The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is seeking an Audience Director to join our team. Staff members are seen in our Madison, Wis., office on July 20, 2021.(Narayan Mahon for Wisconsin Watch)
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is seeking an Audience Director to create the strategy and lead audience development and digital marketing initiatives to build awareness, drive traffic, deepen engagement, reach underserved audiences and create a sustainable stream of revenue from our audience. The audience director will occupy a unique position within the organization, working closely with the newsroom to maximize distribution and reach, and with the business side to help drive engagement and membership.

This person will work across our website, social media, newsletters, other news products, search, partnerships and events to connect with an expanded and more diverse audience. This position is ideal for an innovative, strategic and analytically driven person who is comfortable joining a small and flexible staff in a fast-paced environment. This person will report to the Associate Director.

This role is funded by the American Journalism Project and is part of a multiyear partnership between the Center and the nonprofit Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service (NNS) to rebuild local news in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin. As part of that partnership, the Audience Director will assist in the creation and implementation of audience development and marketing strategies to support the success of NNS.

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is an independent, nonpartisan organization that through its award-winning news outlet, Wisconsin Watch, reports on government accountability and quality of life issues, including criminal and racial justice, education, health, the economy and environment. 

Our mission: To increase the quality, quantity and understanding of investigative journalism to foster an informed citizenry and strengthen democracy.

About You

You might have been working in the journalism industry for years, or maybe you bring perspectives from an adjacent field. You’re incredibly well-organized from Day 1. You’re passionate about public service journalism and have a spirit of collaboration. But you also have a demonstrable independent streak — you’re able to take a task outside of your comfort zone and run with it.

You have a desire to innovate, problem-solve and launch new initiatives. You’re driven by analytics. You’re a proven leader. You set strategy and bring data and evidence to convince others of your point of view, but you’re willing to hear others’ points of view and collaborate.

Concerned that you don’t fit the stated criteria or even that you’re over-qualified? Don’t be. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and consider yourself a problem solver and a good communicator, we encourage you to apply. 

Responsibilities: 

Goal-setting and metrics 

  • Develop a measurement and reporting strategy to educate stakeholders across editorial, product and business teams to inform daily and strategic decisions
  • Set, establish and own goals and KPIs for growth and engagement for newsletters, social, SEO, reader segments, and other channels
  • Build insightful and actionable dashboards and recommend actions based on insights 
  • Present key insights to the Board of Directors and assist in fundraising where appropriate

Audience growth and engagement 

  • Establish a framework to understand, identify and reach target audiences
  • Lead search and social strategies to build consumer awareness, grow audience and deepen engagement with audiences
  • Act as SEO newsroom point person and ensure proper execution of SEO workflows for the newsroom, including training, documentation, and support
  • Monitor search trends and local happenings to help inform coverage, making use of the organization’s social networks and tools such as Google Search Console 
  • Provide coaching to staff about best practices on digital/social platforms
  • Own social and distribution channels; build a coherent and consistent WW voice and branding across all public-facing channels, such as social and newsletters

Distribution

  • Set newsletter strategy; oversee the production and execution of our editorial newsletter portfolio and targeted campaigns
  • Oversee organic and paid email list growth strategy, including managing relevant contractors
  • Collaborate with newsroom leaders to develop and execute distribution and partnership strategies to ensure maximum visibility and impact of our journalism
  • Work with the Digital and Multimedia Director to develop new product initiatives, including email newsletters, and seek out and manage potential third-party channels for growth

Membership growth and engagement 

  • Work with Membership Director to design and execute a full-funnel strategy for growing membership revenue
  • Help develop effective messaging for campaigns, and manage onsite and newsletter calls-to-action 
  • Experiment with product and messaging strategies that convert loyal readers into members and one-time donors into recurring members
  • Measure and report on metrics key to conversion and retention success, and develop strategies to increase effectiveness

Qualifications: 

  • Three or more years experience in audience development, product development and/or marketing; experience in a digital newsroom preferred
  • Knowledge of product development
  • Experience setting goals and creating tracking mechanisms
  • Experience managing professional social accounts, and ideally for established brands
  • A finger on the pulse of social media trends
  • A basic understanding of search engine optimization
  • Experience running newsletters is a plus; knowledge of Mailchimp preferred

Location: The ideal candidate would be located in Wisconsin, but remote work may be considered. 

Salary: Starts at $80,000

Benefits: Generous paid vacation and holiday time, sick days, family leave, subsidized medical and dental benefits, transportation benefits and self-funded 403(b) retirement plan.

Deadline: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

To apply: Please fill out and submit this form. If you’d like to chat about the job before applying, please contact Lauren Fuhrmann, the Center’s associate director, via email: lfuhrmann@wisconsinwatch.org.

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism embraces anti-racism, diversity and inclusiveness in its journalism, training activities, hiring practices and workplace operations. The complex issues we face as a society require respect for different viewpoints. Race, class, generation, gender and geography all affect point of view. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Popular stories from Wisconsin Watch

The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's editorial and public engagement and marketing staff.