In a Nutshell

Montana Free Press, Montana’s premier statewide nonprofit news organization, has an immediate opening for an accomplished and ambitious Director of Audience Engagement to join our team in Helena.

Fast Facts

Established in 2016

Employees: 9+

Annual Budget: $1.2M

Headquarters: Helena, MT

Organizational Impact in 2020

128% growth in e-newsletter subscribers

129% growth in reader donations (memberships)

525% growth in average monthly site users 

The Position

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Audience Engagement will drive MTFP’s comprehensive understanding of and cultural competency around target audiences and the critical information needs of Montana’s communities. This is a new position that will play a critical role in improving the quality, impact, and reach of MTFP’s reporting through identifying and building new relationships with prospective audiences for our content. The DAE will lead efforts to connect and collaborate with diverse readers, communities, and others at every step in the process of our journalism. As a member of MTFP’s leadership and business team, the DAE will manage and direct MTFP’s (i) new audience acquisition efforts; (ii) membership renewal efforts; (iii) optimize reader engagement with MTFP;  (iv) and assist in building MTFP’s membership program, among other things. The DAE will join the leadership team and work closely with both the business and editorial teams. 

Because this position demands an ambidextrous thinker (using both right brain and left brain), we are seeking someone with both creative and quantitative abilities. We welcome and encourage applicants with non-traditional career paths. If you don’t exactly meet the qualifications outlined here, please apply and tell us how your own experiences equip you to excel at both data collection and analysis for making informed decisions, being able to develop creative and effective solutions, and an interest and desire in building strong relationships with communities throughout Montana.

Key Responsibilities

  • Determine information needs of MTFP’s current and future (target) audiences; work with the editorial team to develop and promote news products that meet those needs; and contribute to revenue generation by connecting MTFP with audiences willing to invest in our work.
  • Advocate for audience information needs within the organization; partnering with newsroom staff to ensure alignment of goals. 
  • Managing community audience connections, including advisory groups.
  • Working with the development team to drive aggressive growth in the membership program and lead efforts to grow our reader outreach to attract new audiences and optimize reader engagement.
  • Conceive and implement reader and community engagement efforts in the formulation, reporting, and presentation of MTFP’s journalism. 
  • Make well-informed, metric-driven decisions and recommendations, work with MTFP’s digital marketing contractor to monitor and analyze data from Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Parse.ly, among others, to understand user behavior and help formulate new content and audience development strategies. 
  • Create and implement a social media strategy to distribute content, build engagement, and convert prospects to customers using online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, among others. 
  • Develop and implement a strategy that maximizes audience engagement with CRM including, importantly, SEO and SEM strategies.
  • Participate in developing membership goals, identifying growth opportunities, and developing strategies to meet targets.
  • Work with development and editorial teams to design digital news products that meet the needs of current and new audiences. 
  • Improve renewals and increase the average size of reader donations.

Qualifications/Qualities 

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience and training. 
  • Understanding of the critical role that public service journalism plays in our democracy.
  • Proven people management skills and a track record of collaboration across teams and with outside organizations.
  • Experience in developing and implementing business plans and Key Performance Indicator dashboards for digital products, and a track record of successful results.
  • A thorough understanding of how content platforms work, and up-to-date knowledge of social media, search, and other distribution networks and platforms.
  • Experience in social media as a vehicle to build audience, engagement, and brand awareness.
  • Experience in using digital media analytics platforms, including Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, and Parse.ly, to measure performance and develop data-informed insights and recommendations for the formulation, presentation, and distribution of our journalism; 
  • Expertise using spreadsheets, word processing, presentation software, graphic design, virtual meeting software, etc.
  • You are committed to diversity and inclusion, and its value in the workplace. 

Salary: ​$65,000-75,000, with benefits 

This is a full-time, exempt position that reports to the Executive Director and is based at MTFP’s headquarters in Helena, MT. Travel and some nights/weekends will be required and will likely increase after the pandemic. 

We offer a competitive salary plus health insurance (medical, dental, vision), retirement savings plan, generous holiday, sick and vacation leave, and flexible work hours. 

MTFP is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to hiring employees from diverse backgrounds. People of color, women, LGBTQ+, and differently-abled people are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Application details:​ All applications should include a cover letter and resume to jobs@montanafreepress.org​ and include “Director of Audience Engagement” in the email subject line.