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Network Product Manager

Website INN Institute for Nonprofit News

The Institute for Nonprofit News strengthens and supports more than 400 independent news organizations in a new kind of news network: nonprofit, nonpartisan and dedicated to public service.

INN is seeking a news product manager for the INN Network – an innovator and strategic thinker with brilliant judgment in packaging content into news products that engage people and support new revenue opportunities. This product developer and manager will work with INN’s 400+ member newsrooms to create products that expand public access to valuable news coverage, to develop products that can be used by individual news outlets to build audience and revenue, and to generate new revenue for Network members through collective efforts.

More than 400 INN member newsrooms now produce more than 400,000 stories per year, focused on the public interest of each of their communities – and also collectively producing some of the country’s deepest coverage of key topics including rural issues, health, education and the environment. Their more than 3,000 journalists also produce broad coverage of local news issues of shared interest across many communities. They are committed to values of transparency in producing nonpartisan, public service content.

The ideal candidate will be a skilled media professional with experience in product conceptualization, design and revenue development, as well as deep knowledge of market and industry practices for reaching and engaging news consumers. This is both a strategic and a hands-on job, working to conceptualize and develop products with INN members, managing partnerships and initial operations. Success in this role will necessitate working closely and collaboratively with editorial and product leaders across the INN Network to develop, test and implement new ideas.

The ideal candidate had experience making decisions about news coverage and presentation, is dedicated to engaging news consumers and brings an innovator’s approach to seeking out opportunities and designing solutions to fit them. This isn’t a job for someone who sees themself as exclusively a reporter or editor, or a salesperson or fundraiser. The ideal candidates thrives in the middle spaces between all of those roles and wants to identify the right levers to bring them together to serve news consumers. The first task will be to identify and develop products for INN’s Rural News Network, but the role will quickly expand to include other areas of collaborative editorial interest such as environment, state politics and beyond.

The network product manager will:

  • Define network product strategy and vision that increases the audience, engagement and sustainability of INN Network newsrooms.
  • Develop product prototypes that can be iterated on and tested to evaluate performance against key success criteria.
  • Manage key relationships with technical partners and INN members to ensure the rapid deployment of innovative technological solutions to the network. 
  • Identify types and categories of content where INN members bring unique value and expertise, and propose solutions that help them better leverage that value.
  • Propose novel solutions for integrating additional monetization opportunities that would advance the sustainability of the INN Network and its member newsrooms.
  • Conduct or oversee audience and product research that will inform ongoing product development and iteration.
  • Partner with the Rural News Network team to develop products that advance the network’s journalism reach, impact and sustainability.
  • Work with INN colleagues to develop additional products that advance the sustainability of the network as well as INN as a whole.
  • Monitor and evaluate product performance to ensure constant product iteration and improvements.
  • Set standards to ensure all of INN’s product work meets the Network’s commitment to ethics, transparency and quality.
  • Partner with communications professionals and INN members to promote products and provide the best chance of success.
  • Understand the competitive landscape and conduct competitive analysis.
  • Set and track metrics and analytics for news products and report out to key stakeholders including within INN and across the INN Network.

The Network Product Manager will report  to the chief network officer, and will work closely with INN’s director of collaborations. The product manager will also work closely in coordination with the manager of distribution and audience growth as well as the Rural News Network editor. This nexus of relationships means that an ideal candidate will be simultaneously empathetic and strategic, visionary and diplomatic. This is a job for someone with exceptionally high emotional intelligence, experience analyzing and synthesizing complicated and potentially conflicting data to make decisions a passion for moving journalism forward. Nonprofit news is the fastest growing corner of the journalism industry and this is a role for someone who wants to put increased octane in the tank to accelerate that growth.

Key goals for this position include:

  • Launching 3-6 news products in the first year of work.
  • Developing new potential monetization streams that benefit INN members and INN itself.
  • Increasing the reach of INN Network storytelling, especially to audiences historically excluded by traditional news organizations or under-represented among INN member newsrooms.
  • Contributing to the long-time success and sustainability of the INN Rural News Network and supporting the director of collaborations in identifying new areas for collaborative editorial work.
  • Developing a roster of technical consultants to support bringing network products from concept to reality.
  • Identify vendors and partners to develop strategic news products.
  • Partnering with the INN development team to identify avenues for news products to support goals for INN and NewsMatch fundraising.  

Qualifications:

  • At least three years of experience building and scoping digital news content products for broad audiences.
  • Experience editing strong, public service reporting.
  • Comfort operating independently to move projects forward.
  • Experience balancing short-term and long-term goals.
  • Familiarity with analytics and metrics, and able to synthesize and communicate results to key stakeholders.
  • Understanding of relatively complex technical systems and able to identify potential technologies to support product goals.
  • Ability to craft and negotiate strong partnerships at many levels – with Network participants, service providers, revenue and distribution partners
  • Strong drive to collaborate with colleagues across an organization and beyond.
  • Strong interpersonal and written communications skills, as well as the ability to rally and organize groups of colleagues and inspire a sense of community.
  • A commitment to building a journalism ecosystem that is diverse, equitable and inclusive and a track record that shows your commitment, including ensuring products meet inclusivity best practices.
  • Familiarity with basic HTML, CSS and/or javascript
  • Let us know if you have experience in any of the following: working with Email Service Providers (ESPs), republication services, or text messaging platforms

You’ll wow us if you can show one or more of the following skills: 

  • Experience in content distribution networks.
  • Experience designing and running products that combine content from multiple independent news organizations.
  • Experience working at an INN member organization.

Even if you don’t tick every box on the job description, consider where you’re interested in growing your skills and what unique value you would bring to this role. If you’re still not sure if you should apply, ask people you trust. They’ll probably tell you you’re great and should go for it. Please use your brief cover letter to tell us how your own strengths and experiences would make you successful in this role.

INN has operated as a remote team since 2016, and this will be a remote position. The salary range for this position is $105,000-$115,000 based on experience, education, and potential; generous benefits include employer-paid individual health, vision and dental insurance, and competitive, vacation, retirement and learning benefits, as well as a competitive paid parental leave program. This job may involve limited U.S. travel.

We value diversity, work in the open and do everything we can to give back to the journalism and nonprofit communities. INN is an equal opportunity employer, and we’re actively seeking to increase diversity in our operation and across the field of journalism. We encourage applications from communities traditionally underrepresented in news media. Our values.

To apply for this role, you must submit a resume and brief cover letter via this form. Questions can be submitted to apply@inn.org with “INN Network Product Manager” in the subject line, but all applications must be submitted via the form. Initial application review will start January 15, though new applications may be considered after that date until the position is filled.

To apply for this job please visit form.jotform.com.

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