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Social Media Engagement Associate

Website Chicago_Reader Chicago Reader

Chicago Reader

The nonprofit Reader Institute for Community Journalism, Inc. (RICJ), publisher of the 51-year-old Chicago Reader, is seeking a Social Media Engagement Associate to expand the reach and impact of our award-winning journalism, nonprofit fundraising, partnerships, and other exciting projects. 

Do you have a passion for everything Chicago Reader?  Do you pick it up in print and connect online to our coverage of exciting music, new restaurants and popups, theater, performances, and our groundbreaking journalism? Are you always telling your friends about the latest and greatest online publications and podcasts? Do you follow so many social media accounts that you need an intervention? Are you on Twitter so often that you sound like you’re Tweeting when you talk out loud?

If that all sounds familiar and exciting, then this might be for you. The successful candidate will be a person who is at home in online media and overflowing with ideas for how to reach and impact audiences across the web and beyond. 

This role is responsible for expanding the audience for our award-winning journalism, nonprofit fundraising, partnerships, events, and other exciting projects by creating, developing, and executing strategies to engage audiences across all social media and other relevant platforms.

You will work closely across teams and individuals in the organization every day to generate content that supports and enhances editorial, business, events, and development goals and lift up and distribute our award-winning journalism. As part of the RICJ team, you will work in an exciting industry and have the support of a knowledgeable and enthusiastic leadership team.

Responsibilities include:

Social Media Content Production and Management

  • Create, manage, and track organic and paid social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and more
  • Craft and execute social media promotion strategies for each of our published stories and promotions
  • Coordinate and execute RICJ’s social media calendar, helping drive a balance of topics and a posting schedule in sync with ever-evolving social media best practices
  • Confer with the marketing and editorial teams on social media rollouts for stories, and brainstorm which platforms would be best for engaging and retaining readers 

Growth and Strategy

  • Working with leadership to  strategize ways to increase readership and engage diverse audiences
  • Explore and implement trends, platforms and topics, and research competitors
  • Work with RICJ staffers to grow their presence on social media, and strategize on how best to tell stories via social

Analytics and Metrics

  • Use analytics and surveys to tell us more about who our audience is, and how and why they use our content against a number of objectives; mine this data to help us understand and expand our readership and help our journalism have a greater impact
  • Conduct regular social media accounts audits and identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Conduct A/B and other tests
  • Upgrade and maintain dashboards for a simple view of benchmarks
  • Present regularly to stakeholders and collaborators to review and assess the success of social media

Other duties as assigned 

Performance Measures:

Growth in Audience and Engagement metrics

  • Meeting benchmarks in post frequency and timeliness
  • Accurate maintenance of social media calendar, assignments, analytical reports and dashboards
  • Successful coordination across the organization
  • Regular, understandable reports in order to support collaboration on strategy

Requirements and skills

  • Minimum 1-2 years of experience at a digital media outlet, PR agency, or in a social media role; the most important qualification is the drive and ability to engage readers, execute new ideas, follow and maintain benchmarks and requirements regarding frequency and accuracy, and generate results
  • Solid copywriting and editing skills and experience.
  • Understanding of organic content on all social platforms, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram.
  • Social design skills including placement of social icons, open graph tagging, creation of social visuals, sizing of images, video development for each channel, etc.
  • Strong video, motion, and graphic design skills would be a plus
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to cultivate metrics and identify meaningful trends
  • Robust understanding of the entire digital ecosystem, the quickly evolving organic social media environment, how social and reputation management fits in and demonstrated ability to manage a well-established social media presence
  • Able to prioritize effectively, data and deadline driven, and ability to multitask
  • Demonstrable organizational and project management skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and collaboration skills
  • A sense of humor and a positive attitude 

This is a remote-work position but living in the Chicago area and attendance at in-person meetings is required. 

Salary and Benefits
Annual salary is $44,000 to $46,000, based on experience.

This is a full-time position with generous benefits, including:

  • 60% Employer covered Medical, Pharmaceutical, Vision and Dental Insurance
  • 36-hour work week, 32-hour July and August 
  • Retirement savings plan with graduated employer matching contributions
  • 15 paid holidays, 6 personal days and 10 days paid vacation (15 after one year)
  • 12 weeks 100% paid parental leave
    …and more!

This is a union position. Chicago Reader editorial staff are members of the NewsGuild/Communication Workers of America Local 34071.

About the Reader Institute for Community Journalism: In May 2022, RICJ took over operations of the Chicago Reader from the prior for-profit business. It is a new nonprofit publishing a legacy newspaper and website based in Bronzeville. RICJ’s budget is approximately $3 million a year, with 40 staff, and dozens of freelancers.  

Equal Opportunity Employer. Diverse candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status. RICJ is committed to creating a collaborative environment that celebrates the diversity of our staff. 

If interested, please submit a cover letter and resume to us through this link: Please tell us the name of your favorite color as requested on the form so we can see that you read the entire job description.  

Deadline to apply is June 1, 2023.

To apply for this job email your details to

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