 or Thursday 18 January 2024.