Engagement Editor

The Better Government Association (BGA) seeks a full-time Engagement Editor. This position will report to the Vice President of Operations.

The BGA is a nonprofit organization that combines investigative journalism, advocacy and civic engagement to promote good government at the local, county and state levels in Illinois. Its office is located in Chicago.

The Engagement Editor has three focuses: First, he/she is responsible for building the organization’s brand online and over social streams, having a full understanding of re/packaging stories for social media. He/she will plan, develop, implement and coordinate all engagement events including Citizen Watchdog Training, Investigative Story follow-up events, Membership Events, and partner with Development team on fundraising events. The third area of focus will be expanding the BGA community reporting efforts.

This person will work closely with the investigative team — seasoned journalists who work to expose corruption and hold public officials accountable; and our policy team — experts in legislation and advocacy who work to protect good-government standards (freedom of information, open meetings, etc.) in lawmaking spheres.

Responsibilities

  • Manage execution and strategy for BGA social media streams for content (investigations, columns, policy analyses), track results, and manage broader online community.

    • Developing distribution plans for stories

    • Collaborate with editors and reporters and analysts on story packaging, partnerships, headlines, images, etc.

    • Building and executing a plan to best use our social media platforms, and leading all posting and conversation management, e.g. compiling news of the day links to go out on Twitter throughout the day in an effort to celebrate great work done by partners

    • Using all forms of media, social and otherwise, to augment our reporting by finding people who could be sources for stories, those affected by our work and others who would share our stories.

    • Always: Responding to questions, interacting, monitoring, social listening

    • Analysis of data: what's working, what's not, monthly metrics, sharing with other depts. as needed

    • Building strategies for improving our social media streams and identities in the long-term, and helping our reporters and analysts find new ways to use social media and the Open Web as effective reporting tools.

 

  • Manage and support the execution and strategy for BGA engagement events (community training, investigative and policy, and fundraising events).

    • Conduct community outreach to recruit attendees for all training and education events, and develop sustainable community relationships throughout the process with partner groups.

    • Plan and conduct community events around the launch of investigative and policy stories.

    • Research ways to partner with other organizations with similar missions in underrepresented communities.

    • Partner with the development team in the planning and execution of fundraising events (Investigative Awards and Annual Luncheon).

  • Expand the audience, topics covered, and number of community reporting stories.

    • Have ownership of What The Gov, a story series that is powered by community questions and feedback.

    • Work with the Director of Investigations to workshop topic ideas, gather reader information and report and write stories that serve an information need.

    • Use and manage freelance writers to produce a steady stream of stories for publication.

 

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree (preferably in journalism and/or digital communications)

  • 1-2 years in social media and journalism for a news organization. (Active and high-quality presence on social media a plus.)

  • 1-2 years in community programming and outreach.

  • Steeped in and able to execute the most effective approaches in managing social media and other engagement tools toward building and sustaining traffic, conversation and qualified engagement.

  • Interest in building and managing a statewide network of contacts – media organizations, social media influencers, key stakeholders in good-government issues – toward created targeted outreach campaigns and publishing partnerships for our work.

  • Self-starter capable of working at a fast pace, independently or part of a team. 

  • Strong writing skills, particularly around headlines, decks, and story descriptions.

  • Strong editing skills (attention to detail; you catch mistakes)

  • Strong grasp of key issues impacting city, county and state government

  • Strong writing, editing and interpersonal skills

 

Send resume, thoughts on BGA’s current approach to engagement, and examples of work, to  ecrowder@bettergov.org.

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