Journo Jobs

Indiana Local News Initiative seeks a director of audience development

October 9, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

The Indiana Local News Initiative is seeking a director of audience development to launch an ambitious new local newsroom serving Indianapolis.

The audience development director will be responsible for growing, cultivating and measuring audiences and membership. They’ll partner with newsroom leadership in designing audience-centric product, technology, and data strategies that implement search, social and on-platform engagement and conversion best practices, while exploring new, innovative ways to increase the reach, engagement, and impact of local journalism.

This is a unique opportunity to join the founding team of a new newsroom that is at the forefront of rebuilding local news in communities across the country. The successful candidate will play a critical role in shaping news products that better serve the public, while achieving sustainability and independence with strong support from local audiences.

Responsibilities & Priorities

Goal-setting and metrics:

  • Establishes and owns KPIs for growth and engagement for newsletters, social, SEO, and other channels, as well as membership
  • Develop strategies to build reader habits; track, target, and grow loyal reader segments
  • Builds insightful and actionable traffic reports and recommends actions based on insights
  • Uses audience data, in consultation with audience consultants, to drive to understanding and strategy adjustments
  • Makes recommendations on actions to take that further the newsroom’s goal of serving target audiences

Audience growth and engagement:

  • Creates and executes search and social strategies to grow audience
  • Writes and optimizes newsroom social media copy; posts stories to social platforms on a timely and strategic basis
  • Ensures proper execution of SEO workflows for the newsroom, including training, documentation, and support
  • Acts as newsroom point person for optimizing headlines for article pages, social media, and SEO
  • Monitors 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
  • Seeks out and manages potential third-party channels for growth, such as Apple News, Flipboard, Pocket, etc.


  • Owns newsletter strategy, including the production and execution of our editorial newsletter portfolio and targeted campaigns
  • Oversees email list growth and develops strategies to grow it
  • Owns newsletter engagement KPIs and reports regularly on progress

Membership growth and engagement:

  • Develops and executes strategies (targeted campaigns, consistent stewardship) to grow membership in partnership with Blue Lena
  • Develops effective messaging for campaigns, and manages onsite and newsletter calls-to-action
  • Experiments with product and messaging strategies that convert loyal readers into members and one-time donors into recurring members
  • Measures and reports on metrics key to conversion and retention success, and develop strategies to increase effectiveness

Consider applying if you have some of these skillsets:

  • At least two years of full-time experience in a digital newsroom
  • A desire to innovate, problem-solve, and launch new initiatives
  • Strong editorial judgment (reporting experience preferred)
  • A proven ability to work in partnership with journalists
  • Experience managing professional social accounts, and ideally 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

This position is open to remote work for the first several months before the candidate would be expected to relocate to Indianapolis. Indiana-based candidates are preferred.

Salary minimum: starting at $95,000, commensurate with experience

For further details click here.

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