Manager of Audience Engagement

Location:      Chicago
Term:             Full time

About the BGA and ISP: We are the Illinois Solutions Partnership, a collaboration of the Better Government Association and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Our startup launched operations in early 2022, thanks to a five-year funding commitment from McCormick, plus the BGA’s commitment to devote a growing staff of reporters, editors and other resources to the effort. Both partners intend to make this a sustainable enterprise beyond the initial five-year period.

Reporting to: Editor in Chief (in the interim)

Key collaborative relationships: Vice president of operations, director of policy, marketing manager, manager of partnerships and local content, web and graphics editor, newsroom team and policy team.

Role Description: The Manager of Audience Engagement is a key player in spreading the BGA’s mission-driven work and to help strengthen our voice, as well as broaden our audience reach, engagement and growth.  This role will work with both the newsroom and policy teams of the BGA. The successful candidate will be excited about generating cutting-edge ideas for reaching readers, listeners and the broader community. The engagement of diverse communities is a top priority. Your tools will include a variety of media formats, events and public outreach, from podcasts to newsletters to public appearances by our journalists and policy advocates. Strong writing skills and previous non-profit newsroom experience are essential.


  • Develop data-driven growth plans and address a diverse array of audiences across website and mobile, social media, newsletters, podcasts, events and partnerships.  Set clear deliverables and rigorously measure performance.
  • Serve as project manager for the creation and implementation of the ISP audience strategy as it is developed.
  • Collaborate with the editorial and policy teams on social media delivery of stories and policy content, determining which platforms and strategies would be best for engaging and retaining readers. Intentionally connect with Black, Latinx, Asian-American and underserved communities through all social media platforms.
  • Work with the news and policy teams to participate in efforts to grow audience and connect authentically to communities, applying best practices in connecting with residents, civic leaders, influencers and government actors.
  • Use data to drive audience development strategies focusing on specific BGA audiences and their interest in BGA content.
  • Enhance digital versions of stories and develop new formats to engage current members and subscribers and to attract new ones. Develop public engagement programming, social media content, and partnerships.
  • Create and execute marketing and email campaigns that amplify and elevate the BGA’s reporting with a strong emphasis on building a diverse, informed, and engaged audience.
  • Create and execute campaign plans and strategies, mobilization efforts and engagement to raise awareness and action and generate revenue.
  • Design and publish new products for the BGA which may include newsletters, podcasts, website pages and other external communications. Consulting on content and format for a new newsletter strategy, in order to optimize audience, will be a key objective.
  • Direct efforts to track real-time and overall traffic patterns, advise on apps, software and analytics tools.

Candidate requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field with a minimum of 3-4 years of experience working in a nonprofit news organization
  • Proven skills in creating clear, concise, and compelling communication; strong writing and editing skills with keen attention to detail
  • Strong analytical background for data-driven rigor in resource allocation and decision-making   
  • Collaborative approach in working with other BGA leaders, staff and BGA partners to advance the BGA mission
  • Strong grasp of key issues affecting city, county and state government
  • Ability to identify problems and suggest solutions and see new opportunities
  • Knowledge of industry trends, benchmarks, best practices, to ensure the BGA is a trailblazer
  • Experience and high levels of proficiency analyzing key data, specifically with Google Analytics, platform-specific analytics (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and social media posting and monitoring tools, to track the effectiveness of campaigns and build strategies
  • Eye for design and experience with web publishing and digital communications tools (CMS, email services)
  • Self-starter capable of working at a fast pace, independently and as part of a team

Compensation and Benefits

Salary for a fully qualified candidate starts at $75,000 and may be negotiable for those with exceptional experience and qualifications. We are looking for talented, high-potential colleagues who can contribute to the success of this enterprise, and such candidates who may not meet all the listed job requirements are invited to apply. Position also includes medical, dental, and vision insurance; a comprehensive paid time off package; and a 401(k) with an employer match.

How to Apply

Submit your cover letter and resume to We will begin reviewing submissions immediately and we will consider applicants while the posting remains on our website until March 30, 2022. 

We encourage applicants from traditionally underrepresented communities, including people of color, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities. The Better Government Association is an equal opportunity employer. We’re committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of inclusion and connectedness for all employees. We welcome the unique contributions you can bring in terms of education, opinions, culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran status, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs.