Public Relations Specialist | The Morton Arboretum

Posted on Aug 28, 2019
Type: Job

Position Summary:

Advance The Morton Arboretum’s mission, to encourage the planting and conservation of trees for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world, through public relations and communications that heighten brand reputation and drive awareness and participation.  Manage the Arboretum’s social media presence with an emphasis on storytelling and engagement.


Essential Functions:

  • Conduct daily media relations and expand relationships with local, regional, and national reporters, bloggers, and influencers. Under the direction of the Head of Public Relations and Social Media, pitch and secure stories showcasing Arboretum programming and expertise. Respond to a wide array of inbound media requests. Develop talking points and provide media training for Arboretum spokespeople. Serve as an Arboretum spokesperson as assigned. Oversee the interview process from start to finish on assigned stories.
  • Develop social media editorial plans to cover stories across the Arboretum. Collaborate with colleagues across the institution to develop accurate and timely content. Share the Arboretum’s tree and plant knowledge, promote participation in programs and events, drive visitation by highlighting collections and exhibitions. Drive social media engagement, and provide social media monitoring and care.
  • Advance multimedia storytelling through the use of video and new media. Take photos and organize images from other departments for use on social media.
  • Write and edit press releases, media alerts, calendar listings, messaging documents, biographies, promotional copy, and other communications.
  • Monitor and track media coverage daily. Use monitoring software and other tools to report on the effectiveness of public relations and social media campaigns. Leverage data to heighten social media engagement and following.
  • Provide internal communication support as needed to Human Resources.
  • Oversee Public Relations volunteers.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Qualifications:  Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations or related field required. 5+ years of related professional experience in Chicago-area public relations required.  Must be a clear, creative writer with knowledge of AP style.  Excellent writing and speaking skills required.  Experience managing social media channels of comparable scale. In-depth knowledge of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for nonprofit or business purposes required. Ability to stay current with trends in social media and analytics required. Working knowledge of Cision, Sprout Social, or similar media tracking and management tools preferred. Familiarity with a digital camera and good photographic skills strongly preferred, and the ability to create content using Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator a plus. Basic Knowledge of HTML and video skills a plus. Proficiency with Google applications beneficial.

Success Factors:  Ability to handle multiple assignments simultaneously and quickly with strong attention to detail. Creative, innovative, and a knack for thinking “out of the box.” Ability to relate effectively with people of various backgrounds and ages. A commitment to, and ability to effectively convey, the Arboretum’s mission with genuine passion, and the willingness to continually learn about the programs and mission.

Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Physical Demands: Work requires some physical activity: walking over all types of terrain, in all weather conditions.
  • Work Environment: Work is performed primarily indoors, in an office setting, although travel within the grounds and buildings of the Arboretum is occasionally required.
  • Equipment: General office equipment, digital camera, photo editing software.
  • Schedule:  Position requires rotating weekend, holiday, and occasional evening or off-hours coverage.


4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532

How to apply

To apply, visit

The Morton Arboretum is an equal opportunity employer – disability/veteran.

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