Public Relations Specialist
Lisle, IL
Full Time

We’re a world-renowned nonprofit with a unique opportunity for a creative self-starter with an interest in nature and conservation. We’re seeking someone who thrives in a fast-paced environment and has experience writing press releases, responding to media inquiries, successfully pitching stories and interviews, and working with spokespeople. You’ll be part of a talented Marketing and Communications Department team, working in a business casual office, with the beauty of nature outside your office door!

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 social media communications that heighten brand reputation and drive awareness and participation. Position reports to the Head of Public Relations and Social Media.

In your cover letter, describe how your experience matches the following job functions:

Essential Functions:

  • Conduct daily media relations and expand relationships with local, regional, and national reporters, bloggers, and influencers. Pitch and secure media stories showcasing Arboretum programming, special events, and scientific expertise. Respond to high volume of inbound media requests in a timely manner. Develop talking points and provide media training for Arboretum spokespeople. Serve as an Arboretum spokesperson as assigned.

  • Write and edit press releases, media alerts, calendar listings, messaging documents, biographies, promotional copy, and other communications. Coordinate providing photos and video to media.  

  • Monitor and track media coverage daily. Use monitoring software and other tools to report on the effectiveness of public relations and social media campaigns.

  •  Develop social media editorial plans to cover stories across the Arboretum. Collaborate with colleagues across the institution to develop accurate and timely content. Drive social media engagement, and provide social media monitoring and responsive care of comments.

  • Advance multimedia storytelling through the use of video and new media. Take photos as needed and organize images from other departments for use on social media.

  • Oversee Public Relations volunteers (who provide support for activities such as posting events on media calendars).

  • Other duties as assigned.

Experience we’re seeking: Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations or related field and 5+ years of professional public relations experience required. Must be a clear, creative writer with knowledge of AP style. Excellent writing and speaking skills. Experience managing social media channels, including in-depth knowledge of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for nonprofit or business purposes. Ability to stay current with trends in social media and analytics. Working knowledge of Cision, Sprout Social, or similar media tracking and management tools preferred. Familiarity with a digital camera and photographic editing beneficial, and the ability to create content using Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator 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 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.

Applications without a resume or cover letter will not be considered.

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

If you have questions, please contact